Tag Archives: Subway

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy skies. High near 40. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.Friday night: Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 29. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Panorama Challenge Trivia Night

Calling all geographical geeks and New York know-it-alls! Come to the recently reopened Queens Museum on Friday, March 7 from 7-10 p.m. (doors open 6 p.m.) to participate in the world’s only geographical trivia-based game night at the world’s largest panorama – The Panorama of the City of New York! The Panorama Challenge involves questions about assorted city landmarks, bridges, neighborhoods, parks and more. Participants will compete in teams of 10 (or so) and will play either as a Panorama Challenger or Panorama Pro team. The suggested admission fee is $15 with all proceeds going to support the City Reliquary Museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, dedicated to collecting NYC ephemera. A free shuttle will be traveling between the Museum and underneath the Mets-Willets Point No. 7 stop. For more information and instructions to reserve your team contact: matt@levysuniqueny.com. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Subway panhandler arrests triple under new police commissioner: NYPD

The number of people arrested for panhandling and peddling in the city’s subways has more than tripled so far this year compared with 2013, according the NYPD. Read more: NBC New York

Report: 28 Percent of Rikers inmate injuries by correction officers were ‘head shots’

An internal report indicated that nearly a third of Rikers Island inmates who said their visible injuries came at the hands of a correction officer last year had suffered a blow to the head. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Cardinal Dolan supports universal pre-k

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan is pledging the support of the city’s Catholic schools to create universal pre-kindergarten. Read more: AP

State Sen. Brad Hoylman introduces bill to require ‘kill switch’ on all smartphones and tablets sold in New York

A Manhattan state senator wants all smartphones and tablets sold in New York to be equipped with a “kill switch” that makes them permanently inoperable if they are lost or stolen. Read more: New York Daily News

Atheists want ‘miracle cross’ removed from 9/11 Museum

American Atheists on Thursday asked an appeals court in New York to remove the “miracle cross” from the 9/11 Museum, where it was placed two years ago. Read more: Fox New York

 

MTA to expand trash can removal pilot to 29 more subway stations


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Cristabelle Tumola

The MTA is taking out trash cans from more subway stations after an ongoing pilot program has shown that removing them helps alleviate garbage problems.

In the fall of 2011, trash cans were removed from the Flushing-Main Street No. 7 line and Manhattan 8th Street R line stations. After positive results from those two locations, the MTA decided to add two stations each in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan to the pilot, starting in September 2012.

In Queens, those stations included the A line’s 111th Street stop and the 65th Street station of the M/R line.

The cans removed during the initial pilot reduced the number of trash bags by 67 percent at Main Street and 50 percent at 8th Street, according to the MTA. Also, the stations were cleaner and there wasn’t an increase in track fires.

Following the fall 2012 expansion, there was a 66 percent reduction in the number of bags collected, moderate to heavy litter levels decreased and the rodent population either decreased or was unchanged.

The MTA is now expanding the trash can removal pilot to 29 stations along the J and M lines.

“The results have been for the most part very positive and we have seen some behavioral changes by riders,” said Department of Subways, SVP Joe Leader.  “We will expand the pilot to stations between Broad Street and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer in order to gauge the impact along an entire line segment.”

Each day, about 40 tons of trash is removed from the subway system, collected from more than 3,500 trash receptacles, according to the MTA. Despite more frequent bag removal, reinforced trash storage rooms and temper-proof cans, garbage still piles up, attracting rats and landing on train tracks, causing fires. The MTA started the pilot “in an effort to guide customers to take with them any disposables that they carry into the system.”

Commuters heading to work and the free papers handed out at subway stops may be a large part of the trash problem, according to a 2008 analysis of about 75,000 pounds of subway station garbage, which showed that the most common item thrown out at subway stations was newspapers, at 44 percent.

