Today’s Headlines

  • From the Village Voice article:

    The council hasn’t been much of a prod to hit the old goal either, though it once shared it. Speaker Christine Quinn, who sounds more and more like a deputy mayor, and Jim Gennaro, the usually visionary chair of the council’s environmental committee, have actually become members of Bloomberg’s sustainability advisory board, preferring, apparently, a share in policymaking to critical oversight. Gennaro shelved Intro 20, a bill he pushed for two years that would have mandated the 20 percent, nudged, he concedes, by the make-nice-at-all-times speaker.

    What’s becoming increasing clear is that we have one of the most united governments in the city’s history. Bloomberg and Doctoroff set the tone and policy direction. Quinn aligns quickly and the rest of the City Council falls in line behind her.

    Not since Moses’ time has power been so concentrated in the hands of so few at the very top. And unfortunately livable streets does not seem to be a priority of the ruling class right now.

    The only real alternatives are the relatively powerless borough presidents (with Stringer being perhaps the most independent minded) and some activist community boards.

    The pattern appears fixed. Alternative voices will only be on the streets (permit depending), not expressed in the halls of government for several years to come.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Makes sense, Glenn. The same people put them all in power, after all.

    Here’s another interesting quote from the Barrett article:

    The Voice has overlaid Doctoroff’s biggest projects onto maps of both FEMA-defined floodplains and Office of Emergency Management’s storm evacuation zones, and it’s as good a fit as the deputy mayor’s suits.

    I find that very disturbing, because I lived in eastern North Carolina when Hurricane Floyd devastated it. Much of the newer (and shoddier) development was in the flood zones, because people hadn’t built much there before. Rather than thinking that they probably had a good reason not to build there, people were overjoyed to buy new McMansions by the river.

    Well, after the hurricane came through all those McMansions were soaked in water mixed with pig shit and dead chickens. Meanwhile, the old parts of town that had been built on high ground were pretty much untouched.

    My street is 80 feet above sea level – one of the highest in Western Queens, so I’m not concerned for myself directly, but for all the money that the city spends subsidizing building by the waterfront.

  • I recommend reading the comments on the Newsday article (top link above).

    It is a nice recapitulation of all the pro- and anti-bike rhetoric.

    I am still amazed at the hostility generated by a group of lycra-clad bikers. Too many motorists really do expect a completely unimpeded roadway and resent any time they have to share.