Archive for February, 2007
Recent Posts
NYC Blogs
Click here for a list of NYC blogs
Newsfeeds
Search This Blog

The Mayor's Strong Arm
February 28th, 2007

Unlike most politicians, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg has never had to try to coax campaign contributions from the citys movers and shakers. But that doesnt mean he doesnt know how to put on the pressure.

Matthew Schuerman reports in this weeks Observer that Bloomberg recently met with about a dozen of the citys wealthiest real estate developer and asked them for $5 million each not for himself, but for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, which he chairs. And, as one real estate insider told Schuerman, When the mayor of the city in which you are doing business asks you for money, it is almost impossible for you to say no. And no wonder. These developers have business before such agencies as Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the Department of City Planning all bodies whose heads are appointed by, you guessed it, the mayor.

Those knowledgeable about city government had varying positions. Its touchy ground, said Andrew White, the director of the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School. But Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Research Group was more sanguine: The reality is, you have this hole in the ground at Ground Zero, and you have a mayor who is willing to do the heavy lifting.There is a city purpose to it all, not a Mike Bloomberg purpose.

By on February 28, 2007, 2:46 pm
In category: Gotham City,Governing,Land Use | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Cars in the Slope
February 28th, 2007

The Department of Transportation is about to propose a new traffic plan for Park Slope, reports StreetsBlog, and the blog says the proposal flies in the face of what is considered good transportation planning today. Basically the department wants to take two twoway thoroughfares largely commercial Seventh Avenue and residential Sixth Avenue and make them one-way.

Most cities, Streetsblog says, favor the opposite approach and are making more one-way streets two way. Why? For one thing, the blog says, one-way streets tend to increase driving and encourage people to drive at higher speeds, leading to more serious accidents. Further, the blog writes, One-way streets generally serve through-traffic first, local traffic second. One-way streets are oriented towards serving people driving through the neighborhood rather than people who live, work, shop, walk and bike in the neighborhood.

The last thing Park Slope needs, it would seem, is more cars. In what will not come as a surprise to anyone who has ever driven there, a study by Transportation Alternatives finds parking spaces on the areas main street, Seventh Avenue, filled to capacity. As a result, the study says nearly half of all traffic is simply cruising block after block searching for a parking space. To solve the problem, the groups executive director Paul Steely White, recommends inexpensive improvements like market-priced Muni-Meters and residential parking permits.

The city might want to heed such advice because, City Councilmember David Yassky told the New York Post, parking in Park Slope will only get worse once Atlantic Yards project, with its basketball arena and hundreds of apartments, is built nearby.

(Yasskys comments prompted a churlish response from No Land Grab which observed that, while “Yassky can complain all he wants about traffic and Atlantic Yards … [it] has been moving forward because of the failure of many key elected officials, like himself, to make any significant changes to the project, or to try to stop it.”

And Atlantic Yards is not the only project promising to add to the traffic snarl. Area residents are concerned that a planned Whole Foods store on Third Avenue the western boundary of the neighborhood will also attract cars. To address this, Park Slope Neighbors is asking the chain to cut back on the number of parking spaces at the store, replace rooftop parking with a solar collectors and implement a comprehensive transportation-management plan, including jitney service, bus stops, bike parking, Pedicabs and fee-based parking

Across the Park is more ambitious: How about a real plan for cross-borough transit? In our ideal world this would be accomplished via super futuristic monorail configured in a giant loop.Subway connections a must.

By on February 28, 2007, 1:41 pm
In category: Community Development,Gotham City,Transportation | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Calorie Consciousness
February 27th, 2007

An editorial in the New York Times, which has supported the effort by the citys health department to compel fast-food restaurants to list calories alongside menu prices, opposes a bill in the City Council, promoted by the restaurant industry, that would gut the new regulations before they took effect.

By on February 27, 2007, 7:40 am
In category: Gotham City,Health | Comments Off on Calorie Consciousness

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Americas Mayor, Not Ours
February 26th, 2007

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani could be the living embodiment of the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt. In the cover story in this weeks New York Magazine, Stephen Rodrick says New Yorkers may find the GOP presidential hopefuls status as a national hero hard to swallow. After all, Rodrick writes, Anyone who lived here at the time remembers the 9/10 Rudy: strong on crime and the economy, yes, but arrogant, bullying, and terrible on race and civil rights.