Though trash is an issue, a 2011 Straphangers Campaign subway platform survey found that garbage was not the biggest problem at subway stations. Observing 250 subway platforms, surveyors only saw one overflowing trash can and 15 garbage bags; rats were found on 11 percent of platforms. Problems such as broken lighting fixtures, substantial water damage and peeling paint were found at 50 to 79 percent of platforms.

 

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Teen suspects wanted in J train cell phone thefts


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Three teenage robbery suspects have been targeting J train riders in Queens, police said.

The suspects allegedly first tried to rob a 22-year-old man aboard a subway at the 102nd Street and Jamaica Avenue subway station around 2 a.m. on Jan 9. They punched the man in the face, then went through his pockets, but were not able to take anything, cops said.

Three days later, at the 121st Street and Jamaica Avenue subway station, at about 6:40 p.m., they approached a woman on the J train and took her iPhone from her hand and fled on foot, cops said. The victim was not injured.

The trio then stole an iPhone from a 26-year-old woman aboard a J train at the 111th Street and Jamaica Avenue subway station at about 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 16., the NYPD said. The victim did not suffer any injuries.

Police have released video from the second incident along with a description of the suspects from that robbery.

The suspects are described as three black men in their late teens and approximately 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 10 inches. The first suspect was last seen wearing a red winter jacket, dark pants and dark shoes; the second suspect was last seen wearing dark clothing; and the third suspect was last seen wearing a dark winter jacket, a gray or white hooded sweatshirt underneath and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Morning clouds will give way to afternoon sunshine. High 16. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph. Wednesday night: A few passing clouds. Low near 5. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Madden NFL: 25 Years and Running

Madden NFL: 25 Years and Running, at the Museum of the Moving Image examines the groundbreaking video game franchise Madden NFL. The exhibit takes a look at how the game has evolved and its place in culture, and features five playable games, from the original to the latest release. The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria. Through February 23.

NO SNOW DAY: NYC public schools are open Wednesday

All New York City public schools will remain open Wednesday, education officials announced, dashing hopes city students might have about getting a second snow day this month. Read more: The Queens Courier

Swirling snowstorm batters tri-state, breaks snowfall records

A swirling snowstorm broke breaking snowfall records as it battered the tri-state Tuesday, forcing schools and offices to close early, delaying flights and making the roadways a dangerous mess. Read more: NBC New York

Feds on board with $850M for Sandy subway fixes

The feds are going to give New York straphangers a break by kicking in more than $880 million for Hurricane Sandy repairs, officials announced Tuesday. Read more: New York Post

De Blasio brushes off state pre-K, will raise taxes anyway

A defiant Mayor de Blasio is vowing to go full speed ahead with plans to raise taxes on the city’s highest earners to pay for universal pre-K — even as Gov. Cuomo is offering to have the state foot the bill. Read more: New York Post

Former Gov. David Paterson, wife file for divorce

Former New York Gov. David Paterson and his wife have officially filed for divorce, more than a year after saying they were separating. Read more: CBS New York/AP

 

Suspect wanted for groping teen on No. 7 train


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A 16-year-old riding a Queens subway train Thursday was inappropriately touched by a man who then fled after groping her.

The incident occurred about 8 a.m. on a Manhattan-bound No. 7 train at the 74 Street-Broadway/Roosevelt Avenue station in Jackson Heights.

The suspect touched the teen over her clothing in her groin and buttocks area then escaped on foot, police said. The victim did not sustain any physical injuries.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, 30 to 35 years old and 5 feet 9 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a tan baseball cap, a black hooded sweatshirt with a red turtleneck underneath and sunglasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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No. 7 train service suspensions scheduled for 22 weekends in 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 5:15 p.m.

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Another year, another round of No. 7 train suspensions.

The subway line will not run in parts of western Queens and Manhattan for over a dozen weekends this year, starting in the end of February, according to a notice from the MTA, again upsetting residents, business owners and local politicians who are fed up with the constant disruptions.

