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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

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  • De Blasio’s 'Piecemeal' Transportation Agenda

    de blasio subway

    Mayor de Blasio on the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Announcing the next steps of his citywide ferry service initiative at a recent press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is pleased with what his administration has done to improve transit options for New Yorkers, but admitted that he hasn’t put forth a coherent, comprehensive transportation agenda.

    Though transit experts have praised some of de Blasio’s moves to expand the city’s transportation network, many have also criticized

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  • Little Progress on Utica Avenue Subway Expansion

    Subway stop

    The new Second Avenue Subway (photo: Patrick Cashin/MTA)


    Two years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio released a comprehensive plan for the city that included funding to study the expansion of a subway line on Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, one of the most crowded transit corridors in the city. The plan roused speculation among transit advocates and elected officials that funding for the much-needed subway line might eventually be in the pipeline, but with little movement on the study, some are beginning to doubt whether officials are truly

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  • Saying City ‘Can’t Afford’ ‘Fair Fares,’ De Blasio Points to State

    de blasio subway mccray

    Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray in the subway (photo: Edwin J Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio says he supports the “Fair Fares” campaign to reduce public transit fares for low-income New Yorkers, but insists that the city cannot afford it and that the funding must come from the state.

    Both Tuesday during his preliminary budget presentation and Wednesday during an transportation-related press conference de Blasio was

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  • Cuomo Makes Transit a ‘Personal Priority,’ Advocates Want More Funding Details

    cuomo prendergast mta

    Gov. Cuomo & MTA Chair Prendergast (photo: Philip Kamrass, Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo has made mass transit a major focus of late, holding a series of events over the past year regarding airport redevelopment, railroad expansion, new transportation hubs and vehicles, and more. Early last month he described the Metropolitan Transit Administration (MTA) as a new “personal priority” and announced an effort to modernize the agency, beginning with the purchase of over 1,000 new subway

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  • Assessing the Aftermath: Top Takeaways for NYC from 2016 Albany Session

    de blasio cuomo 2014 presser

    De Blasio and Cuomo in 2014; photo via The Governor's Office


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has made it clear that he feels like he’s often fighting for New York City’s interests against both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Senate Republicans, with Assembly Democrats as his key allies. In his initial statement reacting to the recent end of the 2016 legislative session in Albany, de Blasio put a thank you to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and company at the forefront, never mentioned Cuomo, and gave his take on what he assessed as a mixed bag

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  • New York City Interests Given Varied Priority in Three Albany Budget Plans

    de blasio heastie albany

    De Blasio & Heastie (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't need to see the Assembly and Senate one-house budgets to know where he stands with each chamber - Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is a close ally of the mayor, his fellow New York City Democrat, while Senate Republicans hold a major grudge against de Blasio for leading a failed effort to boot them from the majority two years ago. Most Republican legislators, who control the Senate but not the Assembly, are also philosophically opposed to much of de Blasio's

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  • What To Do When The L Train Closes

    mta out of service

    Out of service (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    The denizens of Williamsburg and Bushwick have responded to news of potential multiyear L train closures with a mix of shock, despair, and irritation. People are talking through the alternatives: taking the G, J, and M trains; boarding the East River Ferry; or even (gasp!) riding the bus. Quite likely Williamsburgers will also summon a swarm of UberPools and Lyft Lines unlike any seen in our time.

    Hysterics aside, it’s unlikely that the MTA would do a full, year-long

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  • Cuomo Heads Into State of the State After Big Announcements, With More to Say

    cuomo church sots

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin, Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo is going big. Decrying a state that has lost its ambition for transformative projects like the Erie Canal, the governor has spent the past week traveling the state and announcing major infrastructure, transportation, and economic development plans. Cuomo has also revealed new pieces of his $15 minimum wage campaign and criminal justice reform policies, among others, as he sets his agenda for 2016 and frames budget negotiations in Albany.

    So far, Cuomo has outlined 14

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  • Don't Be Seduced By Sexy Transportation Projects

    cuomo project plans

    Gov. Cuomo & his infrastructure plans (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)


    We don't research and write about New York's rich transportation history because we get excited about subway tokens or World's Fair era subway cars. Rather, we seek out information to help us learn from both our past mistakes and accomplishments. The most important lesson that we have learned is that we can't backtrack on investing in our existing infrastructure.

    It's easy to be seduced by projects that expand subway and rail lines, but they can't come at

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  • Corruption, Elections Loom Over Lengthy 2016 Legislative Agenda

    Cuomo announcement infrastructure

    Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Lawmakers returning to Albany this week to kick off the 2016 legislative session are faced with a litany of unresolved issues from last year and the spectre of the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders.

