Best Laid Plans
From his corner office on the 35th floor of the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building downtown, Adolfo Carrion could once survey much of his domain. The regional administrator for HUD Region 2, Mr. Carrion was responsible for the federal government’s housing and urban development projects in New York and New Jersey. Stretching out before the floor-to-ceiling windows is lower Manhattan. Brooklyn and Queens are off to the left. Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty peek out from behind the towers of downtown. Out across the harbor to the right is Jersey City and, off in the distance, Newark. Glory and destitution in one vista.
Peering down, it is easy to see a century’s worth of transformational urban development. The redbrick monoliths of the New York Housing Authority, the brainchild of Robert Moses and the WPA, abound. Idyllic towers propagated by LaGuardia, Rockefeller, Lindsay and a thousand other urban dreamers, these are the projects that deteriorated into The Projects. Ringing the Battery and over the bridges to Long Island are the FDR, the West Side Highway, the BQE and the rest of Moses’s great interstate network. After four decades, Battery Park City is nearly complete, built on the landfill dredged up by the World Trade Center. More than $20 billion in Liberty bonds is at work rebuilding the Trade Center and other pieces of lower Manhattan, ravaged on 9/11.
Yet for all this work, it is hard to recognize a marquee project, a bright shining beacon of the Obama administration on the scale of those that came before.
Lee Sander is back in the advocacy world.
Executive director of the M.T.A. between 2007 and mid-2009, Mr. Sander Thursday was elected chairman of the Regional Plan Association, the prominent advocacy organization that pushes for greater transit investment and rational urban planning.
Mr. Sander, pushed from his M.T.A. job amid a restructuring Read More
Regional Plan Association, others, protest public financing of Trade Center Read More
The Regional Plan Association released a comprehensive report today, calling for the long-term creation of a host of transit projects–including new subway extensions, light rail and rapid bus service–designed to expand capacity and service as the area’s population grows.
Among the recommendations were calls for a light rail loop in midtown that connects to Read More
Last night at the New York Blood Center auditorium on the Upper West Side, Assemblyman Micah Kellner moderated a panel on post-congestion-pricing solutions for city transportation that reached a general consensus but no real solution: Congestion pricing is not a bad idea, the proposal was just executed poorly, and right now the M.T.A. is, as Read More
Leading up to tonight’s scoping meeting of the Coney Island revamp, various advocacy groups and others are staking out positions on the city’s plan, a few of which have ended up in our inbox. The comments are on the latest iteration of the plan, which was altered after it met opposition from Councilman Read More
New Yorkers have some of the smallest carbon footprints in the nation, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution and the Regional Plan Association.
The report seeks to quantify the amount of carbon emitted fom transportation and from residential energy use in the nation’s 100 largest metro regions in 2000 and in 2005. Read More
A new Regional Plan Association report (PDF) calls for the proposed rail link beneath the Hudson River from the Meadowlands Arena to near Penn Station to be extended to Manhattan’s East Side, possibly near Grand Central Station. The extension would save the estimated 60,000 commuters who travel through Penn Station to the East Side Read More
Publicize It! (Drawing by Laurie Olin)
The Regional Plan Association, which staunchly opposed the West Side Stadium last year, is taking a milder position on the Atlantic Yards proposal in Brooklyn. In a statement issued today (in preparation for tomorrow’s public hearing), the planning group ominously predicts that “without sufficient investments from Read More
Over on The Real Estate, Matthew Schuerman posts about Eliot Spitzer’s transportation agenda, unveiled this morning at a Regional Plan Association conference.