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Re: Madox, 198 Van Vorst Street

I think this building looks great. The design isn't anything spectacular, but the proportions are good and the building looks solid, not cheap. More than can be said for many developments.

Most importantly, the parking garage is well concealed.

Posted on: 2012/10/28 2:31

Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?


Thank you for shedding light on some of the basic facts.

Parts of the report are rather frustrating to read. To wit:

"The PATH preliminary operating expense budget for 2012 is $303 million, which represents a 6.3%
increase from PATH?s 2011 operating budget. A total of $102.4 million will be devoted to PATH
operations, $73.4 million to maintenance and $52.9 million to security and policing costs. "

The three expenses mentioned obviously don't add up to $303 million. But its unclear from the pie chart, etc. where the extra money is going in the operating budget.

Its quite a surprise to me that it takes 423 people to maintain a 13-station rail system. I suppose that the cars break down a lot (?).

Posted on: 2012/10/16 21:00

Re: Developers Bring New Wealth of Poverty To J.C.

The analysis by this guy is so absurdly flawed; its hard to know where to start, or whether it is even worth discussing.

Its strange how parochial he is; he appears to in favor of discrimination based on where people live.

So let me get this straight: next time a developer wants to build an office building downtown, Jersey City government should only allow it if the developer will hire X number of city residents. My goodness, that's an invitation to corruption. Its practically an overt request for corruption.

Would the author of this report have opposed people from outside JC getting jobs downtown if they were poor? Probably not. So he's basically saying that, if a city's average household income is, say, $40K at time 1, the city should then decide to freeze it at that level by passing policies that make it difficult for richer people to move in.

Its all pretty ridiculous. The dead weight loss from all of these policies would be staggering.

I agree that the government plays an important role in ameliorating the condition of the poor and reducing inequality. But these are tasks best dealt with by increasing redistribution by increasing taxes on the well-off in order to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit. On the other hand, local government policies of steering businesses and residences in a particular direction to privilege current residents of a city at the expense of those who wish to move in is a recipe for disaster.

Posted on: 2012/10/16 20:43

Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?

In a recent article about WTC as boondoggle, the author Scott Raab mentions offhandedly that the PATH loses $400 million per year. ... ding-0912-3#ixzz29IeYiZ7A

This is perplexing. How can this be true? That $400 million can't possibly be losses on operating costs. The PATH appears to be running at capacity or near capacity during most waking hours.

This is mindboggling if true.

Posted on: 2012/10/14 18:37

Nicer part of Washington Heights versus Downtown JC

Caj11 - Good point, I probably should have considered how NYC employment affects the tax burden, but overlooked it -- probably because I work in New Jersey.

Like mfadam, I was surprised that the tax advantage of living in New Jersey was as small as it turned out to be.

I used to live in Washington Heights but left in order to avoid paying NYS and NYC income taxes, in addition to the ever-rising tolls on the GWB as I returned from work.

When I looked at taxes at the time, the difference seemed astronomical. For me, NYS taxes were double what they are in NJ, and the NYC income tax was another $2K. The apparent difference in taxes came out to 5% of my gross income.

Because I rent rather than own, the property tax burden in NJ was less visible to me. But if I assume that 17% of my annual rent is indirect payment of property taxes, then the difference in the tax burden between NYC and JC falls to 1% of my gross income.

So: although I thought I was saving money due to lower taxes, it looks like most of my savings are simply due to lower rents. Had I adjusted rent for taxes, I would have realized this.

Posted on: 2012/10/14 17:53

Tax advantages of living in Jersey City versus NYC

I was curious about the tax advantage of living in Jersey City rather than NYC. To what extent are higher state and local income taxes in NYC offset by higher property taxes in Jersey City?

I assume the purchase of a home 3.3 x annual income.

The chart shows additional taxes owed to city & state governments by income of the tax unit for those filing as single and those filing as married.

Calculations assumes:

* in NJ: deduction for property taxes (up to $10K as I understand this is the rule) in calculating NJ state income tax

* in NYC: standard deduction of 7500 for non-dependent singles and 15,000 for couples, unless property taxes exceed this amount.

Let me know what I might be forgetting.

Resized Image

Posted on: 2012/10/14 1:44

Re: Red light traffic camera

I got hit with a ticket from a red light camera on Montgomery and Westside Avenue. Obviously, this was very frustrating, but I was clearly in the wrong, as shown in the video available on the associated website.

I think these cameras are much better than the alternative: police occasionally spotting the violator.

Effective law enforcement comes from certainty and consistency. Absent the cameras, enforcement of traffic rules is uncertain and inconsistent.

We should have speed-enforcing cameras on the highways as well. If much of the speed enforcement can be automated, then more law enforcement resources could be routed to where automation isn't possible or desirable. (Or we could reduce the number of LE personnel.)

Paying police to do basic traffic enforcement like this is like paying people to collect tickets on the train. Oh, but NJ does that too on NJ Transit. Government suffers from a serious case of Baumol's Disease when efficiency pressures are apparently absent.

