Afternoon Bulletin: Subway Delays on the Up, Mussels as Hurricane Defenses and More

A man watches the waves in New York Harbor from Battery Park during the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. (Photo via Getty Images)
The city’s restored marshes and mussel beds could be key in protecting low-lying communities like Battery Park in the event of another hurricane (Photo: Getty).

If you begin to feel like you live in a prison yard or recently joined a film crew, you have former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to thank. In 2013, Mayor Bloomberg and transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan launched an ambitious campaign to replace all 250,000 of the city’s streetlights with brighter and whiter energy-saving LED light bulbs. Last month, the first neighborhood installations began in south Brooklyn, and, so far, the new lights are not a hit with New Yorkers. One Brooklynite went so far as to tell the Times, “It feels like I’m in a strip mall in outer space.” Unlike the old amber lights, which lasted for approximately six years, LED bulbs can burn bright for 20 years and save nearly 248,000 kilowatt-hours in energy annually, but are also known to be optically offensive. (New York Times)

The dreaded MTA fare hikes took effect over the weekend with the daily MetroCard base fare rising to $2.75 on March 22nd. However, riders forking over an extra 25 cents shouldn’t expect better service as delays, increased ridership and other horror stories continue to plague the subway system. According to new data released by the MTA, around 20 percent of all trains arrived late to their stations in 2014, with the 5, 6 and A train suffering the worst delays. Medium and major delays also increased sharply. (DNA Info)

Safe hallways make for better test scores, according to Ben Wellington, the data analyst and blogger behind I Quant NY. With help from New York City’s Open Data platform, Mr. Wellington analyzed the results of a large annual survey taken by New York City public schools and correlated them with test scores at each school. Surprisingly, Mr. Wellington found that Safety and Respect scored more highly than Academic Expectations when correlated with student test scores, seemingly indicating that the more safe and respectful a school feels, the higher its test scores will be on average. (I Quant NY)

Local television stations in New York are giving a distorted view of the frequency of crimes committed by African Americans in New York City, according to a new report by media watchdog, Media Matters. A four-year average of NYPD statistics revealed that African American suspects were arrested in 54 percent of murder cases, 55 percent of thefts, and 49 percent of assaults. Yet, from Aug. 18 through Dec. 31, the evening news at WCBS, WNBC, WABC, and WNYW over-identified African Americans as suspects in 68 percent of murder stories, 80 percent of theft reports, and 72 percent of assault coverage. (Capital New York)

Just in time for hurricane season this June, the Virginia-based Nature Conservancy will be releasing the results of a study conducted at the request of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on New York City’s natural hurricane defenses. The study will argue that the city’s restored marshes and mussel beds are the key to protecting low-lying communities in the wake of natural disasters. Mussels have been found to reduce the strength of incoming waves, while also improving water quality. (Crains New York)

Afternoon Bulletin: Subway Delays on the Up, Mussels as Hurricane Defenses and More