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Back to work, but not by transit (in NYC!)

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John Bredin

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The New York Stock Exchange reopened today, under various rules to address coronavirus. One of those rules is that nobody will be allowed into the building who arrived by public transit. Article. Article noting that to be "an issue since the vast majority of those who work at the NYSE take public transportation."

Urban bloggers took note of this odd policy decision. A Streetsblog post. Another quoting extensively from a NY City Council member pointing out the issues with such a policy. Radio story with quotes.

My humble opinion, as a non-New Yorker who's been to the office only a handful of times since mid-March but used Metra each time, is that this is "security theater"-esque with rules pulled from a few guy's butts hats rather than logical considered policy. Not unlike doing mandatory temperature testing but not coronavirus testing, one of the other NYSE rules. To paraphrase a commenter, going to a crowded grocery is fine, but riding a relatively empty bus, subway car, or commuter rail car is unsafe?!
 

Devil's Advocate

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What do people at the NYSE actually do anyway? So far as I can tell the trading floor you see on TV is little more than a nostalgic farce that hasn't served a functional purpose in many years. Back office functions were supposedly moved to other locations as well. Or at least that is my understanding. When I've tried to dig deeper all I could find was circular logic and marketing gibberish.
 
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Green Maned Lion

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The New York Stock Exchange reopened today, under various rules to address coronavirus. One of those rules is that nobody will be allowed into the building who arrived by public transit. Article. Article noting that to be "an issue since the vast majority of those who work at the NYSE take public transportation."

Urban bloggers took note of this odd policy decision. A Streetsblog post. Another quoting extensively from a NY City Council member pointing out the issues with such a policy. Radio story with quotes.

My humble opinion, as a non-New Yorker who's been to the office only a handful of times since mid-March but used Metra each time, is that this is "security theater"-esque with rules pulled from a few guy's butts hats rather than logical considered policy. Not unlike doing mandatory temperature testing but not coronavirus testing, one of the other NYSE rules. To paraphrase a commenter, going to a crowded grocery is fine, but riding a relatively empty bus, subway car, or commuter rail car is unsafe?!
The purpose is to wage a war on transit dependent people, who are viewed as disease carriers, poor, unwashed, and irrelevant.
 

me_little_me

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The purpose is to wage a war on transit dependent people, who are viewed as disease carriers, poor, unwashed, and irrelevant.
And those are our good points! We are also criminals; we use stolen Metro cards; we spit on the floor; eat food and discard it on the seats; and, worse, we get sick on the train when drunk or from the fumes of our graffitti spray cans. That's why I found my calling away from NYC in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary where my fellow prisoners are much better than subway riders. I've been saved! :)
 

MARC Rider

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NYSE employees are required to present a paid parking stub and the keys to a Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Rolls-Royce, or Bentley when entering, or a photo showing them in the backseat of a black Lincoln Town Car.
Wow, you mean janitors and receptionists at the NYSE are paid so well that they can afford a high-priced car and parking fees in Manhattan? I might want to think twice about this "retirement" thing and apply for a job there! :)
 

Devil's Advocate

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From what I've seen, the traversing isn't as much of a problem as the parking is.
It's been many years since I drove in Manhattan but back then it was cheaper to just park illegally and pay the fine when you got caught. Where I live parking is free unless you're in the downtown tourist areas, which is where our Amtrak station with zero parking for passengers is located. You can sometimes rent a space by prepaying a nearby hotel, but that's only when no events are scheduled or in progress (rare outside of a pandemic). I really wish we had several different stations to choose from like Southern California.
 
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Green Maned Lion

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From what I've seen, the traversing isn't as much of a problem as the parking is.
While Tesla has made SOME progress, the Knight Industries Two Thousand remains the province of a campy 1980s television show with excessively hammy acting (even for the 80s). As such part of the price of driving to work in Manhattan as a resident costs the price of the car, the ludicrous insurance, and at least two parking spots.

I parked my van at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the day back when I was making a living selling people carcinogens- er, I mean shredded memory foam Bamboo-cased pillows at office buildings (don’t buy those things). The 8 hour parking price was $50 for employees, $65 for me. That was Madison Avenue; I have no reason to think Wall Street is cheaper.

(The plus side is that I sold out- about 250 pillows at $30 a pop- I miss the days before I realized they were hazardous to people’s health!)
 

Bob Dylan

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While Tesla has made SOME progress, the Knight Industries Two Thousand remains the province of a campy 1980s television show with excessively hammy acting (even for the 80s). As such part of the price of driving to work in Manhattan as a resident costs the price of the car, the ludicrous insurance, and at least two parking spots.

I parked my van at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the day back when I was making a living selling people carcinogens- er, I mean shredded memory foam Bamboo-cased pillows at office buildings (don’t buy those things). The 8 hour parking price was $50 for employees, $65 for me. That was Madison Avenue; I have no reason to think Wall Street is cheaper.

(The plus side is that I sold out- about 250 pillows at $30 a pop- I miss the days before I realized they were hazardous to people’s health!)
I can remember from back in the day when I was a Road Warrior and it would cost more to Rent or drive your Car and Pay Tolls and Park for a Day @ Airports or in NYC and WAS, than a ticket on the Eastern Shuttle or the Metroliners between WAS NYC and Boston.

Hence my many trips on the NEC ( PRR/NHRR and Amtrak )during the years I resided in Sodom on the Potomac!
 
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me_little_me

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From what I've seen, the traversing isn't as much of a problem as the parking is.
The traveling IS the parking. You don't park your car. When it gets backed up, you get out and walk to work. At the end of the day, you get back into your car which is still just behind the car that was there when you got out but is now 100 feet further down the road having been pushed along by the others behind you. Make the first turn and head on home. Doesn't matter which way you turn because you will be sleeping in the car before you get to the tunnel or bridge as it's still backed up.
 

