We Know Where NYC’s Next Mayor Will Live, But How Will He Get to Work?

Earlier today Bill de Blasio settled one of the big questions of the transition period, announcing that he’s going to move into the mayoral residence at Gracie Mansion. Next question: How’s he going to get to work?

Photo: ##http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-nyc-race-focuses-on-income-gap-but-how-much-can-a-mayor-do/##NPR##

Michael Bloomberg, who lives in his Upper East Side townhouse while using Gracie for special events, made a habit of riding the Lexington Avenue express down to City Hall for 12 years, though he gets a 22-block chauffeured escort to the train. De Blasio is a self-described motorist whose morning routine, until now, has involved driving his son Dante from home in Park Slope to high school in Downtown Brooklyn. Taking transit to work would be an adjustment.

Gracie Mansion is not very transit-accessible. It’s all the way by the East River — four and a half long blocks plus two short blocks from the Lexington Avenue express stop at 86th Street. But an invigorating walk to the train would give de Blasio a better feel for pedestrian conditions in the city than most local electeds — who tend to either get driven everywhere or drive themselves around with the guarantee of free parking at the end of every trip, thanks to placards. A mayor who makes walking part of his commute could start each workday with some on-the-ground observation of what it will take to eliminate pedestrian deaths.

When de Blasio has a morning meeting at the governor’s office on 41st and Third, a better option might be the M15 Select Bus Service, which runs downtown on Second Avenue. And taking the M15 home, even if it’s just once a week, would send an even more powerful message than riding the train.

  • Larry Littlefield

    How long before the BMT Broadway line extension (aka the Second Avenue Subway) opens?

  • JoshNY

    Wait, they DRIVE from Park Slope to Brooklyn Tech (which is, I think, properly described as being in Fort Greene, not Downtown Brooklyn)? That’s just absurd.

  • dr2chase

    Sounds like he needs a tandem or a cargo bike. Make his security detail ride cargo bikes, too.

  • Transit Rider

    If only there were congestion pricing, then he might not have to worry about all the traffic on his drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn every day to take Dante to school next year.

    Just a thought, Mr. Mayor!

  • Brownstone2

    Nice point, a medium short walk to Second Ave 86th St Station, and a two seat ride to City Hall – an across the platform change at 14th St for the R local downtown, and Bill is at his office door (or really at the Broadway City Hall security booth.)

  • Bronxite

    Of he doesn’t take public transit and/or bike I would be greatly disappointed in him. Plus, his son is in high school. I’m sure he can handle the commute himself.

  • Andrew

    The 4-5-6 stops directly outside City Hall Park. No need to change trains. But it is a pretty long walk to the subway from Gracie Mansion, sui he might want to take the crosstown bus.

  • Joe Enoch

    He’s a motorbrain. I wouldn’t get your hopes up that he’ll do anything other than drive/be driven around town except for rare PR stunts. In fact, his pals in the Taxi lobby will probably happily drive him around for free in yellow cabs once he does away with outer-borough green cabs.

  • Canonchet

    Let’s not get all PC-obsessive about this. We’re not talking about a regular commuting routine here. The mayor’s schedule and related transportation needs are rather office-specific – and De Blasio like Bloomberg will undoubtedly take the 4-5 to City Hall from time to time, and take the mayoral limo on the FDR at other times, and that’s fine. Thanks to Gracie Mansion, though, we get a powerful self-interested advocate for fully completing the 2nd Ave line, and for extending the East River Ferry further uptown from 34th Street.

  • Ellen M

    Maybe we’ll get an SBS on 86th Street out of this.

  • EricBoucher

    Has anyone seen that giant? Subways were not made for beings his size. That being said, he should ride a bike.

  • Citi Bike.

  • Brownstone2

    Which will come first, CitiBike stations above 59th St or finishing the 2nd Ave Subway to 96th St? At this point, both are a work in progress.

  • Brownstone2

    True, for the Lex Line, but I am talking about riding the yet-to-be-completed 2nd Ave Subway. It will run from 2nd Ave, across 63rd St, and down 7th Ave/Broadway as far as Union Square, then run through Canal St. via the N Route to Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge. For Lower Manhattan stations along Broadway to Whitehall St, including City Hall, one will have to change to the R at 14th St. A simple across the platform switch.

    2nd Ave is close enough to Gracie Mansion not to need a bus. Just a bit further than Bill’s 11th St house from the F Train 7th Ave Station in Brooklyn,

    Then again, I don’t know how often Bill uses the subway in Brooklyn. He seems to be driving everywhere.

  • Andrew

    Sorry if I misunderstood, but he’s not going to have to worry about riding the Second Avenue Subway for another few years!

  • Brownstone2

    Another local self interest may be in completing the East River Drive Bike Path – filling the gap between 63rd and 38th Streets past Sutton Place and the UN. That is if Bill is aware that there is a nearly complete circumferential route around Manhattan with this gaping Middle East Side gap. A water level route from his front door to a few blocks from City Hall.
    Dante could even ride to Tech that way, without needing to mix into Mid-Town traffic. Brooklyn Tech even has an inside bike parking room – first floor east side. My son parked there for his time at Tech.

  • HamTech87

    I don’t think it is being “PC-obsessive” to worry about the De Blasio’s focus on transit and active transport. Remember his comment about ripping out the Times Square Plazas?

    How we live usually shapes how we think, especially for a policy wonk. And if you’re Bill in a car getting frustrated and anxious about all the bus riders, pedestrians and cyclists slowing you down so you may miss your meeting, you are going to “problem-solve” on removing those “obstacles” (aka people not in a car).

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