But elsewhere in the country, he says, Giuliani is playing on emotion and fear and could ride the events of 9/11 all the way to the White House despite a lack of foreign policy expertise and stands on social issues that would normally rankle conservative Republicans.

Post-9/11 events have only made Giuliani more exalted. Rodrick writes. To many Americans, Rudy fills the leadership vacuum created by Bushs bungling of the war and Katrina. September 11 also gives Giuliani at least some credibility on the signature issue of the campaign: Iraq. So what if Rudy doesnt have a shred of foreign-policy experience? The perception goes something like this: hero of 9/11 = expert in the war on terror = strong commander-in-chief.

By on February 26, 2007, 4:46 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Opening Up the Bench
February 26th, 2007

The conviction Friday of former Brooklyn Democratic Party chief Clarence Norman for requiring judicial candidates to hire his political cronies proves beyond a reasonable doubt that New York’s notoriously rigged, boss-driven system for electing judges must go, the Daily News says in an editorial today. Normans conviction comes in the wake of federal court decisions that found the states method of selecting judges unconstitutional because, as the News explains it, the system deprives the voters of any say over who gets on the New York bench by making it impossible for outsiders to run for election.

But as that case goes on to the U.S. Supreme Court, the editorial warns, party bosses are still hoping they can win or at least get in another round of judges before the courts put an end to such practices. Governor Spitzer must not let this happen, the News writes. Ultimately, New York should move toward appointing state Supreme Court justices based on merit.In the meanwhile, lawmakers must give all comers the ability to get on the ballot for a spot on the bench by gathering a reasonable number of petition signatures, just the way candidates get to run for City Council, mayor or governor.

By on February 26, 2007, 11:39 am
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,Law | Comments Off on Opening Up the Bench

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Continuing to Fight Atlantic Yards
February 25th, 2007

It is time for opponents of the Atlantic Yards mega project in downtown Brooklyn to accept defeat, writes Errol Louis in the Daily News. The smart course of action now for community activists, he writes, would be to accept the reality of the plan and see what can be done to make it better. As an example, Louis cites the efforts of State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries, who according to Louis, worked with project developer Bruce Ratner and got him to agree to the creation of 200 subsidized units that people would own, not rent.

Not so fast, says the Atlantic Yards Report. First it disputes Louis contention that further legal action to block the stadium and residential development is futile. And the blog, which opposes the project, questions whether the kind of negotiation Louis recommends will work, particularly as construction of Atlantic Yards drags on for years, if not decades. In other words, Atlantic Yards Report says, even as the developer negotiates, the reality of a delayed development process undermines the developer’s promises.

Whether or not their efforts are doomed, critics still see much to dislike about Atlantic Yards. And even small aspects of the plan could have big ramifications, writes Planning Livable Communities, which focuses on turning a portion of Pacific Street into a so-called superblock, an extremely long block without cross streets. The blog notes, Many planners say such superblocks end up discouraging neighborhood street life. In this case, it continues, such a change would turn land that is now totally public into semi-private open space, mainly benefiting the developer and the future residents of the project.

In an op-ed article in Saturdays Times, Jennifer Egan, who lives only blocks away from the proposed basketball arena, takes a more sweeping view. Even without Atlantic Yards, our neighborhood and others nearby are feeling the strain of poor planning for a rising population, she writes. The claim that these neighborhoods can absorb at least 15,000 new residents, not to mention 20,000 arena-goers, defies common sense.

Most residents expected the project to be scaled back, Egan writes, but instead the plan approved by the Public Authorities Control Board in December was more than 600,000 square feet larger than the one first unveiled. And while the project has grown, its benefits, according to Egan, have shrunk: The proportion of affordable housing has slipped, and much of it wont be completed until 2016; the public park on the arenas rooftop is now only for residents; the number of promised jobs has shrunk; the projected tax revenue has fallen; and the taxpayers bill is colossal.

By on February 25, 2007, 4:06 pm
In category: Environment,Gotham City,Land Use,Law | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Residency Rules
February 25th, 2007

Murky rules have complicated the case of Mathieu Eugene, the newly elected City Council member from Brooklyns 40th District, who apparently did not live in that district on election day. Everyone to agree that council members have to live in the districts they represent; what remains unclear is when they have to move into that district.

