New York Today
By JONATHAN WOLFE
Good morning on this misty Monday.
The problem of overcrowding on subways is a circular one: More passengers means more delays, leading to more canceled trains, resulting in — wait for it — more overcrowding.
A New York Times analysis of subway data found a shortage of trains not only at peak times but throughout the day.
Given this dim outlook, we set out to find a bright spot, something to make us feel good on our Monday morning commute. We found it in the glowing LED clocks along the C line that were recently installed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
We spoke to Veronique Hakim, the managing director of the transportation authority, about the new clocks and when you can expect them in your station.
The clocks use new technology. How does it work?
The recently installed clocks use the existing wireless network, rather than the previous system on the numbered lines, which used the signal network. Bluetooth receivers are installed in stations and on the front and back car of each train, which act “almost like little GPS devices,” Ms. Hakim said. The transportation authority monitors when trains enter and leave the station, and uses that information to display their estimated arrival times at the next station.
How accurate are the clocks?
“So far, our accuracy rate is 97 percent,” Ms. Hakim said.
What stations have the new clocks?
The new clocks have been installed on the R, C and L lines and the shuttle between Grand Central Terminal and Times Square. Other trains that run through the stations with clocks, like the E train, also display their arrival times on the screens.
When will my station have a clock?
Soon, Ms. Hakim said. The transportation authority is able to install these clocks more quickly than the previous clocks on the numbered lines because it is an isolated project, Ms. Hakim said, and the transportation authority is on track to have clocks installed in every station by the end of the year.
Here’s what else is happening:
Monday, Monday. So good to me — except when the weather makes us wish we could hit “snooze” on the alarm clock indefinitely.
A wet morning, afternoon and evening ahead, with a high around 70.
Hair forecast: A frazzled Mrs. Frizzle.
Keep your chin up, though; the rest of the week looks promising.
In the News
• Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to push for a tax on wealthy New Yorkers to pay for subway and bus improvements. [New York Times]
• Financially strapped and struggling to survive, religious congregations across the city are looking to sell their houses of worship. [New York Times]
• The story of James Justus, the detective who tracked down the parking ticket that led to the arrest of Son of Sam in 1977. [New York Times]
• A joke about transgender African-Americans that was made on a popular New York City-based radio show was “an attack on the entire community.” [New York Times]
• The FinTech Innovation Lab has been working to help financial-services start-ups sell their services in New York. [New York Times]
• Local mothers took to the subway to breast-feed as a way of marking World Breastfeeding Week. [Gothamist]
• Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “Ordering a Marble Rye”
• For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Daily Briefing.
Coming Up Today
• The author Jill Eisenstadt reads from her book “Swell,” about a haunted house in Rockaway, at Brooklyn Bridge Park. 7 p.m. [Free]
• A waterfront screening of the movie “School of Rock” at the Astoria Park Great Lawn in Queens. Film begins at sunset (around 8 p.m.). [Free]
• Alternate-side parking remains in effect until Aug. 15.
• For more events, see The Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.
It’s National Lighthouse Day.
On Aug. 7, 1789, Congress approved an act, signed by President George Washington, to support lighthouses, beacons, buoys and piers.
New York Harbor, the Jersey Shore and Long Island Sound are home to dozens of aging lighthouses. And while they’re no longer inhabited by caretakers (America’s last civilian light keeper died at the Coney Island Lighthouse in 2003.) some are still used by boats lacking navigation equipment or by ships when equipment fails.
A few you can see, and visit, around the city:
The Little Red Lighthouse near the George Washington Bridge was to be auctioned after its light was decommissioned and its lamp extinguished in 1948. But community support, galvanized in part by the children’s book “The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge,” helped save it. Today, you can climb to the top of the restored and re-lit lantern room on tours organized by Urban Park Rangers.
Coney Island Light, on the western end of Coney Island, is perhaps best known for its light keeper of more than 40 years, Frank Schubert, whom The Times once described as sounding “prickly and as charming as an ex-husband,” but who was also credited with saving many lives. The beacon still operates.
The Titanic Memorial lighthouse was built in 1913, a year after the Titanic sank. Previously mounted on the roof of the Seamen’s Church Institute, it featured a time ball that would drop every day at noon to memorialize those who lost their lives on the ship. Today, you can visit the building in Lower Manhattan.
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