From February through July, there will be 13 weekend suspensions. Those dates are finalized, the transit agency said. There are nine tentative weekend shutdowns scheduled for August through November.

The latest round of work, including continued installation of Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), replacement of critical track panels and reconstruction inside the Steinway Tube under the East River, is expected to modernize, improve a fortify the Flushing No. 7 line, according to the MTA. The work will also include tunnel duct reconstruction and replacement and improvements on components damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

“We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to the customers who depend on the No. 7 train and we appreciate their patience,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “We have made every effort to schedule these project simultaneously to get as much work done as we can during these periods.”

All the service suspensions will be in effect from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, unless otherwise indicated.

There will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza on the following weekends: February 28 -March 3; March 7-10, 14-17, 21-24, 28-31; April 11-14; and May 2-5, 16-19.

On the following dates, in addition to no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza there will be reduced service between 74th Street-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza: May 30-June 2; June 6-8, with service resuming Sunday, June 8 morning for the Puerto Rican Day Parade; June 20-23, 27-30; and July 18-21.

The MTA has also released a tentative service disruption schedule, which is expected to be confirmed with a future update later this year.

The No. 7 Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street- Woodside on the following weekends: August 22-25; September 19-22; October 3-6, 10-13; and October 17-20, 24-27.

From November 7- 10 there will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza, reduced service between 74th Street-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza, and the Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street- Woodside.

From November 14-17, 21-24 there will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza, and the Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street-Woodside.

In addition to these changes, No. 7 train service will be suspended between Mets-Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 15 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, February 18, and between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 22 and 5 a.m. Monday, February 24.

“We have times this vital work to minimize impacts to customers, pedestrians and vehicular traffic, and to avoid dates with high projected ridership,” said Bianco. “This is far more work than can be completed during our overnight FASTRACK program, which was designed to accommodate typical subway maintenance. Work of this scope on the No. 7 line cannot be done overnight and requires more than 48 hours of continuous access to the tube and tracks.”

During the service suspensions, riders will be kept informed through notice and printed brochures, explaining the work and service changes, posted in the subway system, according to the MTA. NYC Transit will also offer a free shuttle bus along all close No. 7 stations.

Service on the N and Q train will be increased and riders could use either train at Queensboro Plaza or the E train at Court Square, according to the MTA. Riders can also transfer to the E, F or R for service to Manhattan at the 74 Street-Broadway station.

The suspensions are nothing new for those who have suffered through them for years.

But the familiarity doesn’t mean locals are not frustrated with the suspensions that have been taking place in the area on a regular basis for well over a decade.

Business owners are tired of potential financial losses and residents are sick of longer commutes.

Last fall, No. 7 train service did not operate between the Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza stations for five weekends.

“Unfortunately we’ve grown accustomed to the MTA screwing Long Island City,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.

“Businesses are suffering,” he added. “It’s not just the people in LIC, it’s people who are more and more coming to Long Island City.”

Gianaris said his office has suggested numerous “reasonable” alternatives to deal with the problem, for example a shuttle bus through the Queens Midtown Tunnel, but the MTA has refused to consider them and won’t give any answers as to why it won’t.

He will be rallying Friday with local elected officials, business owners and residents to call for a change.

“We’re going to continue to try to make the point to the MTA and the new administration, and hope that the new administration would do something about [the shutdowns],” said Gianaris.

“The multi-year, $550 million capital improvement project to replace the antiquated 50- to 90-year-old signaling system on the No. 7 line with state-of-the-art CBTC technology will continue into 2017,” the MTA said in a press release.

 

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Weekend subway service changes


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by MTA / Patrick Cashin

Construction work to upgrade and maintain stations, tracks and signal systems is affecting weekend service on several of the city’s subway lines. The MTA is advising customers to allow for extra travel time if they rely on any of these trains.

6

At all times until May 2014, 6 trains skip Middletown Road and Castle Hill Avenue in both directions due to station renewal work.