The New York Times said election law experts are divided over whether Eugene satisfied the requirements by moving into the district since election day, February 20. His lawyer, Paul Wooten, said Eugene does not have to reside in the district until the election results are final, which could take another week or so. Lawrence Mandelker, a former chairman of the New York City Bar Associations election law committee, agreed: The Public Officers Law says a person has to be a resident of the district at the time he is chosen….If he moves into the district before the certification, he can argue he satisfied the law.

But in an editorial the Daily News dismisses such arguments, saying Eugene is now embarked on creative homesteading.By our lights, the answer is obvious: The time of the election was when voters voted and the polls opened and closed. If Eugene had not moved into the 40th district by that day…he shouldn’t be sworn in.

In a comment on the Room Eight blog, rwallnerny agrees that Eugenes machinations showed a lack of integrity on his part. But the real problem is the rules themselves, which the blogger continues, need to be changed.A prospective candidate should in the future be required to be a resident of the district in which he proposes to run by the time he files the paperwork for intent to petition.

But an Anonymous commentator questions the wisdom of adding more rules to New Yorks already Byzantine system for filing to run for office. Some of the same guys complaining the loudest about this spent half of last summer attacking candidates for bringing residency challenges against their opponents, the blogger writes.

Eugenes political future now rests with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who must try to unravel the mess.

By on February 25, 2007, 3:44 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing | Comments Off on Residency Rules

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Protecting Our Water
February 25th, 2007

The Times warns today that New York Citys days with an essentially filtration-free system could be numbered unless the city takes firm action to protect it. Development in the upstate area that is the citys watershed means more roads, more runoff and additional sewage, ultimately affecting the quality of what comes out of faucets in the city. And so the editorial urges the city to acquire more land in the watershed even if it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to do so.

By on February 25, 2007, 2:33 pm
In category: Environment,Gotham City | Comments Off on Protecting Our Water

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Marooned in Queens
February 23rd, 2007

The Number 7 subway line will be closed for repairs again this weekend and the Daily News hopes the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will handle the situation better than it did last weekend, when the paper says, the authority made only the most slipshod effort to let riders know how they were supposed to get around. This time, the MTA says it will improve weekend shuttle bus service and provide more trains on the E and F lines. But the News has another idea: It suggests the transit agency let 7 train riders use MetroCards to get on the Long Island Rail Road in Woodside. The MTA, which runs the LIRR as well as the subway, says it is studying the idea.

By on February 23, 2007, 9:12 am
In category: Gotham City,Transportation | Comments Off on Marooned in Queens

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Starrett City Sale, Bad Idea
February 20th, 2007

An editorial in the New York Times this weekend called the sale for $1.3 billion of the Starrett City housing development a bad idea, chiefly because New York cannot afford to lose any more affordable housing Our hope is that the deal is quashed quickly, and that state and local officials use the reprieve to concentrate on stopping the hemorrhaging of affordable housing.

By on February 20, 2007, 9:27 am
In category: Gotham City,Housing,Land Use | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Bloombergs Cold Shoulder
February 16th, 2007

UPDATE: On his Friday radio call-in show, the mayor made a complete turnaround, apologizing for the tickets and saying people who had received them could disregard them.

Mayor Michael Bloombergs irritation with New Yorkers griping about parking tickets they received after Wednesday’s snow seems to have revived accusations that the mayor is out of touch. Telling the mayor to ice the tickets, the Daily News called on him to return from wherever in the cosmos he floated on Thursday when he told New Yorkers to pull on their galoshes and shovel. And the Post started off its news story on the ticketing, by writing, The city’s billionaire mayor yesterday had little sympathy for average New Yorkers who had to dig their cars out of snow in subfreezing temperatures – or risk being slapped with a ticket.

In Bay Ridge, 81-year-old John McGuire tried to give Bloomberg a history lesson. He should remember what happened to Lindsay,” McGuire told the Sun, harkening back to the former mayor who nearly met his political Waterloo in the snow clogged streets of Queens following a 1969 blizzard. Unlike Lindsay back then, Bloomberg is not facing re-election so will probably not need a World Series victory by the Mets to redeem his political standing.

By on February 16, 2007, 8:29 am
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Transportation | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


News: We Were Wrong About Ground Zero Hero
February 15th, 2007

In the wake of a New York Times report undermining the prevailing account of the death of Cesar Borja, the News and the Post disagree about whether he was killed by exposure to toxic fumes at Ground Zero.

