These past few weeks have been discouraging for me as a transit advocate. From almost every* level of government I've heard elected (and appointed) officials promoting "roads and bridges," or crappy, uninspiring, unproductive transit, or opposing reasonable transit improvements.
- President Obama going on and on about "roads and bridges," and "infrastructure," and "choice."
- Senators Schumer and Blumenthal bloviating about the safety of Metro-North, without mentioning the safety of driving.
- NEW! Representative Maloney also ignoring the possibility of holding drivers accountable, exploits the tragedy to push $100 million for Positive Train Control upgrades … reallocated from where, exactly?
- Governor Cuomo proposing a budget full of transit raids, park-and-rides, and a mostly useless AirTrain from Willets Point to La Guardia. Oh, and taking $1.3 billion in mortgage fraud settlements for the Tappan Zee Bridge.
- State Senator Gianaris bashing plans to increase subway service to his district based on decades-old conversations.
- Assemblymember Simanowitz and Councilemember Lancman coming out swinging against Main Street Select Bus plan.
- Mayor de Blasio with a transportation plan based on ferries without feeder buses.
- Members of Manhattan Community Board 8 opposing bus bulbs.
* I say almost because I haven't heard anything stupid from a local congressional representative recently. Added: I just heard from Maloney! To the contrary, Jerry Nadler's efforts to promote the Cross-Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel project seem to be making progress.
So much crap, so much of it things that transit advocates have discussed for so long, I feel exhausted thinking about writing more than a sentence about each one. Thanks to Streetsblog for going into the details in many of these so that I don't have to; you can donate here. Also thanks to Ben Kabak, Yonah Freemark and Alon Levy for taking the time to call bullshit on Cuomo's AirTrain proposal, and Ben again for calling bullshit on de Blasio's ferry proposal.