A

From 11:00 p.m. Friday, December 27 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, December 30, A trains are suspended between Broad Channel and Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue due to track panel replacement. Far Rockaway-bound A trains are rerouted to Rockaway Park. Free shuttle buses operate between Beach 90th Street and Far Rockaway.

D

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 28 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, December 30, D trains operate in two sections between Stillwell Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard, and between Bedford Park Blvd and 205th Street due to track maintenance north of Bedford Park Boulevard.

E

From 11:30 p.m. Friday, December 27 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, December 30, E trains are rerouted on the F line in Manhattan and Queens between Roosevelt Ave and W 4 St, due to electrical work. Free shuttle buses operate between Court Square-23 St and 21 St-Queensbridge.

S (Rockaway Shuttle)

From 11:00 p.m. Friday, December 27 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, December 30, Rockaway Park Shuttle trains are suspended and replaced by A train service due to panel installation.

N, R (Montague Tubes Closed)

At all times until October 2014, there are no N or R trains running between Court Street in Brooklyn and Whitehall Street in Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R service are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge.

No N or R trains in either direction at Jay Street-MetroTech, Court Street, Whitehall Street, Rector Street, Cortlandt Street and City Hall.

Late night R shuttle in Brooklyn is unaffected.

Woman struck by Queens-bound No. 7 train at Grand Central


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dschwen

A woman fell into the path of a No. 7 train at Grand Central Station Thursday night after she passed out, police said.

The 32-year-old was waiting for the subway about 9:30 p.m. when she was hit by a Queens-bound train, according to the NYPD.

She was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, police said.

No. 7 train service had to be suspended between Grand Central and Hunters Point Avenue because of the accident.

 

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Woman dies after jumping in front of train at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A woman was killed Monday morning after she was struck by an M train at a subway station on the Ridgewood border, police said.

The woman, who police said was in her 30s, was pronounced dead about 9:30 a.m. at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues station

Cops said the woman was hit after she jumped in front of a Queens-bound train.

 

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MTA service for Christmas, New Year’s holidays


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

The MTA has issued the following service changes for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, from Tuesday, December 24 through Thursday, January 2:

Tuesday, December 24

The subway will operate on a regular weekday schedule. The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Staten Island Railway will offer extra afternoon trains.

The Staten Island Railway will operate additional express service beginning two hours earlier, from 2:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. City buses will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes, except for Staten Island, where limited stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

All Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

Wednesday, December 25

New York City subways and buses and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Sunday schedule. The LIRR and Metro-North will operate on a special holiday schedules as noted in timetables.

Thursday, December 26, Friday, December 27, and Monday, December 30

Subways will operate on a regular weekday schedule. The LIRR and Metro-North will operate on a weekday schedules. Metro-North will offer additional inbound service operated in the late morning, and slightly reduced AM Peak service.

On Thursday, December 26, the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Monday schedule.

City buses will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes, except for Staten Island, where limited stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

All Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes

Saturday, December 28

Metro-North will operate special service for the Rutgers vs. Notre Dame college football game at Yankee Stadium at 12:15 p.m., with a shuttle service between Grand Central, Harlem-125th Street and Yankees-East 153rd Street stations.

Tuesday, December 31

Metro-North and the LIRR will operate on modified weekday schedules with extra New York City-bound service in the evening and extra service departing New York City after midnight. For special LIRR service from the Billy Joel concert at Barclays Center, extra trains leaving Atlantic Terminal will be timed to depart starting 20 minutes after the concert concludes.

Metro-North will have slightly reduced service during the traditional rush hour periods.

Customers heading to Times Square for the celebration should avoid using the 42 St-Times Square subway complex, since they may not be allowed to exit onto the street. In addition, the northbound platform at the 50th St. 1 station, and both north and southbound platforms at the 49th St. N/Q /R station will be closed from 7 p.m. until after midnight. Riders are urged to exit at the 57th Sts or 59 St- Columbus Circle stations instead and walk to Times Square.

