NY Gubernatorial Candidate Picks Transportation Project Priorities

Democratic candidate and NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer recently detailed his transportation priorities, including a Second Avenue subway, LIRR connection to Grand Central, and Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.

"In his first major speech on transportation, Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat who is the state attorney general, cast doubt on whether a direct train to Kennedy was a sensible use of public resources, and he did not include it among what he called 'the top priorities for Albany's funding of major new transportation expansion projects in the metropolitan region over at least the next five years.'"

"Governor Pataki has made the airport link a priority, presenting it as a vital component of the revitalization of the downtown financial district. Late last year, he persuaded the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress to allow $2 billion of Sept. 11 aid to be used for the project.

New York governors have significant influence over which major transportation projects are built because they hold sway over public authorities. The remarks from Mr. Spitzer, who leads all polls on the governor's race, signal that the rail link could have a cloudy future."

"Transportation analysts who heard Mr. Spitzer's speech said they were impressed that he had studied the subject closely and seemed to be eager to speed the pace of building.

'I would be surprised if I ever again sit in a room with a gubernatorial candidate who says that much about what he wants to do on transportation,' said Jon Orcutt, executive director of the Tristate Transportation Campaign, which pushes for mass transportation. 'It's important for New York to make those clear statements now because we have had this eight years of sort of a morass with all of these big projects going nowhere.'"

Full Story: Spitzer Is Cool to Pataki's Plan for a Rail Link to Kennedy



Irvin Dawid's picture

real boldness on the part of this candidate

It is telling about a candidate to pick his priorities now.
Thomas R. Suozzi, the Nassau County executive who is challenging Spitzer in the primary, was all too quick to criticize his competitor for not having a plan to pay for his priorities, yet he himself was unwilling to even state what his priorities were.

Finally, I was impressed that Spitzer indicated his insistence that the Tappan Zee should accommodate a transit lane or track.

And the forum for the speech must be noted - it was at 16th Annual Regional Assembly of the Regional Plan Association of "CT,NY,NJ".
I believe every metropolitan region needs such a useful, important regional planning non-profit group.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA (San Francisco Bay Area, where we lack an "RPA")

Spitzer Also Backs Smart Growth

The TSTC's report on Spitzer's statement also says that he supported smart growth:

Spitzer’s remarks on planning and institutions pointed clearly in the direction of major reform. He called for “incentives for counties and towns to ensure that land use and transportation planning are integrated…smart growth involves a planning process with a vision of what we want our communities to look like in a few years’ time, and then thinking comprehensively about the housing, commercial development, transportation and environmental infrastructure needed to make that vision a reality.”

Charles Siegel

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