Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NJ Transit screws NFL fans and commuters alike

Hackensack's DPW did a fair job of clearing streets and intersections after the snow stopped falling on Monday, but left several inches of the white stuff on the block of Euclid Avenue between Main Street and the tracks, and an 18-inch barrier blocking driveways on other blocks of Euclid. Above, a Summit Avenue intersection this morning, when a snow-laden tree was a thing of beauty.

Hackensack schools do not provide those familiar yellow buses, forcing thousands of parents to drive their children to school, in a colossal waste of gasoline that aggravates air pollution and frays nerves. Thousands of other students walk both ways. Above, cars leaving the high school campus this morning.


Transportation reporter Karen Rouse and Dan Sforza, the supremely lazy head of The Record's assignment desk, have been screwing commuters forever.

In recent years, they've ignored such persistent service problems as antiquated local buses, long lines to board NJ Transit buses in Manhattan and the rush-hour stampede for seats on trains leaving Penn Station.

So, you should have heard me howl with laughter this morning when I saw the Page 1 photo of hordes of Super Bowl fans -- 33,000 in all -- waiting to board NJ Transit trains after the disappointing game on Sunday (A-1).

Suckers. Why wasn't this photo in Monday's paper?

Perfect storm

I'll bet Governors Christie and Cuomo, actors Michael Douglas and Kevin Costner, and all of the other VIPs at the game didn't have to take the train.

Then, the snow that began falling early Monday canceled 350 flights from Newark as of 9:40 a.m. -- a perfect Jersey transportation storm (A-6).

Today's big, black A-1 headline screams about fans' anger and their "'nightmare' ride home," but commuting in North Jersey by car or mass transit is a daily nightmare The Record won't touch.

An editorial on A-8 mentions "commuters who suffer every day on NJ Transit buses and trains" and "have no relief from the overcrowding in the Port Authority Bus Terminal," but no such problems have been reported by Rouse, Road Warrior John Cichowski or any other reporter.

Denver lows

Rouse came to the old Hackensack newsroom from the Denver Post, thanks to Francis "Frank" Scandale, one of The Record's worst editors, who also came from that paper.

In Denver, she was known for her education coverage, but some moron gave her the North Jersey transportation beat, and it's been all downhill from there.

A second front-page story today -- on reforming "political patronage, a culture of fear and conflicts of interest" at the Port Authority -- gives the bi-state agency a pass on extortionate tolls and its refusal to expand PATH rail and commuter bus service into Manhattan (A-1).

More Bridgegate

The NJ Transit and Port Authority stories overshadow new developments in the Bridgegate scandal, including the refusal of Governor Christie's former deputy chief of staff to turn over documents to investigators (A-1).

Bridget Anne "Bridge" Kelly, who sent the infamous e-mail, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," is the latest member of Christie's inner circle to take the Fifth.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors are demanding documents from Christie's office, the former U.S. attorney said during a radio interview Monday (A-1).

Give us a break

Editor Marty Gottlieb couldn't help putting the federal subpoenas in context. But did the first paragraph of the story really need this wordy explanation?

"... a development that puts him [Christie] at the opposite end from the kind of probe he once led as the state's hard-charging U.S. attorney"?

Jeez. "At the opposite end of the kind of probe he once led..."? That's embarrassing, especially for a former New York Times editor who was stationed in Paris.

Hey, Marty, your readers aren't as thick as some of your assignment editors and columnists, notably Cichowski, the so-called Road Warrior.

More drivel

In his drivel on A-6 today, that moron doesn't acknowledge that he blew it big time in his previous column by predicting traffic paralysis for people driving into or out of Manhattan on Sunday.

Nor does he admit today he was completely blindsided by the problems encountered by Super Bowl fans who used mass transit (A-6).   

On A-2, the editors correct star reporter Stephanie Akin's Sunday takeout on development near the Harrison PATH station.

Local yokels

Three of the five elements on the Local front today are Law & Order stories (L-1).

Almost 8 inches of snow fell, according to today's weather story, which runs with an inaccurate photo caption describing a Toyota that hit a utility pole as a "coupe."


  1. I'm not sure if you have any experience working in a newspaper but since the problem with people waiting for trains wasn't really apparent until well after the game had ended it would have been too late for the press. Same problem as every other paper.

    Also, the city is not required to shovel the 18 inch barrier they leave when plowing the road, any more than you're required to shovel the road itself. You should ask your landlord to make sure it gets done.

    1. Real daily newspapers have deadlines of midnight or later.

      The game ended at 10 p.m. The photo should have been in Monday's paper, but the Borgs' ragtag army of low-wage deliverers need a couple of extra hours. Pathetic.


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