Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why don't the editors just say it? Mass transit truly sucks

Traffic on Route 4 in Paramus this afternoon.


Seats on NJ Transit trains into the city are at a premium during the morning rush.

Homebound commuters continue to face gridlock-related delays at the antiquated midtown Manhattan bus terminal.

The PATH commuter rail system hasn't been expanded for decades, and NJ Transit's light-rail system still hasn't reached Bergen County, even though it was inaugurated about 15 years ago.

Yet The Record refuses to recognize that public transit is struggling and traffic congestion has worsened, especially since Governor Christie took office more than five years ago. 

He said/she said

Today's Page 1 story on NJ Transit's proposed 9% fare hike is treated like just another he said/she said account where everything is attributed (A-1).

That's because Staff Writer Christopher Maag likely hasn't taken any buses or trains since he was given the transportation beat, and doesn't know how the service can suck at times.

So, he quotes "commuters, legislators and transportation advocates, who say service has declined and who blame the Christie administration for not doing enough to support mass transit in New Jersey" (lead paragraph on A-1).

Christie himself is not to blame, according to the Woodland Park daily, which more and more resembles the GOP bully's elaborate P.R. machine rather than a newspaper.

It's the amorphous "Christie administration."

The Road Warrior column has largely ignored commuting issues for more than a decade.

And when you add this kind of uninformed reporting on mass transit, the editors give readers the impression of being in the pockets of the car dealers whose advertising revenue helps make the Borg publishing family rich.

Spring showers moistened flowers.

Torres, Speziale

In following up on the shooting death of basketball star Armoni Sexton, 15, The Record continues to give a pass to two political hacks, Paterson Mayor Joey Torres and Police Director Jerry Speziale (A-1).

The arrest of a suspect is little solace to a community that has seen three innocent young people die on the streets from random gunshots in less than a year.

At least an editorial today criticizes Torres for failing once again to be "the first and loudest voice of outrage" (A-8).

Why not call for his impeachment? The editorial is kinder to Speziale, who should be pilloried.

There may be no "simple solutions," as the editorial states, but at least Speziale should have police work harder to get rival gang members and illegal guns off the streets.

In the dark

On A-2 today, the editors admit they didn't know which county U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance was from when he was in the state assembly.

Lance, a Republican, was from Hunterdon, but the story said Burlington.

Christie polls

Editor Martin Gottlieb today also buried two polls on Christie's eroding approval rating and the poor job he is doing in New Jersey (A-7).

Neither are news to readers and residents.

Local news?

An animal story dominates the Local news section for the second day in a row (L-1).

Expect that little of the data in John Cichowski's Road Warrior column on pedestrian deaths is accurate (L-1).

But the clueless columnist ignores the reason for the rising toll -- mean-spirited drivers who have little regard for other human beings, even if they are in a crosswalk.

And did you see this gem of a paragraph?

"Like cheap toothpaste that prevents decay but rots gums, really bad news can come wrapped in good news" (L-6).

Hackensack news

The Record reports today that Jason Some, 25, sales director of family owned Some's Uniforms on Main Street, has been appointed to fill the City Council seat of Rose Greenman, who resigned (L-6).

I guess it's a coincidence the story is played next to the continuation of the Road Warrior column on pedestrian deaths.

In October 2013, Jason's father, Jerome S. Some, 87, was killed by a car after he left his building and started to cross Prospect Avenue on the way to a meeting at Bel Posto Restaurant.

The meeting room in his high-rise was being renovated at the time, forcing the building's co-op board to meet across the street.

The driver said she didn't see Some.

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