I use the NYC subway each day to and from work. I hop on at 72nd Street and Broadway and hop off at Wall Street. I used the RED line.

Several years ago, NY Transit installed 'emergency' exits at many of their stations. With a simple push on a lever, the emergency door opens and subway customers can leave the station, without going through the turnstiles.

The problem is ...this practice is abused and people push through these exits... without an emergency... AND AN ALARM SIREN GOES OFF.

The alarm is loud and irritating. It's a chronic problem.

Last weekend, I had had enough. I went to the fare booth and asked the attendant for the name of the station supervisor and his phone number. My calling began on Monday. It took half a dozen attempts but ultimately, on Wednesday, I reached Supervisor Langhorne located at Penn Station.

I made formal complaint. Mr. Langhorne said he would have the noise level of the alarm reduced significantly within two days.

That night on my way home, I reached the 72nd street station by 6:30. There were two workmen near the exit door. One was on a ladder, tweaking a mechanical device over the emergency exit door. The man below opened and closed the door several times. The alarm sound was now barely audible.

Thank you Mr. Langhorne.

Note: If you can initiate constructive change in NYC... you can do it anywhere.

NY Assembly

Assembly woman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced that Governor David Paterson has signed legislation (A.8300-A) she authored to help improve air quality by reducing diesel emissions from truck idling. She was joined by representatives of Willow Run Foods and the New York State Motor Truck Association for the announcement at Willow Runs Foods in Kirkwood, today.

The new law (Chapter 434 of 2010) authored by Lupardo will allow trucks to install auxiliary power units (APUs) without diminishing the amount of freight they can legally carry.

An APU provides heating, cooling, and electricity to the sleeper cabs of trucks. An APU can weigh up to 400 pounds, which may not seem like a significant amount, but can easily translate to an additional pallet of freight. The loss of one pallet multiplied over thousands of trips can make the difference in the profit and a loss for trucking companies.

Lupardo’s law will encourage trucks to install APUs, which will reduce the idling of diesel engines and improve air quality. Without an APU, a truck would need to run its diesel engine to provide the necessary heating or cooling so that a driver would be able to safely and comfortably meet his or her rest requirements. The use of these units eliminates the need for a commercial vehicle to idle while the driver meets his federally and state mandated rest periods.

The law goes into effect on November 28, 2010.

“Not only do companies need to make a significant monetary investment to install an APU, but they would also lose freight capacity due to the added weight of the device,” said Lupardo, a member of the Transportation Committee in the Assembly. “Now, with this new law, those who install an APU won’t have the additional weight count against them.

Manufacturers and the trucking industry will be able to improve shipping efficiency by shipping more and using less fuel for idling. And by encouraging truck fleets to install APU’s, we can help reduce emissions and improve air quality.

“APU’s help our drivers comply with local idling ordinances, reduce emissions and noise, and save on the costs associated with fuel and maintenance,” said Len Basso, Vice President for Transportation at Willow Run Foods. “Idle times are closely monitored by our company and any opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and still keep our drivers comfortable during their mandatory berth periods is a significant factor in our decision making process. APU’s are a proven technology and we sincerely appreciate Assemblywoman Lupardo’s efforts in sponsoring this new law which will directly benefit weight-limited trucks and environmentally conscientious companies such as Willow Run Foods, Inc.”

“The New York State Motor Truck Association has always promoted safety and compliance in the trucking industry,” said Michael Chellis, Vice-Chairman for the NYSMTA. “This legislation will enable trucking companies to reduce their idling time without jeopardizing a driver’s safety, while still utilizing their full cargo capabilities. Carriers will no longer have to choose between carrying a full cargo load and reducing emissions. I applaud Assemblywoman Lupardo for her continued efforts in improving the environment in New York. I am confident that we will make great strides in reducing emissions through our continued proactive efforts on the part of the industry, and collaboration with the Legislature on issues such as these.”

The bill was sponsored by Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) in the state Senate.