    Add to that impending elections for all 213 legislative seats, some of which will be critical for the future of state Senate control and the prospect of future indictments hinted at by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and you have a recipe for potential

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  • Time for the Mayor and the Governor to Work Together

    de blasio cuomo smiles

    De Blasio and Cuomo, via the Governor's Office


    They are elected to lead millions of people, to handle billions of taxpayer dollars, and to develop effective public policy. To be as effective as possible, they must work together.

    Yet, they barely speak to each other and won't even say each other's name in public.

    There is simply no way that the ongoing feud between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't hurting New Yorkers. The behavior of the two men - New York City's top two elected leaders - is beneath the esteem

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Dec 7-11

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday 

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio signs legislation creating the city's new Department of Veterans' Services, via Joe Bello, @NYMetroVets

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  • All Aboard the BRT Express?

    bus mta photo m86

    (photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)


    Google Maps estimated an hour-and-a-half for a trip from near City Hall to a location in Southeast Queens, leaving at 5:30 p.m. on a recent Tuesday. On the E train to its final stop and a bus crawling along jam-packed Merrick Boulevard, the trip took about an hour longer, two-and-a-half hours from door to door.

    “Now you know what we go through every day,“ City Council Member I. Daneek Miller told Gotham Gazette following that night’s event, which he co-hosted with Council Member

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, November 2-6

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday November 6

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and others participate in solidarity march in Puerto Rico, via the governor's office on

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  • With Risks, P3s and Design-Build Seen as Beneficial to Infrastructure Planning

    MTA MetroNorth garage

    A new MTA MetroNorth facility (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    At an Urban Land Institute conference last week, two panels of transportation experts – one from the public sector, the other from the private sector – discussed the issues plaguing tri-state transportation systems and the potential of public-private partnerships to address them.

    “Transportation agencies are great at delivering state-of-good-repair projects, delivering normal replacement

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 26

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be dominated by the World Series, we know that. The New York Mets begin their quest for the title against the Royals in Kansas City on Tuesday night, followed by another game in KC on Wednesday and then games in Queens on Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday. If the series continues, games six and seven would be the following Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 3 and 4) back in Kansas City. On Sunday,

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, October 19-23

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 23

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio and other officials announce sale of Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village, via Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography

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  • As Healthcare Landscape Changes, City Hospital Authority Charts New Path

    Dr Ram Raju via Twitter RamRajuMD

    HHC's Dr. Raju (photo: @RamRajuMD) 


    New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation was thrust into the spotlight a year ago when, last October, its Bellevue Hospital treated Craig Spencer, the doctor who

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  • The Mayor's Media Blitz

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    The mayor & the media (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Have you heard Mayor de Blasio's voice lately? He's been trying harder to ensure you have, sharply increasing the frequency with which he makes extended appearances on television and radio, and holding events to interact directly with New Yorkers.

    Instead of New Yorkers only hearing and seeing quick clips of the mayor on networks

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, October 12-16

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 16

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio and former Mayor David Dinkins at the ceremony naming The David N. Dinkins Municipal Building, via The Mayor's Office; Hillary Clinton and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at a protest rally in Las Vegas before the

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, October 5-9

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 9

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio pitches his rezoning plans in East New York, via Chang W. Lee for the New York Times; charter school supporters rally in Brooklyn, ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 5

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will include a focus on what the city can do to stop gas-related explosions after another such explosion occurred this weekend, this time in Borough Park; education politics and policy, as the pro-charter, anti-de Blasio group Families for Excellent Schools will hold a large rally; a continuation of negotiation and criticism between city and state entities over MTA funding; and more.

    Oh, and it's the

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Sept. 28-Oct. 2

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 2

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio does some road repaving on Staten Island, via the Mayor's Office; Gov. Cuomo checks out the beer at the Anheuser

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 28

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    In its post-Pope Francis world, will New York politics take heed of the pontiff's words and be a place of more cooperation, compassion, and grace?

    The best place to look, of course, will be the relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The two powerful New York Democrats embraced and chatted face-to-face while awaiting Pope Francis on Thursday of last week. Perhaps being in the pope's

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 14

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    • Where will the heated discussion over MTA funding go?
    • What's next in the James Blake-NYPD saga?
    • Is there any sense that Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo may figure out a truce and work together instead of being antagonists?
    • What bills will be introduced and passed at the City Council's first (of two) full-body Stated Meeting of the month, set for Thursday?

    These

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