Saturday, May 15, 2010

AIDS WALK: Day Shift

This is the route for the AIDS Walk, Sunday. I believe the actual walk starts at 10am, but not until later will the walkers leave the park and walk up 110th Street to Riverside Drive, from there they will walk to 86th street, and then back east to Central Park.

So I'd say after 10am try not to get a destination in this box. I recall last year being stuck inside this square between 86th and 110th on the upper west side, with the only ways in and out through the park at 79th and 96th. Check the news to see when the walk ends. and ofcourse when it ends you may have a lot of people who want to take cabs home, maybe, or maybe it's not worth it, as they either live close enough to catch a subway, or they have cars parked nearby. I think they will exit from the park at columbus circle.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Avenue Addresses

Avenue addresses were designed to allow for easy calculation in finding an address.
Example: 780 1st Ave. is at 42nd ST. Process to calculate: Cancel last digit of address 780 = 78 and then divide by 2 = 39 and then add the key number +3....= 42 Street.
(courtesy of

Don't Let The Blue Bugs Bite

We all know Penn Station is the #1 place to get a summons. Especially during pick-ups and drop-offs along Seventh Avenue between 34th and 31st Streets. I simply just avoid the whole area, unless a passenger is headed there, in which case I try to discharge inside the block of 33rd Street, as far from the intersections as possible, without making people walk too far to reach an entrance.

If discharging on Eighth Avenue, I beg them to let me pull over on the southern corner of 31st, not the north side. If I happen to be cruising downtown along Seventh, I go off-duty as soon as I approach 34th Street, and only come back on-duty after I've passed 31st Street. I'm legally not picking anyone up because I have personal business to attend to: not adding points to my vulnerable license.

Personally, I think all of us (cabbies) should pool our strength to let our voices be heard by the city, by boycotting Penn Station: "stop using our backs to carry your fiscal crisis." If a taxi is blocking traffic, by all means, let them have it. Otherwise, back off already, will you? Penn Station is becoming a beehive with perpetual swarms stinging our innocence. Cabbies are the yellow buzz that democratically and proactively carries economic pollen across town, not you (NYPD.)
I mentioned earlier that I absolutely do not engage in business on this stretch of Seventh and Eighth. I go off-duty and drive straight through without glancing at the sides. But last week I was whistled upon by the doorman at Hotel Penn and practically reeled in by road block. Being the plucky optimist that I am, I let down my guard and let two women in suits climb in. Destination: Javits Convention Center, a $5 westbound headache.

I carefully shifted across, lane by lane, using my right turn signal. I then sat behind two cars waiting to turn unto 31st Street. One made it through the heavily used crosswalk as the light turned red. Another light cycle went by and the next car made it over. At the third light cycle I was up to bat. I inched forward, ever so patiently, yet persistently. If you don't demonstrate a desire to turn, pedestrians will continue to cross, even after the light has turned red. As I made it over at the end of that cycle, a cop who had just finished ticketing cabs along 31st Street motioned me over to the curb: FAILURE TO YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS.

Here's an email excerpt from my passengers who witnessed it:
"Gil- we were in your taxi when you were pulled over by the cop on May
3rd at 8:30 am. We never felt unsafe while you were driving. Hopefully
this testimony will help you because we understand it was rush hour
and we would have waited forever for pedestrians to cross the sidewalk.
We had somewhere to go and you respected that. Good luck."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Additional help for 5boro bike tips

Gridlock Sam's Facebook page

on this page and I assume on his twtter page as well, he places notes on what times for specific closures of major thoroughfares- bridges - tunnels - highways - avenues - etcetera

and also ads in the tip that the Queens midtown tunnel is predicted to have extra congestion due to the other closures.