The News, which first reported the story that Borja died of lung disease after working at Ground Zero, admitted that there was “a flaw” in its account. Its stories reported that Borja “rushed to Ground Zero” immediately after the attack, where he “labored in pulverized concrete, glass and smoke.” That reporting was not backed up by facts, the News now says, although it adds that “there is no question that Borja’s recorded service — from Dec 24, 2001, to April 28, 2002 — placed him well within the zone of exposure.”

But the Post runs a second day of its editorial attack on the News’ credibility, and the the “scare science” behind the claims that 9/11 has caused lasting health problems.

By on February 15, 2007, 7:59 am
In category: Environment,Health | Comments Off on News: We Were Wrong About Ground Zero Hero

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Helping Today's 9/11 Victims
February 14th, 2007

The Daily News, which has repeatedly criticized Mayor Michel Bloomberg for not doing more to help first responders and others whose work at Ground Zero made them sick, today praises the mayor for recognizing the links between the dust and disease and for taking action. Thoroughly and altogether helpfully, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday gave official measure to the serious and growing health consequences suffered by the forgotten victims of 9/11 – along with unequivocal recognition that government must do more to care for their needs, the paper says. And maybe the mayor was right to take his time after all, the News says, writing, When Bloomberg testifies before Congress, as he soon will, he will go armed with unassailable information. His case will be all the more compelling because he has the facts. They were well worth waiting for.

For its part, the New York Post focuses on what it sees as the Daily News’ hyping of the story of Cesar Borja, the police officer who died of lung disease caused by what the paper reported was long service at Ground Zero shortly after 9/11. at Ground Zero (A report in yesterdays Times cast doubt on the News account.) Cesar Borja Sr. appears to have been a dedicated police officer. And there is nothing to suggest that his family doesn’t genuinely believe that his work at Ground Zero killed him, the Post says. But there is also no substantial reason to believe that he was sickened by conditions at Ground Zero, or that he was harmed by government negligence.

By on February 14, 2007, 12:47 pm
In category: Gotham City,Health | Comments Off on Helping Today's 9/11 Victims

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


The School Bus Consultant
February 14th, 2007

The day after crowded and sometimes contentious City Council hearings on the changes in school bus routes, El Diario focuses on the private consulting firm beyond the scheme: Alvarez & Marsal. Noting that the consultant has received $16 million for its work with the Department of Education (meaning, El Diario figures, that 19 consultants are each earning anywhere between $275 to $450 an hour, along with $300 a day for personal expenses), the paper criticizes the no-bid contract. There was no competitive bidding process to award this contract,” the editorial says. “That seems to contradict the philosophy of making every dollar count.The absence of competition for this DOE contract is an issue that the City Council should stay on and hold the chancellor and mayor accountable for.

For now Alvarez & Marsals work remains cloaked in mystery. Under questioning from City Council education committee chair Robert Jackson, city officials said they would not make the consulting firms report to the city public on the advice of counsel because it is an intra-agency communication. City Councilmember Lew Fidler questioned this legal reasoning, while others at the hearing wondered what other unpleasant surprises the secret report may hold for city students and their parents.

By on February 14, 2007, 12:32 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City,Transportation | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


New York City, "Luxury Product" Or "Net Loser"?
February 13th, 2007

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Joel Kotkin (author of “The City: A Global History”) begins an essay by quoting Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling New York City a high-end product, maybe even a luxury product — and then spends the rest of his article arguing why he thinks that New York cannot remain a superstar city without a shift in attention away from the affluent and towards the needs of the middle class.

Economic and demographic trends suggest that the future of American urbanism lies not in the elite cities but in younger, more affordable and less self-regarding places, Kotkin writes. He cites Gotham Gazette demographics columnist Andrew Beveridge as expressing skepticism over Bloombergs projection of a gain in New York Citys population of a million people over the next 25 years, and claims that the city might actually face a decline in population unless it pays attention to basic issues that affect the middle class — high housing costs, taxes, regulation, schools and lack of support for diverse small businesses, particularly in the outer boroughs.

Kotkin says that true progressives like Harry Truman or Fiorella La Guardia understood that great cities become so, in large part, due to the strivings of the upwardly mobile middle class and families, not the elites of any stripe.