Buses are not recommended for traveling to Times Square because of the numerous street closures in the area. Regular overnight bus service will resume as streets reopen after midnight. Following the celebration, trains on lines in and around Times Square will run every 8 to 12 minutes until approximately 3 a.m. The 42nd Street shuttle will operate all night.

City buses will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes, except for Staten Island, where limited stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes. All Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

Wednesday, January 1

City subways and buses and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Sunday schedule, with longer waits on some bus routes. The LIRR and Metro-North will operate on a special holiday schedules. Metro-North will provide hourly service on most line segments and regular weekend service on branch lines.

Thursday, January 2

On Thursday, January 2, the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Monday schedule.

 

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Weekend subway service changes


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by MTA / Patrick Cashin

Construction work to upgrade and maintain stations, tracks and signal systems is affecting weekend service on several of the city’s subway lines. The MTA is advising customers to allow for extra travel time if they rely on any of these trains.

5

At all times until Monday, December 23, 5 trains will bypass Pelham Parkway station in both directions due to asbestos abatement work.   Free shuttle buses operate between Pelham Parkway and Morris Park stations.

6

At all times until May 2014, 6 trains skip Middletown Road and Castle Hill Avenue in both directions due to station renewal work.

6

From 11:45 p.m. Friday, December 20 to 4 a.m. Monday, December 23, Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 trains run express from Parkchester to Pelham Bay Park due to platform demolition and thru span work at Castle Hill Avenue and Middletown Road.

A

From 11:00 p.m. Friday, December 20 to 5 a.m. Monday, December 23, A trains are suspended between Broad Channel and Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue due to track panel replacement. Far Rockaway-bound A trains are rerouted to Rockaway Park.  Free shuttle buses operate between Beach 90th Street and Far Rockaway.

D

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 21 to 5 a.m. Monday, December 23, D trains operate in two sections between Stillwell Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard, and between Bedford Park Blvd and 205th Street due to track maintenance north of Bedford Park Boulevard.

E

From 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, December 21, and from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, December 22, E train customers traveling to Jamaica-Van Wyck, Sutphin Blvd-JFK AirTrain, and Jamaica Center should note that some E trains travelling from Manhattan are rerouted to the 179th St. F station.

J

From 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 22, J trains are suspended between Crescent and Jamaica Center Parsons/Archer in both directions due to track maintenance north of Cypress Hills.  Free shuttle buses operate between Crescent Street and Jamaica-Van Wyck, where service to/from Sutphin Blvd and Jamaica Center Parsons/Archer is available.

S (Rockaway Shuttle)

From 11:00 p.m. Friday, December 20 to 5 a.m. Monday, December 23, Rockaway Park Shuttle trains are suspended and replaced by A train service due to panel installation.

N R (Montague Tubes Closed)

At all times until October 2014, there are no N or R trains running between Court Street in Brooklyn and Whitehall Street in Manhattan.  Late night N and weekend R service are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge.

No N or R trains in either direction at Jay Street-MetroTech, Court Street, Whitehall Street, Rector Street, Cortlandt Street and City Hall.

Late night R shuttle in Brooklyn is unaffected.

Daughter of Elmhurst man killed in subway shove sues


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The daughter of the Elmhurst man killed when he was pushed onto the subway tracks of a Midtown station in December is suing the MTA, according to reports.

Ki Suck Han’s 20-year-old daughter, Ashley, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday.

Han, 58, was struck by a Brooklyn bound “R” train on December 3 at around 12:30 p.m. at the West 49th Street and 7th Avenue station after suspect Naeem Davis, 30, allegedly shoved him after an altercation.

Davis was charged with intentional murder in the second degree and depraved indifference murder in the second degree, the NYPD said.

In video footage taken on the subway platform right before the shoving incident, Davis was seen cursing and yelling at Han. He also reportedly made statements implicating himself while in custody.

