Livable Streets Apparently Not on the Mayor’s ’07 Agenda
Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City Speech yesterday looked back on a year in which "so much went right throughout" New York City and looked forward to a year focused on improving schools, encouraging more real estate development, and eliminating sales tax on footwear and clothing.
Unlike Mayors of many other world cities, the kinds of urban environmental issues we focus on here at Streetsblog merited nary a mention in Bloomberg’s speech. Although Bloomberg’s re-organized, second term Department of Transportation and Long-Term Planning and Sustainability Office are supposed to have some great projects in the works they were not mentioned either. The Mayor’s July 11, 2001 campaign promise to "Untangle New York City Traffic" still remains largely unaddressed and unfulfilled.
This is the closest he came in yesterday’s speech:
We’ll continue supporting our city’s Business Improvement Districts, which bolster the neighborhood businesses that are the backbone of our economy. And to strengthen them even more – this year, we’ll launch "NYC Clean Streets" a $1.6 million initiative making commercial corridors in all five boroughs more attractive.
We’ll also keep investing in the transportation infrastructure critical to our economy. That means not only extending the Number 7 line, a City-funded project that will spur the historic development of the Far West Side but also helping Congressman Rangel, Senators Schumer and Clinton, and others, to secure Federal support for Lower Manhattan’s rail link to Jamaica, Long Island and Downtown Brooklyn, too. And I also look forward to working with Governor Spitzer to finally create the rail gateway our city deserves one that will be a lasting monument to the great Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
We’re also making unprecedented investments in another area crucial to our quality of life: our parks. Just a few blocks from here, for example, we’ll proceed with building Brooklyn Bridge Park – the borough’s biggest new park in nearly 130 years.
We’ll also break ground for the first playing fields in what will become the 2,200-acre Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island – which will be nearly three times the size of Central Park.
Creating more housing – and making more housing affordable – was one of the key long-term sustainability goals that we outlined last month. And in March – as part of the "PLAN-NYC" process – we will present a detailed agenda for implementing those goals and for solving the problems raised by the bigger, older, and more environmentally challenged city New York will be in the year 2030.