[url='s_cost_disease]Baumol's Disease[/url]

Posted on: 2012/10/13 15:52

What's taking so long with Provost Square (Toll Brothers development)

I haven't seen any progress on the Toll Brothers development on Marin. I don' t understand this.

* Very low rental vacancy rate in Hudson County
* Rents in NYC continue to rise.
* Site is about a block from an entrance to the Grove St. Path
* Recent rental projects -- the Monaco and 225 Grand appear to have been leased up quickly.
* Toll Brothers, a national firm, would seem to have more access to capital than most developers.

So I don't understand. What's taking them so long to get started?

Posted on: 2012/10/13 3:42

Anyone who opposes this development should read..

Anyone who opposes this or any development should read Matthew Yglesias' "The Rent is Too Damn High." The Rent is Too Damn High

and grapple with the issues in that book.

I'm very excited about this development.

I don't care how tall the buildings are. What I care about is the design of the buildings and the elegance and practicality of the planning. I'd much rather have an aesthetically pleasing 55-story building than an ugly 6 story building.

You have acres and acres of land sitting idle for years while condos are selling at $400-$550 / square foot in the vicinity.

To be honest, I wasn't thrilled to hear that a tall building was planned to replace the Boys & Girls Club, since that is a block away from me and I like the 3-6 story brick townhouse nature of the Van Vorst Park area. But, the Boys & Girls Club is ugly as sin. Its simply not possible for its replacement to be any uglier. So I welcome new development there. I can't wait to see them bulldoze that piece of crap.

Even if I didn't welcome development, I don't think or a well-organized group of people in the neighborhood, have a right to block it.

Again, I wish that the people would organize to demand better aesthetics, not lower density.

Read Yglesias' book! Before resorting to its usual arguments, the NIMBY crowd needs to address the issues in that book! Any time someone with a NIMBY attitude speaks up at a Council meeting, someone else should start ticking off the points made very clearly in that book.

Posted on: 2012/10/13 2:57

Re: Little Gym (of Jersey City) Closed

Some people have voiced frustration that the owner didn't notify them in advance of the bankruptcy filing. I'm not sure they're seeing the issue clearly.

Even when a business is struggling and bankruptcy is a distinct possibility, the owner can't simply go around telling people this information. If the information got out that the business *might* not last through the year, then the business *certainly* wouldn't last through the year.

The idea that this is a "take the money and run" situation also doesn't make sense to me. I don't know anything about Giani, but just look at the debts of the business relative to the assets. This was not exactly a cash cow type of business.

Posted on: 2012/3/29 5:39

Re: parking ticket: motor vehicle nuisance? huh?

The municipal court appears to be highly dysfunctional. They never answer their phone any more. I would recommend that you go to the Municipal Court at 365 Summit. Don't go through the metal detectors. Instead, go to the office on the left and talk to one of the clerks there. They can give you a court date.

I have contested tickets when I good reason to do so, and have won. Regardless however, you always will pay with time. When I went to the parking hearing, other matters were always dealt with first. Parking tickets were last. So bring some reading material to occupy yourself.

Also, the system is terribly inefficient and old-fashioned. I once parked on Montgomery across from City Hall and received a ticket from an overzealous parking patroler at 7:58 for an 8-10 zone. I arrived at my car as she was writing the ticket. She couldn't reverse it.

In order to contest the $42 ticket, I needed to take pictures of the signs identifying the spot as no parking 8-10 and show them to the Judge at court. The process ended up taking perhaps 3-5 hours as I had to wait a long time, and then return to court a second time. It probably wasn't worth it.

Also -- I would never call the number -- they used to answer it, but they have not answered the phone in the last two years to my knowledge. My guess is that many of the workers at the court house are family members of people who are politically connected and help get out the vote at election time.Quote:
Re: parking ticket: motor vehicle nuisance? huh? by 3rdandwild on 2012/3/23 12:26:01 Hi Does anyone know how to find out court date to plea not guilty for parking ticket? There is no information on ticket and When I called the listed number, I was on hold for more than hour and no one answers. Any info?
Re: parking ticket: motor vehicle nuisance? huh? by 3rdandwild on 2012/3/23 12:26:01 Hi Does anyone know how to find out court date to plea not guilty for parking ticket? There is no information on ticket and When I called the listed number, I was on hold for more than hour and no one answers. Any info?

Posted on: 2012/3/24 6:57

Re: Taqueria

Taqueria is pretty good in my opinion, especially the burritos. And also very nice is one of the girls at the counter with longish hair -- she's a knock-out.

Posted on: 2011/10/7 2:21

Trash build-up in and around Van Vorst Park

Why is trash overflowing in various public garbage cans in and around Van Vorst Park?

In the Van Vorst Park dog area, the trash can was overflowing with canine feces last week. Finally, I saw two people, who I believe were city workers, cleaning it out. However, the way it was being cleaned out was very strange to me. One man stood holding a garbage bag open, while the other picked out each bag of feces individually and dropped it in the bag. Are there not more efficient ways to empty trash cans?

Posted on: 2011/1/29 16:50




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