Ask Governor Paterson About Transit and Livable Streets

New York Governor David Paterson is going to field questions this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. on WCBS radio (880 on your AM dial). Got a question for the gov about MTA finances, congestion pricing, or livable streets? Submit it here.

  • momos

    Here’s a summary:

    Q: State fiscal crisis. How did we get here?
    A: State gov’t overspent in past. Now bottom has fallen out on Wall St profits.

    Q: Speaker Silver says you’re over-reacting to fiscal situation.
    A: If there’s no further drop in the deficit then I’ll close the gap myself by cutting $637 million from agencies. But why not cut our debt now instead of later?

    Q: How would New Yorkers feel those cuts?
    A: Won’t cut emergency services, but we’ll feel pain.

    Q: Where do you stand on the gas tax?
    A: I oppose cutting it b/c there’s no guarantee oil companies would pass savings along to consumers.

    Q: What’s the future of congestion pricing in NYC?
    A: Bloomberg was right & courageous. He had a plan. It might’ve neeeded some adjustments, but he had a plan. In gov’t everybody criticizes but nobody has a plan. The Mayor had an excellent plan. I wouldn’t mind seeing congestion pricing come back. Real need to upgrade our rail systems, re-invent transportation (particularly in Lower Manhattan), extend the 7 train, move the Amtrak train. A lot of things to accommodate more people.

    Q: When will we get the 2nd Ave subway?
    A: We’ve started it. They’re tunneling through.

    Q: What’s the future of state funding for MTA?
    A: Ravitch Commission looking at number of options. There’s a lot of housekeeping MTA could do. I’ll do all I can to stop a fare hike.

    Q: What do you think about leasing state assets like the Tappanzee Bridge?
    A: I’m opposed to selling state assets b/c you lose in long run. But idea of leveraging state assets to create income does appeal to me. Public-private partnerships when managed correctly could help us.

    Q: Would you accept company-sponsored naming rights? (“Verizon Thruway”)
    A: Naming might be way to do it, but wouldn’t want to change names of facilities named for great people.

    Q: Why support Atlantic Yards when state is in fiscal crisis?
    A: If it starts to become too costly we might have to reconsider a lot of projects we were for originally. Not there yet with Atlantic Yards.

    Q: What’s the status of Moynihan Station?
    A: Have asked the developers to come back to us with a plan that particularly features transportation. We’ve addressed with them the dwindling supply of state money. We expect an answer within a week or two.

    Q: You called for an end to the dysfunction in Albany. How’s that going?
    A: What I meant is state gov’t lags behind problems faced by New Yorkers. Issues should be addressed in debate on floor of Legislature. Good test will be how we address this financial crisis.

    Q: Are you settling in, liking the job?
    A: Not yet fully transitioned from last administration, but getting comfortable.

    Q: Are you running for Governor in 2010?
    A: Yes.

    Q: How would you run against Bloomberg if he financed his own campaign?
    A: Bloomberg has personally told me he’s not running. But if he put $100 million into race it shows those favoring campaign finance reform are saying you basically have to be a billionaire to run for office. Until we can get a system everybody respects we’ll have gov’t only of billionaires. Good thing about Bloomberg was he was able to get his colleagues to start saving money, thereby giving NYC extra time to address fiscal crisis.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Sounds intellegent and knowledable, except for one thing.

    He uses the term “spending.” Everyone is against “spending.” But your summary doesn’t indicate specificity as to where the spending was excessive and unjustified. I always say and show where spending is high or low.

  • Ace

    extend the 7 train -why?
    reconsider…Not there yet with Atlantic Yards -why not?


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