Monday, April 25, 2016

Quickie: Thoughts on Commuting


It's not the commute I hate, as much as it is the time it takes to get to and from work.  If I were to get in to work at 8:00 am, I'd still not be able to get home until 6:00 pm at the earliest, and would still not be able to attend many meetups as Marian.

New York has a lot of mass transit options.  But they are geared for reaching the city's core from within the city itself.  If you are coming from the suburbs, the trains leave you at Penn Station or at Grand Central; the PATH Tubes drop you off at the World Trade Center complex, or at 32nd Street and 6th Avenue; and the ferries (save the one from Staten Island) leave you blocks from any subways.  They are not meant to get you to the edges of Manhattan, nor are they meant to get you to all places in the outlying suburbs where jobs are being created.  No wonder why businesses have gradually migrated to less congested, and car friendly locales.

If you are lucky enough to be served by one of New York's transit options, you will often have to wait on cold (in winter) or hot (in summer) platforms waiting for overcrowded trains. New York is still paying for the disinvestments made during the reign of Robert Moses and in the later Financial Crises. The 2nd Avenue subway, long awaited, will soon become a reality - but not what is needed to sate the East Side's transit needs.  And I doubt that all 4 phases will be completed by the time I retire.  This means that we likely won't see a needed replacement for both the 2nd and 3rd Avenue Els running under 2nd Avenue until 100 years after the 2nd Avenue El was torn down.

Given how uncomfortable commuting is, there was no chance that I'd commute into NYC as Marian for a job.  However, if the 3rd Avenue El were still in existence, I might have considered doing so.  It certainly would have been nice on some days to walk outside with a comfortable breeze blowing up my skirt and keeping me comfortable. 

One can dream.....




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