Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 25, 2008

Yesterday the NY State Senate amended and passed it's version of Assembly Bill A01594, a bill that establishes a Second Avenue Subway construction economic development grant program. (The Senate version is now referenced as S8154A.)

The Assembly version of this bill was previously passed on June 19th by a vote of 136 to 2.

The complete text of the amended bill can be found
on this link.

My understanding is that the Senate version has now been returned to the Assembly where it will wait for the Assembly's concurrence on the Senate's amendments. Only then will it be transmitted to the governor for his signature or veto. How quickly this will happen, now that the Assembly is in recess, is unknown at the moment.

And even if this bill does become law, it's not clear when funds would be made available to the effected small businesses in the current SAS construction zone between 91st and 95th streets. As things stand now, it's likely that these grants will come too late for some of these shop owners.

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And in other legislative news -

Also on June 24th, the NY State Assembly passed,
by a vote of 140 to 0, Bill A10924 -- a bill that creates tax abatements for certain commercial properties located within the Second Avenue subway project area. This bill has been referred to the Senate, which is now in recess.

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And don't miss the insightful posting, "Rising costs shelve third Second Ave. Subway track at 72nd" that Ben Kabak just posted on the Second Ave. Sagas site.

It seems short sited to me to shrink the new 72nd Street station (where the Q line will eventually intersect with the new T line) from a three-track and two-platform to a two-track and one-platform station.

The MTA only has one chance to do this right, since it will be nearly impossible to ever expand the 72nd Street station once it has been placed into service. Imagine where we would be, as example, if the Interborough Rapid Transit Company hadn't had the foresight to build the Lexington Avenue line with four tracks.

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And lastly, MTA Capital Construction posted this notice on their Second Avenue Subway "Three Week Look Ahead" web page the other day:

BE ADVISED: Con Ed, Empire City Subway and Verizon may be performing cable and gas line work outside regular SAS construction Hours. Some of this work will take place on 2nd Ave between 91st and 95th St and will be intermittently carried out in support of the Second Avenue Subway.

I'm sure this was put up in response to complaints about work taking place at the site outside of the official work hours -- that the MTA and it's contractors are being blammed for.

A number of local residents passionately complained about the late night work at the last CB8 Second Avenue Subway Task Force meeting. In particular the residents were upset by the jack hammering at 3 AM on Tuesday, June 17th.