A few spurious editorial comments on this chilly Thursday
evening in March.
As some people may have noticed, I've now come in contact with Second Avenue Business Association. (SABA)
This grassroots organization, made up of local business owners in the Launch Box construction area, came together late last year to call attention to the serious impact that the construction is having on their businesses.
The SABA quickly got the attention of numerous political leaders, including Assemblymen Jonathan Bing and Micah Kellner, Council members Daniel Garodnick and Jessica Lappin, State Senator Krueger, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the Office of the Mayor -- and the MTA and Skanska (the lead contractor.)
SABA members meet weekly with representatives of MTA Capital Construction, Skanska, DOT and the Office of the Mayor. (You can find the minutes of their meetings in the right hand column in this blog.)
One member of the SABA provided a wonderful overview of the group's efforts at last Monday's Community Board 8 Second Avenue Subway (SAS) Task Force Meeting. Afterwards I heard some in the auditorium wonder out loud how it was that they (the SABA) had made so much progress so quickly, while others in the community seemingly struggled to get their voices and concerns addressed.
I've also been struck by how organized the business owners are, with their weekly meetings -- while members of the community-at-large have to rely on the CB8 Second Avenue Task Force, which at the moment only seems to meet every 3 months!
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This is a bit off topic... but here are two web links that I became aware of today with pictures of the construction activity in and around one of the MTA's other big projects - East Side Access:
Why is this relevant you might ask (unless you're really interested in tunnel boring machines) -- because, in about a year or so, this is close to what it will look like inside the 2nd Avenue Subway Launch Box and under 2nd Avenue.
BUT -- the big difference is that the 2nd Avenue Subway Launch Box will be decked over so you won't be able to see what's going on deep down (80 feet) at the bottom of the hole.
Oh, and in case your were wondering what exactly a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) looks like...
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Last Friday morning at about 7:30 AM, on my way to the subway, I stopped to take a few pictures while standing at the corner of 94th and 2nd.
A woman walked by me and then stopped, and turned to me, and said, "are you the guy with the subway blog?"
I said, "Yes. You've seen it?"
She paused and then said, "You're too nice." We had a brief conversation and then I hurried on my way.
Am I too nice? (with respect to this Blog?)
My view is that I'm not trying to be nice, or mean, or confrontational, or difficult, or one-sided, and I'm really not even trying to make some point.
My goal is simple -- I want to show others, using this medium, what is going on in my neighborhood and I want to do this in a fair and objective way.
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Finally -- the DEP is scheduled to shut off the water, as part of this project, to my building at 10 PM tonight. (As of this hour, 11:40 PM, the tap is dry.)
They say it will be back on by 6 AM...
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