By on February 13, 2007, 9:16 am
In category: Community Development,Demographics,Gotham City,Public Finance | 3 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Who's Backing Who in Brooklyn
February 12th, 2007

With the election a week and a day away, endorsements are being made in the special election for City Council in Brooklyns 40th district.

After looking over the list of 10 candidates, the New York Times chose Jesse Hamilton, who, the editorial says, has a long record of achievement in the community and has proved his independence from the corruption-tainted Brooklyn machine of Clarence Norman. In sum, the paper writes, Hamilton would show up for work ready to serve the people of central Brooklyn.

The former U.S. representative from the area, Major Owens agrees, according to The Daily Gotham. (Owens is indirectly responsible for the election. His leaving Congress paved the way for former Councilmember Yvette Clarke to take his seat in Washington. The special election is for her slot on the City Council.)

But a powerful union, Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, has endorsed Mathieu Eugene in his bid to become the City Councils first Haitian member. This says Room Eights Ben Smith is a very big deal. Eugenes commitment to public service and his tremendous contributions to the community make him the best candidate for the City Council,” said a statement from union president Dennis Rivera.

With so many candidates vying for the seat, Citizens Union, the good government group, has issued a joint endorsement for two of them: Zenobia McNally and Wellington Sharpe. In a statement, the group said it was impressed with McNally’s ambitious and energetic approach to serving her community and believes she has the tools to make a great councilmember. As far as Sharpe goes, Citizens Union said it is confident his expertise in health care and education will be a valuable asset to district residents and the city. Overall, the groups Doug Israel said the field of 10 features a wealth of well-qualified candidates. (Citizens Union is the sister organization of Citizens Union Foundation, the publisher of Gotham Gazette.)

And for a lighter take on the election, look at Wellington Sharpes portrayal of New Yorks latest comic book villain. As The Politicker says in reprinting the leaflet, criticizing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and the botched bus program, as things currently stand, is a no-brainer.

And this week, Gotham Gazette covers the issues and candidates in the special elections in Brooklyn and let us not forget Staten Island.

By on February 12, 2007, 1:05 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing | 3 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Fight The Perfidy, Governor Spitzer
February 9th, 2007

An editorial in the New York Post enthusiastically approves the harsh attacks Governor Eliot Spitzer has been letting loose on the Assembly since Wednesday, when it chose one of their own, Thomas DiNapoli, to succeed Alan Hevesi as comptroller, rather than pick one of the three finalists selected by the screening panel of former comptrollers.

It quotes Spitzer as having said: “There’s nothing like losing a skirmish that leads me to want to win the next round more. The knockout blow is coming very soon.”

“Strong words – but appropriate,” the Post remarks. “For one thing is clear: Spitzer needs to make [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver and his partner in perfidy, Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, pay a price for their double-dealing.”

By on February 9, 2007, 3:31 pm
In category: Albany,Gotham City,Public Finance | Comments Off on Fight The Perfidy, Governor Spitzer

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Banning iPods
February 8th, 2007

State Senator Carl Kruger must have realized what would happen yesterday when he proposed banning iPod use in New York crosswalks. In a testament to the speed of the internet, it took a matter of hours for a blog from the distant Findlay Ohio to pay a snarky tribute to Kruger’s “unfathomable wisdom.”

You get the feeling that this idea is going to be ridiculed a lot in places near and far for the next several days, then forgotten forever.

Someone please give NY’s state senators something to do,” writes Karol at Alarming News. The Daily News asks: “Would Kruger outlaw daydreaming, too?

The law probably isn’t going anywhere. Even if it does, will it matter? (what New Yorker actually uses the crosswalk?) Still, this is no time for jokes, writes the Sun, who cites the trans fat ban and a proposed ban on overly thin models in fashion shows to argue that the casual way that government overreaches is a threat to our freedom.

“It seems the idea of the nanny state is floating in the ether and the legislators are being taken over one-by-one in a kind of modern version of invasion of the body snatchers.”

But maybe we should all take comfort in this evidence that Albany is putting the comptroller distraction behind it and getting back to work.

By on February 8, 2007, 8:17 am
In category: Civil Rights | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Comptroller DiNapoli
February 7th, 2007

The weeks of maneuvering and plotting have ended. The State Legislature has appointed Assemblymember Thomas DiNapoli, a Democrat from Nassau County as comptroller. In doing so, they defied Governor Eliot Spitzer and ignored the recommendations of the panel of three former comptrollers charged with screening candidates for the post. DiNapoli was not on their list of finalists.

