The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for December 2nd, 2021

tarnished silver

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

A few more shots from my happy place, Industrial Maspeth, in today’s post. There’s another enormous construction project underway on the Queens side of the waterway, which will see yet another last mile shipping center built. There will be more truck traffic thereby, and despite sitting on a rail spur and adjoining maritime bulkheads, nobody in the government compelled Federal Express to explore their usage.

It just grinds my gears, hearing the politicians talk about climate change and environmental issues – specifically heavy automotive traffic – and when they have the chance to actually do something about the concerning future they speak of it’s time to feign ignorance. Look at LIC – a brand spanking new and fully planned “City” in which all of the problems of the old chaotic “City” have been artfully replicated. Go see the garbage mountains of Court Square on trash day, experience the lack of public bathrooms, or street seating, or…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Private car ownership used to be far more common than it is today in NYC. Fleets of yellow cabs have been replaced by fleets of ride share vehicles, but there really hasn’t been an “add on” in terms of “cabs plus Ubers” as some think. What has increased? Truck traffic.

Every consumer good, scrap of food, and dog collar in Nassau and Suffolk Counties arrives on Long Island, from Port Elizabeth Newark, after being driven by truck through NYC. We need to break that particular chain, and establish water transport of bulk shipping between the Port of NY/NJ and Long Island. Why are there no docks for intermodal cargo shipping at or nearby JFK? JFK is a major shipping port for NYC, but it’s all truck and airplane based. It’s surrounded by water, and connects in several places to the LIRR network of rail tracks, but we unload cargo from jets and use trucks to move the stuff around instead. That’s where your magnification of traffic has magically appeared from in the last 10-15 years.

Don’t worry, the bosses have decided to add another half mile to the Second Avenue Subway to negate having Upper East Siders needing to walk the two blocks to the 4/5 on Lexington. It is uphill, after all, and what upper Manhattan needs is more Subway capacity, right? It’s not like all of the leading economic indicators and the actual non Wall Street economy are centered around Brooklyn and Queens where north/south transit is accomplished using a four car long G line train.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The sham of it all.

What NYC needs is a holistic master plan, one which governs in broad and not terribly specific strokes. You want to build an apartment building? Great. How are you going to engineer storm water neutrality into the structure? Check the requirements for that in the master plan and Mazel Tov on your new endeavor. Amazon or Fed Ex or UPS wants to expand their operation? Fantastic – NYC needs blue and brown collar jobs more than ever, but here are the electric vehicle/mass cargo intermodal shipping predicates which they’ll need to oblige.

Bike lanes will fix all problems instead. They are a panacea, a silver key which open up vistas of experience and reality that can only stagger the imagination. They’re like Coca Cola – the real thing.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 2, 2021 at 11:00 am

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