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Old December 29th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #261
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Old December 29th, 2005, 02:39 AM   #262
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Old January 24th, 2006, 03:10 AM   #263
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Digging for a Subway, but Hitting a Wall, Again
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
23 January 2006
The New York Times

Workers digging up Battery Park for a 21st-century subway station keep bumping into the 18th century at every turn.

For the second time in a few months, workers have uncovered a stone wall that archaeologists believe has stood near the southern tip of Manhattan since New York was a British colony. Like the one found in November, this wall stands in the way of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plan to replace the South Ferry station, where the No. 1 train turns around to head back uptown.

City officials said they did not yet have a clear idea of when the second wall was built or what its purpose was. But they have agreed that it, like the first one, is historically significant and must be preserved.

''It's a historic wall of some kind,'' said Adrian Benepe, commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The second wall was discovered in late December, and transit officials were concerned that it could prompt the Federal Transit Administration, which is paying for the new station, to halt the project.

But Bernard Cohen, director of the administration's Lower Manhattan Recovery Office, decided on Thursday that the excavation could resume in the park after all of the pieces of the two walls were cataloged, carefully removed and stored in crates.

Joan C. Berkowitz, an architectural conservator who is supervising the removal of the walls for the transportation authority, said that the first wall should be removed by the end of January and that the second might be removed by early February.

The authority does not have an official estimate of the cost of removing the two walls, but Mysore L. Nagaraja, the president of the M.T.A. Capital Construction Company, which oversees the authority's expansion projects, said he hoped it would not exceed $1 million. He said he believed the project could still be completed by the end of next year and within its $420 million budget.

''I want to have them out of my way yesterday, but I know that is not real,'' Mr. Nagaraja said. ''The sooner it's out of our way, the less I hear from the contractor about schedule delays.''

''A few weeks are lost,'' Mr. Nagaraja said, because digging was halted in the areas around the two walls. But, he said, crews have continued demolishing 60,000 cubic yards of bedrock to make room for the station and a new tunnel section that will connect to it.

''The other rock, we just blast it away and truck it away,'' Mr. Nagaraja said. ''We have to do this with kid gloves.''

Ms. Berkowitz said workers would take apart chunks of the walls with chisels and rubber mallets. Once loose, the sections will be lifted ''gingerly'' out of the trenches in canvas bands attached to construction cranes, she said.

The second wall, made of stone blocks and mortar, is similar to the first, but is longer and taller and appears to have been constructed with logs near its base that extend to the east, Ms. Berkowitz said.

It is several feet below street level and about 300 feet south of the first wall, which archaeologists believe may have been part of the original defensive battery, which gave the park its name.

The first wall, which is more than 40 feet long and about 8 feet thick, was constructed as two stacks of stones sandwiching a pile of rubble. It is in the northeast corner of Battery Park, near the island's original shoreline, and archaeologists working on the project said British soldiers may have built it in the mid-1700's to protect one of the forts that dominated the settlement at the southern tip of the island.

But some of them believe the wall may have been part of one of the forts and could have been built as long ago as the late 1600's.

Either way, it would be the oldest fortification that still exists in Manhattan, they said. The second wall may rest on landfill that extended several hundred feet along the shoreline to the south and west. Castle Clinton, a national monument that now sits in Battery Park, was built in the early 19th century on rocks beyond the shore.

In the past 100 years, the park has repeatedly been dug up to accommodate transportation infrastructure, including subway tunnels, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and the Battery Park underpass.

''So much excavation has happened in the Battery, it's amazing that there's still in this one undisturbed part so much of our history being revealed,'' said Warrie Price, president of the Battery Conservancy, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the park.

Ms. Price said the walls would be stored in the park until the subway tunnel was finished and the authority restored the grounds.

Ms. Price said that she would like to see a plaque or some other reference to the walls placed above the sites where they were found. But she said she hoped that they would not be completely reassembled in the park in a way that would impede recreational activity.