Devil's Advocate

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While Tesla has made SOME progress, the Knight Industries Two Thousand remains the province of a campy 1980s television show with excessively hammy acting (even for the 80s).
The kind of progress Tesla and others have made would probably work fine if most cars were driven by computers, but until that day arrives we're stuck with a clumsy middle ground of partial autonomy. Drivers think the computer is in charge, computers think the driver is in charge, and people outside the car assume one of them must be right. At the moment all three are often wrong but the reason I think antonymous cars will eventually prevail is because the potential to save money on labor is immense and they only have to reach a point where they're slightly safer than people who text while driving to have a net positive impact. Then again by that time you'll probably be paying a $50 entrance fee just for reaching Manhattan let alone parking there. 🚗
 
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Green Maned Lion

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It's not that they need to be safer than people who text. Its that the need to be safer than people who text, talk on their phones using their hands (EVEN IN CARS EQUIPPED WITH HANDSFREE!), eat, drink coffee, dig around for stuff on the floor, and even when they AREN'T doing all of this, don't seem to know how to drive a car, where they are going, how fast they are going there, or even where exactly on the road their bloomin' car is to begin with. People can't even seem to have a vague idea of how fast they need to be to overtake somebody without boxing themselves in, and whether or not their car can physically execute this maneuver.

Partial autonomy is easy to make superior to humans driving because most humans are bloody crap at it.
 

MARC Rider

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While Tesla has made SOME progress, the Knight Industries Two Thousand remains the province of a campy 1980s television show with excessively hammy acting (even for the 80s). As such part of the price of driving to work in Manhattan as a resident costs the price of the car, the ludicrous insurance, and at least two parking spots.

I parked my van at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the day back when I was making a living selling people carcinogens- er, I mean shredded memory foam Bamboo-cased pillows at office buildings (don’t buy those things). The 8 hour parking price was $50 for employees, $65 for me. That was Madison Avenue; I have no reason to think Wall Street is cheaper.

(The plus side is that I sold out- about 250 pillows at $30 a pop- I miss the days before I realized they were hazardous to people’s health!)
The last time I drove in Manhattan was a vacation trip in 2007. (After our stay in Manhattan, we were heading to the beach in Rhode Island, and we needed the car.) We endured a traffic jam in the Lincoln Tunnel, then some crazy jammed streets in midtown until we managed to reach Columbus Circle. After that our drive up Central Park West was clear sailing to our hotel on the West 80s. We parked in the Garage of the Natural History Museum for something like $30 a day. On our continuation, we just went to 79th (or maybe it was 72nd) and got on the West Side Highway to I-95. That's when I realized we could have avoided the Lincoln Tunnel and Midtown.
 

John Bredin

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So not quite as high-handed as the NYSE insisting that nobody working there use transit to get there, but:

1) I went to the dentist over the weekend and one of the questions on the coronavirus questionnaire was whether I had taken a plane, train, or bus within the last 14 days. I hadn't, so I answered no. However, I had gone to the office by Metra one day in the last month or so. The trains were nearly empty, and I was "exposed" to a lot fewer people a lot farther away than when I've gone to the grocery. Which, of course, they didn't ask about. :rolleyes:

2) My fiancee's employer (in a suburb with decent transit service, mostly working from home now but with some employees using transit before coronavirus) is including on the "high risk behaviors" don't-come-into-the-office list a household member using transit. (Or working in health care! 🤔)

Now that some outdoor activities are back open including outdoor dining and Chicago tour boats, I entertained the thought of my fiancee and I going downtown on a pleasant Saturday by Metra to walk the reopened Riverwalk, eat outside, go to reopened Navy Pier, and take a tour boat. Again, I'm fairly sure that the risk in these activities, with mask-wearing enforced, is favorably comparable to going grocery shopping.* But apparently some people treat this as high-risk activity and may exclude me from some appointment if I do this and I'm honest about it on the questionnaire. :oops:


*Part of that confidence comes from being in a state, and a region of a state, that takes coronavirus seriously and is loosening restrictions in a very measured manner. If a governor like Pritzker who resisted considerable pressure to reopen restaurants now allows outside dining, or a mayor like Lightfoot who still has the Lakefront closed allows the Riverwalk to reopen, I feel a lot more comfortable in the decision than in a state like Georgia or Florida.
 
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The lakefront is closed in name only; it's no longer being enforced. Hasn't been for a while. Certainly not on the south side. Very few people wearing masks on the south side too.

I would count on a lot of stuff being closed or still boarded up downtown as well. Indiana is not enforcing masks, but some restaurants are not doing inside seating (Culvers for one). I'm glad Pritzker has stayed strong.
 

John Bredin

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The lakefront is closed in name only; it's no longer being enforced. Hasn't been for a while.
I've read that, but with my luck they'd enforce it on they day I'd go. :) With the news that the Lakefront Trail (but not the beaches 🤔) will reopen next Monday, I still wouldn't go there until after at least one open weekend to see how things go.

I would count on a lot of stuff being closed or still boarded up downtown as well.
I was definitely planning to make restaurant reservations and not just count on finding an open table by chance. That would be a recipe for hungry wandering.

I'm glad Pritzker has stayed strong.
Yep!
 
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I've read that, but with my luck they'd enforce it on they day I'd go. :) With the news that the Lakefront Trail (but not the beaches 🤔) will reopen next Monday, I still wouldn't go there until after at least one open weekend to see how things go.

I was definitely planning to make restaurant reservations and not just count on finding an open table by chance. That would be a recipe for hungry wandering.

Yep!
Twas' just announced that the trail will be reopening on the 22nd (as you said). It's going to be very interesting....
 
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