The vote was not unanimous. DiNapoli got the support of Assembly Democrats and most State Senate Republicans. But, according to Capitol Confidential, Senate Democrats and many Assembly Republicans cast their votes for New York City finance commissioner Martha Stark, who was approved by the screening panel. Many of those voting for Stark, an African-American and the only woman seriously considered for the post, reportedly went out of their way to praise DiNapoli and say that their votes werent so much against him as they were in support of reform and the process championed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Senator Majority Member Joseph Bruno indicated DiNapoli could probably do the job despite a lack of investment experience. “You don’t have to be an expert on the markets,” he said. “You need to be a good manager.” And, according to The Politicker, Republican Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio was even more direct: “You don’t have to be an Einstein.”

The post mortems have already begun. Today is a sad day for New York,’ upstate Republican Assemblymember Greg Ball said, reminding his colleagues that this is the most dysfunctional legislature in the United State of America.’ Earlier today (see previous posting), one of the three members of the screening panel, Carl McCall, said the Assemblys defiance of Spitzer would not be a defeat for the governor because public opinion is clearly on his side.

In a column written before the actual vote, Henry Stern, who said he likes DiNapoli, sees him facing an impossible task. He must demonstrate independence of the governor and the legislature to be taken seriously as a public figure. But if he were too independent, he would never be considered for the position he is seeking,” Stern writes. He goes on to fault the chain of events, beginning with the resignation of State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, that led to DiNapolis selection writing, The will of the people as expressed in elections should generally be respected, rather than set aside by one district attorney’s decision to prosecute, and one official’s inability or unwillingness to defend himself.”

And the leader of the Republicans in the Assembly James Tedisco, criticized the selection process as flawed and called for a constitutional amendment to let voters not legislators fill vacancies in statewide offices.

By on February 7, 2007, 4:42 pm
In category: Albany,Gotham City,Governing,Public Finance | Comments Off on Comptroller DiNapoli

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Moving Toward 2030
February 7th, 2007

With slides, ad supplements in newspapers and other hoopla, Mayor Michael Bloomberg in December rolled out a plan for New York in 2030 one that would accommodate a million more people But the plan got only scant mention in Bloomberg’s State of the City address, and in his proposed budget for next year.

But there may be some movement. As Tom Angotti writes in Gotham Gazette, the mayors office has launched a series of meetings in communities around the city to discuss the plan. Streetsblog reports that New York New Visions, the architects and planners who organized to weigh in on Ground Zero rebuilding, have announced they want to take up this challenge. And on Monday, Rohit Aggarwala, the management consultant Bloomberg has put in charge of the project, laid out PlaNYC (thats what the city apparently calls it) goals which, as Streetsblog puts it, are a laundry list of urban niceties that it should be hard for anyone to disagree with: more housing, parks within a 10-minute walk for all residents, a well-maintained transportation grid, cleaner air and land and water.

But that doesnt mean it will be easy to make such amenities a reality. Those attending Mondays meeting raised many concerns, and Streetsblog lists some of them: Will new residents…really bring jobs with them, as Aggarwala asserted? If the city swells to 9 million people, what happens to the surrounding suburbs? And while the ‘GreeNYC’ portion of the plan sets a laudable goal of cutting city carbon emissions by 30 people (and cleaning up pollution), there’s little else about preparing for what’s likely to be a radically altered climate 23 years hence.

And, if the plan somehow manages to address all that (and even does something about traffic congestion, which the outgoing transportation commissioner does not think even exists), what is to ensure it will become reality? Amy Zimmer reports in Metro today that the Lindsay administration put out a five volume long-range plan for New York City in 1969. Much of it was never implemented.

The Bloomberg administration hopes it can do better by building support for our plan so public demand carries it forward, spokesman John Gallagher told Zimmer. While you cant guarantee anything about what the next administration will do, we plan to work to set many of the solutions in motion before we leave… so that future administrations will need to demonstrate progress.

By on February 7, 2007, 1:16 pm
In category: Demographics,Environment,Gotham City,Land Use | Comments Off on Moving Toward 2030

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Gotham Gazette the Place for Politics and Policy

Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

RSS Feed