The Han family is seeking reimbursement for monetary damages and funeral expenses.

21 restaurants, food companies meet sodium reduction targets


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Credit by Spencer T Tucker

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Some of the city’s restaurants are saying so long to high sodium.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced the results of a national initiative to reduce the amount of sodium in pre-packaged and restaurant foods.

Twenty-one food companies and restaurants – including Subway, Goya, Heinz, Au Bon Pan, Kraft and Starbucks – met or exceeded the standards set by the Mayor’s Office to reduce the amount of sodium in their food products.

The companies and restaurants participated in a voluntary partnership with the Mayor’s Office  known as the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI). The program was started in 2008 and was the first nationwide program of its kind, according to the mayor.

“Prior to our National Salt Reduction Initiative, there was no comprehensive approach to lowering sodium in foods, and many questioned whether companies would step up to meet a voluntary pledge,” Bloomberg said. “These companies have demonstrated their commitment to removing excess sodium from their products and to working with public health authorities toward a shared goal – helping their customers lead longer, healthier lives.”

According to the mayor’s office, close to 90 percent of Americans consume too much sodium, resulting in high blood pressure, heart disease and increasing the possibility of having a stroke.

“Nearly 80 percent [of sodium intake] comes from packaged or restaurant foods, not table salt or home cooking, making it challenging for any individual to monitor sodium intake, and choose to decrease sodium intake,” the mayor’s office said.

A study cited by the mayor’s office said a reduction of 1,200 milligrams of sodium a day can save the city $24 billion in health care costs every year and prevent up to 92,000 deaths.

“I congratulate these companies for taking steps to make it easier for their customers to eat products with healthier levels of sodium,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. “We set a high bar in New York City and I’m pleased to recognize these food company leaders that met or exceeded the NSRI targets.”

The NSRI has set new sodium target levels for 2014 and is still looking for companies to join the initiative. For more information, visit nyc.gov.

 

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Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

MTA considers installing sliding doors to prevent deaths, injuries

The MTA will reconsider installing sliding doors on some subway platforms to prevent riders from getting killed or injured by trains, a top official told the Daily News. Fifty-four people this year have met their bloody ends on the tracks — a five-year high at more than one per week — according to preliminary figures released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Read more: Daily News

Whale that washed ashore and died in Queens could pose health threat

The whale that washed up on a beach in the Rockaways and died could potentially pose a threat to humans. Members of the New York State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said there is a possibility that the whale could carry diseases that could be potentially harmful to people. Read more: Queens Courier

Young boy killed by truck in apparent hit-and-run in Jackson Heights

Tragically, little Miguel Torres never got to eat his last snack. The 11-year-old Queens boy was fatally struck by a truck Friday morning moments after he bought a Sprite and Pop Tarts at a corner store, police and witnesses said. Read more: Daily News

Teen killed at Queens house party

A 17-year-old boy died after being shot in the head outside of a Queens house party. The NYPD says the party was just breaking up and the boy was apparently drunk and milling about the property. Read more: My Fox NY

Congressional leaders hopeful as fiscal cliff deadline nears

Even though the top four Congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hour-long encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol. Read more: NPR

 

Fare, toll hikes approved by MTA


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

New Yorkers will once again be paying more to ride public transportation beginning next year.

The MTA board passed all of Chair Joe Lhota’s recommendations at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 19 bumping fares and tolls across all MTA services.

The base fare on Metrocards will rise a quarter to $2.50, seven-day passes will go up $1 to $30 and 30-day passes will increase $8 to $112.  The new fares go into effect March 1 and is the fourth increase in five years.

The new fares also include a $1 green fee for each new Metrocard bought from the machine.

Long Island Railroad and Metro-North tickets will also increase an average of nine percent.

On bridges, E-ZPass drivers will be paying 50 cents more per trip, while those who pay cash will be forking over an additional dollar every time they use an MTA crossing.

Charts courtesy of MTA