Afternoon Bulletin: WTC Hub Opens, Your Fresh Direct Delivery Is Congesting the City

TRANSPORTATION HUB, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/10/17: The World Trade Center Transportation Hub by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in New York city.

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, opens for PATH train access Thursday afternoon. (Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The city’s newest transit center, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub―designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava with construction costs estimated at $4 billion―partially opened Thursday afternoon. Commuters who take the PATH train will be able to reach the line via the hub’s central hall, the so-called Oculus. According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, while the existing Vesey Street entrances will stay open, there will also be access to the center through a new entrance at Liberty and Church streets. The Port Authority says that the rest of the hub, including a connection to the Fulton Center transit and retail complex, will open in the spring, at which point there will likely be an official opening ceremony. (WNYC)

Convenience comes at a cost, and in the case of home delivery trucks from Amazon, FreshDirect, and other companies, the price is an increase in traffic. According to City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, truck shipments account for 90 percent of the goods brought into New York. Ms. Trottenberg said that the city is trying to get a “better handle on truck operations, where and how and what time they operate.” A bill by City Councilman Mark Levine, pending in the Council, could gauge the problem—the legislation would require the city to monitor truck deliveries south of 59th Street in Manhattan, as well as in downtown Brooklyn. While home delivery trucks are part of the problem, Mr. Levine believes that the biggest traffic-clogging culprits are commercial trucks that pick up and drop off products for stores. No matter the case, FreshDirect’s Vice President of Public Affairs, Larry Scott Blackmon, said that, in the past year, the company has “reduced trucks in the city” and has “introduced more hybrid vehicles in the fleet.” (Daily News)

The first trailer for Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot (starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones) premiered Thursday morning, giving fans of the franchise and/or its leading comediennes a sense of the supernatural hijinks to come on July 15th. While Mr. Feig shot the majority of the film in Boston―what passes for Chinatown is a Beantown stand-in―a handful of New York sites, from TriBeCa’s Ladder 8 firehouse (the ghost-hunting headquarters in the original film) to Washington Square Park, are showcased in the teaser. Plus, Ms. Jones plays an MTA worker, so plenty of Big Apple nuances will remain intact. (DNAinfo)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has ended his two-year streak of boycotting the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which from 1991 to 2014 excluded LGBT groups. While in the 2015 parade, only a small contingent comprised of LGBT employees from NBC, a parade sponsor, were included, this year the Lavender and Green Alliance, a large LGBT group, has been granted permission to participate. More than 300 people will march with the Alliance, which sought to reverse the LGBT ban for 25 years. “The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a New York City tradition, but for years Irish LGBT New Yorkers could not show their pride,” Mr. De Blasio told the Associated Press. “Finally, they can celebrate their heritage by marching in a parade that now represents progress and equality.” He had a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Irish Consulate. (Gothamist)

Winter’s last hurrah, a flash freeze bringing upwards of an inch of snow to New York on Friday, proves that March really does come “in like a lion.” However, according to Accuweather meteorologist Tom Kines, the cold isn’t likely to last beyond the weekend. “We’re going to have a taste of spring, or maybe even summer,” Mr. Kines said. “There are some real warm days coming up.” By Monday, things should heat up to 60 degrees, a temperature that exceeds the mid-40s/low-50s range typical of early March. (New York Post)

Afternoon Bulletin: WTC Hub Opens, Your Fresh Direct Delivery Is Congesting the City