She added that one solution may be to exhibit parts of the walls in Castle Clinton, which belongs to the National Park Service.

Mr. Benepe said the walls must be removed before any decisions could be made about where they would end up and who would pay for their relocation.

''We'll cross that wall when we come to it,'' he said.

Map of Manhattan highlighting the site of the wall discovered in November and the site of the wall discovered in late December.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 03:24 AM   #264
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No Fishing on the New York Subway - Bahamas Tourism Ads Axed

No fishing in the subway: tongue-in-cheek vacation ads banned from New York transit
1 February 2006

NEW YORK (AP) - Crammed into subway cars with hundreds of other commuters during the morning rush, New Yorkers have cultivated all kinds of fantasies about what they would rather be doing -- but acting on them is another matter.

Officials are axing advertisements that playfully urge subway riders to pretend they're on vacation -- showing cartoon figures fly fishing on the tracks and lounging across subway seats.

The ads, part of a Bahamas Ministry of Tourism campaign, "advocate behavior that is clearly unsafe" and will be replaced, said Jodi Senese, a spokeswoman for CBS Outdoor, the company that distributes advertising in New York's underground.

Under the heading "Instant Escape No. 2: How to Fly Fish with a Scarf and a Cell Phone," one ad seems to instruct riders to fish for trash on the tracks by putting something sticky on a cell phone and attaching it to a scarf.

Another sign in the series, "How to Turn a Subway Seat into a Hammock," shows a figure draped over several seats.

Track fishing and seat hogging are both forbidden by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's official rules.

Senese told The New York Times for Wednesday editions that the Bahamas campaign escaped her company's notice because tourism ads do not usually require heavy scrutiny. The ads are plastered throughout as many as a quarter of the city's 6,210 subway cars.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 09:10 AM   #265
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That's completely crazy!....I don't like ads at all, but come on!
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Old February 6th, 2006, 04:53 AM   #266
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Hey, maybe it'll help the MTA out- passengers can pick up the trash on the tracks instead of just leaving it there to decay.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 04:56 AM   #267
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god bless the MTA.

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Old March 2nd, 2006, 02:42 AM   #268
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New York Subway Builders Find 3rd Wall

March 1, 2006
Subway Project Runs Into One More Wall (Just Don't Call It an Obstacle)
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/01/ny...=1&oref=slogin



Just when they thought it was safe to start digging again, workers building a new subway terminal at South Ferry found yet another big section of 18th-century seawall standing in their way.

This piece, about 105 feet long and 9 feet thick, is even larger than two other sections found under Battery Park in the last four months. The discoveries have left city officials with an embarrassment of historical riches and a problem: Where do you put several more tons of pre-Revolutionary stone and mortar in one of the most densely developed places on Earth?

They have cobbled together a three-part solution.

Once the construction of the terminal is finished, the City Department of Parks and Recreation plans to reassemble the first large section at ground level in Battery Park and to spread stones from the third one in other parks in Lower Manhattan. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering embedding part of the second section in a glass wall inside the new terminal.

Archaeologists believe the walls lined the southern tip of Manhattan and were built at least 240 years ago, either to hold in the landfill that extended the shoreline or to protect British soldiers against a naval attack. Some archaeologists said they held out hope that at least one of the sections was part of the original military battery for which the park was named.

If so, it could date back as far as the late 17th century, they said. Either way, said Adrian Benepe, the city's parks commissioner, "these walls are essentially the oldest masonry in Manhattan."

Mr. Benepe said that an interesting feature of the latest find, unearthed in the last two weeks, was the barnacles and oyster shells stuck to it. "Clearly, this wall was exposed to the ocean," he said.

The analysis of just when the walls were built and for what purpose will not be completed until after they are removed from the path of progress. The delicate work of documenting and disassembling them has slowed the subway project since November.

