NY Gubernatorial Candidate Picks Transportation Project Priorities
"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.'"