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Links roundup—extended edition (with lost landmarks and smart phone apps)

November 26, 2011

La Guardia’s recently replaced “Swiss Cheese Ice Cream Cone” control tower, built in 1964 by architect Wallace K. Harrison.

Port Authority

  • La Guardia Airport’s old air control tower—a piece of “curvaceous, eccentric, whimsical architecture that looks as if it could have been built for the 1964 World’s Fair”—has been replaced with a much needed fancy new $100 million tower. The iconic structure was chopped down to four stories and will now be used as storage space for the Port Authority. [NYT City Room Blog]
  • Senator Schumer wants the Port Authority to give discounts to Staten Islanders. [SI Live]
  • The planned 2012 opening of the 9/11 museum at the World Trade Center could be pushed back due to a dispute over $156 million in redevelopment overrun costs between the Port Authority and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Foundation. [WSJ]
  • And Moody’s issued a negative credit rating outlook for the Port Authority, cirting the slow economic recovery and the authority’s increasing infrastructure needs. [NJ Record]

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

  • On transit improvements at Atlantic Yards. [2nd Ave. Sagas]
  • Blasting on the Second Ave. subway project has been temporarily halted following complaints about dust. [NY Daily News]
  • Because you can’t stay up all night watching for MTA service disruptions that could affect your morning commute, someone created an app to do it for you. And it only costs $1.99. [MTA App of the Week]

New York City Housing Authority

  • An examination of some of the problems facing low income renters in New York City: “Even as the city undertakes a major expansion of its subsidized housing stock, the process of finding and applying for those apartments has become so haphazard and mysterious that many New Yorkers don’t even know where to start. Others are defeated by the complexity of the system.” [City Limits]
  • As if that isn’t bad enough, a glitch in NYCHA’s new $36 million computer system has delayed the payment of rent subsidies for thousands of low income tenants, leading to widespread evictions and other problems. [NY Post] [NY Daily News]
  • In legal news, a lower court upheld NYCHA’s decision to terminate the tenancy of a resident who failed to submit complete, accurate information of his income. Matter of Hernandez v New York City Hous. Auth., 2011 NY Slip Op. 32947U (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co., Oct. 27, 2011).

Beyond New York

  • On the clean energy front, transportation authorities take note: “Bus systems are natural candidates for green innovation. They’re government-owned, so they can prioritize goals like air quality and invest in technology that will pay back over long periods of time. They’re set up in fleets, so they have some economy of scale. And from a government’s point of view, they’re cheaper to replace and to expand than subway or rail lines.” [GOOD]
  • New York’s public authorities aren’t the only ones with massive debt problems. The Maryland Transportation Authority has tapped out its debt capacity and is raising tolls statewide in order to maintain its aging bridges, tunnels and roads. [WaPo]
  • Fees or taxes? The Idaho Supreme Court ruled that a fee imposed by a local stormwater utility was an unauthorized and illegal tax because it was “a revenue generating tax created to benefit the general public by charging all property owners for the privilege of using the City’s preexisting stormwater system, regardless of whether they are using the stormwater system or not.” Lewiston Indep. Sch. Dist. #1 v. City of Lewiston, 2011 Ida. LEXIS 148 (Nov. 7, 2011).
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