They were discovered, one after another, by crews digging a long, deep trench that will hold a replacement for the 101-year-old South Ferry station and a tunnel for the No. 1 subway tracks that will connect to it. The new terminal, where trains will reach a dead end instead of screeching around a hairpin turn as they do now, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2007.

Mysore Nagaraja, the president of the MTA Capital Construction Company, said his workers were supposed to be out of the park by mid-July of this year. But the delays caused by the work on the walls will keep them there through the end of the summer.

One of their unanticipated tasks has been building three-foot-square wooden crates, filling them with chunks of the walls, then hauling them on trucks to Randalls Island, in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. The parks department will store them there until the workers have completed their work at Battery Park, Mr. Benepe said.

Mr. Nagaraja said he did not know if the entire project could be completed on schedule. But he said the additional work and delays would add less than $1 million to the total cost. The Federal Transit Administration is spending $420 million on the terminal.

After initially resisting, officials of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have embraced the idea of incorporating some of the stone in the South Ferry terminal. They plan to embed a section 20 feet long and a few feet high in the middle of a white glass wall in the mezzanine, said Sandra Bloodworth, director of the transportation authority's Arts for Transit program.

The goal, Ms. Bloodworth said, is to "recreate the experience of discovering the wall." The section the stones will be taken from is too "massive," at 60 feet long and more than 8 feet thick, to be displayed as a whole, she said.

The stones are a late addition to the design plan for the terminal, which will be home to the largest art installation in the entire subway system. About a year ago, Arts for Transit selected Doug and Mike Starn to create the decorative elements of the terminal. The Starn brothers proposed incorporating images of trees and leaves into both the walls and the fencing inside, Ms. Bloodworth said.

"We're bringing the park into the station," Mr. Nagaraja said.

Still, some archaeologists would prefer to see the walls preserved in full.

"A piece of a wall I don't think has much integrity," said Nan Rothschild, a historical archaeologist who teaches at Barnard College. "It is just a wall. But it's exciting when you see it. What it speaks to, to me, is the way the space in Lower Manhattan has been manipulated and how it's developed. The city keeps being rebuilt."
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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:12 PM   #269
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Bag searches become way of life in New York City subway system
By TOM HAYS
9 July 2006

NEW YORK (AP) - It was billed as a necessary counterterrorism tactic after the deadly mass transit bombings in London: Anyone entering the city's sprawling subway system could be subjected to a random search of backpacks, briefcases and shopping bags.

One year and countless searches later, the practice once thought of as a temporary imposition, with the potential to trample civil rights, remains in effect and is barely causing a stir.

"We consider it a valuable tactic to use," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a recent interview. "It's not a panacea, it's not a cure-all, but it's another tool in our toolbox."

Officials will not say how many bags police have searched in the past year, or specify where and when they do it. Unpredictable deployment keeps would-be bombers off balance, they say.

The program has resulted in five arrests -- not for terrorism, but for drug possession, disorderly conduct and other minor charges.

Still, the nation's largest police department considers the city's 468 subway stations and the average 4.5 million riders who use them daily on average to be ripe targets for terrorism. The subway inspections are just one element of a counterterrorism program that costs the NYPD roughly $200 million (euro156.5 million) a year.

Each day, police set up checkpoints in a handful of stations across the city, often during the afternoon rush. A typical checkpoint has three uniformed officers equipped with a folding table and flashlights used to peer into bags, a far cry from the elaborate screening stations in airports.

At a checkpoint at the Wall Street subway stop last week, about every 10th person was stopped for a search that lasted perhaps 10 seconds. The officers shooed away some commuters who tried to voluntarily open their bags for inspection.

If the chosen were bothered, it did not show.

"I'm trying to make a train, but it's OK," said Eric Mergenthaler, a 38-year-old stock trader. "I understand why they're doing it."

The New York Civil Liberties Union believed the searches were such violations of privacy that it went to court last year to stop them. A federal judge disagreed, saying that following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks the need for such measures was "indisputable, pressing, ongoing and evolving."

The NYCLU has appealed. Its lawyers argue the searches are too infrequent to be a real deterrent, yet frequent enough to violate constitutional rights.

"We're in favor of making people feel comfortable, but not at the expense of the Constitution," said NYCLU Legal Director Christopher Dunn.

Kelly cited a poll of registered voters last year that found 72 percent favored the program.

"The public seems to be happy with it, and the cops are positive about it," he said of the search program. "I think so far it's worked very, very well."
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Old July 12th, 2006, 02:38 AM   #270
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I don't think it's a bad idea, but I do think the man power can be spend better.

In Denmark we have scaled up protection too ( due to the attetion we got this winter and the mentioning by some of the evil men outthere... ) anyway, what that has ment is that there's now both visable cops and undercover cops patrolling the subway, S-Trains and Station, but instead of searching people the do profiling.

If it's better than actually searching people beats me, and I'm pretty sure none of it will actually help incase it finally happens, because - as mentioned before here - the scumbag will propable just blow himself up a little earlier. But it might help with time and/or remotely detonated boms...

We used profiling a lot in Iraq, and it worked great, but so did actual searches, it just took a little longer...
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Old July 12th, 2006, 02:53 AM   #271
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makes sence.....cuz if something happened on the subway again......people would blame the government for not doing anything.....atlest people are not getting on the subway with dangerous things
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:29 AM   #272
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i think the government might kill two birds with one stone. one is deterring terrorism, the second is dealing a critical blow on the war on drugs. now cops can check anyone's bags so that if a punk dude walks on the train, cops can now search his bag for any illegal substances.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:41 AM   #273
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I was watching the news tonight and there is going to be a trial at Jersey City's PATH station to use detectors to sniff out bombs. It takes about a second for a passenger to pass through the detectors.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #274
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In Manila, everyone who enters a public institution whether it may be a shopping mall, metro station, etc. are subjected to have their bags searched. I don't know if that would be different with New Yorkers
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Old July 12th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #275
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New plan tested to detect bombs on rail passengers
By WAYNE PARRY
11 July 2006

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - On the day that bombs ripped apart trains in India, killing at least 147 people, federal authorities expanded a test program to screen passengers entering the PATH rail system for bombs.

Phase two of the program, which began in February, is being fine-tuned to see if it can spot explosive devices from farther away than before -- giving authorities more time to react.

The second phase of a $10 million program to increase rail security in New Jersey, Baltimore and Atlanta is to begin Thursday at the Exchange Place station when PATH riders are screened for hidden weapons and bombs.

The move comes just days after details of an alleged terrorist plot to bomb PATH tunnels under the Hudson River were made public.

"What happened in India today underscores the need to provide security enhancements at the highest level," said Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the PATH system.

Earlier this year, the federal Department of Homeland Security started the program to screen for bombs at the Exchange Place station. Now, the system is using low-power imaging systems that will screen passengers from farther away from the platform entrances, although the exact distances were not divulged.

"Distance equals response time," said Douglas Bauer, a homeland security official working on the project.

In the new system, which is estimated to delay passengers by only 1 to 2 minutes, a passenger will surrender hand-held bags for screening, then walk through a cordoned-off ramp to an initial screening spot, where the front of their body will be scanned. They will then proceed a few paces ahead to a second location, where the back of their bodies will be scanned.

The images will be visible only to a screener in a remote section of the station, and are not visible to the rider or the public. Authorities said they are so low-resolution that no embarrassing or explicit images would be produced, anyway.

The video screener will then radio to the screeners at the checkpoint whether the passenger can proceed, or whether he or she needs to go for more intensive secondary screening.

That would take place in a circular glass tube. The person being screened steps inside, raises his or her arms and is scanned from 360 degrees by a revolving sensor.

The technology uses naturally occurring radiation emissions from the human body to create a contrast with anything foreign that is pressed up against the body, such as a weapon or an explosive vest. The radiation used in the scan is roughly equivalent to that emitted by a cell phone, authorities said.

The system will screen all passengers entering the Exchange Place station between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During peak times, passengers will be selected at random for screening.

If it proves successful, Homeland Security officials may consider using the technology in rail systems across the country.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 06:31 AM   #276
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New York Subway Turnstiles a Safety Hazard?

Critics say subway turnstiles could be deadly during a fire
By DAVID B. CARUSO
22 July 2006

NEW YORK (AP) - A revolving-door turnstile installed in hundreds of New York subway stations could become a deadly bottleneck during a fire or terrorist attack, critics of the devices said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority belatedly asked the state last fall for relief from nine different building codes that would ordinarily ban the floor-to-ceiling turnstiles, which some say could slow evacuations.

"They'll be stuck behind these gates like third-class passengers on the Titanic," said City Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr.

New York City Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges called that characterization unfair. Revolving turnstiles have been in the system for decades and have never posed a problem, he said.

"I do not think there is such a risk. We would not have put them in," he said in an e-mail message.

The High Exit/Entry Turnstiles, or HEETs, were initially designed to foil farebeaters. You can't hop over them or break through their steel bars, and, at 22 inches wide, they are too narrow for more than one adult. They are also too small for baby strollers.

Backups at the turnstiles in some stations are common during rush hours.

Most subway stations have several exits, including wider gates that allow for quick evacuation, but on some train platforms those alternate outlets require a walk of a city block or more.

The MTA has for months been installing "panic bars" near many of the turnstiles that will allow passengers to throw open swinging gates during an emergency. By the year's end, 1,560 of the devices will be in place, Fleuranges said.

New York's state department granted the MTA the code exemptions it sought in a pair of decisions last spring.

In a June ruling, the department's codes division director, Ronald E. Piester, said strict compliance with fire prevention codes would be unnecessary because of other safety measures that are in place.

Fire Department spokesman Farrell Sklerov said fire officials had also discussed the turnstiles with the MTA, but had no outstanding concerns.

State building codes require that revolving doors fold back during an emergency to create an unobstructed exit. They must also be more than 10 feet from a stairwell, spin at a certain rate, and be accompanied by traditional doors that swing toward the exits. HEETs sometimes don't meet any of those requirements.

That won't change in some places, even after the panic bars are installed. Some turnstiles are in passageways where installation of a swinging gate is impracticable because of the system's century-old architecture.

Fleuranges said those spots are not major exits and are generally in areas that might be locked if the HEETs weren't there.

Nighttime locking of some station entrances still occurs frequently throughout the system. Some stations are left with just one exit in the evenings, requiring passengers to walk long distances to exit a train platform.

Ed Watt, secretary-treasurer of Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents subway workers, said the MTA should conduct more frequent training to ensure workers know the best way to evacuate people in an emergency. He said the authority should also install gates at every exit that can be pushed open easily by fleeing passengers.

"If there is a fire, or worse, a terrorist attack, they will be death traps," he said of the HEET turnstiles.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #277
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Good point. Turnstiles are still a major obstacle for an evacuation, even if they can be opened in case of emergency. Subway systems without turnstiles (in some European cities) really have advantages in this respect.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 02:49 AM   #278
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Definitely, and I can't believe they granted them permission to use them even further!!! Outrageous!! Even during rush hour, if there is only one exit HEET gate, everyone has to wait until its their turn. And there's always the possibility of getting hit by the bars, which causes even more delays. The MTA never makes the right decision.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #279
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I'd much prefer getting rid of the 2-way turnstile, especially at Grand Central. It's hard enough to see who is coming in from the other side, and by the time there is visual contact, it's a fight over who can cross to the other side the fastest.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 06:57 PM   #280
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Surely it wouldn't be too hard to use electronic gates instead? At least they can easily be opened in case of an emergency or to clear long queues. Sure, people can easily vault over them, but that's what staff are for.
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