Stimulus Money for NYC
My Favorite Project: Bike Lanes on Houston (Part of it anyway)
Last week, Mayor Bloomberg announced that $261 million of federal stimulus money will help fund transportation projects in all five boroughs. Many of these projects were already on the books or at least in discussion, but new money has pushed them to realization (or shovelization at least). In the press release, the Mayor’s Office states that these “projects will create or preserve approximately 32,000 jobs.
I was pleasantly surprised to see which projects are receiving funding. Some highlights (and commentary of course), the ramps of the Brooklyn Bridge are being widened and the entire bridge is being painted to prevent steel corrosion. Good news for the 100,000 vehicles that use those ramps on a daily basis. But what about us 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 bicyclists? Navigating the pedestrian areas of that bridge can be rather difficult and straight up dangerous on a tourist filled Sunday. However, bikers are getting a lane on Houston Street which is a notoriously unpleasant (and unsafe) street to ride a bike on. Most people who are not super serious cyclists avoid that place like the plague. Similarly unpleasant, yet less traveled on bike, is 125th St, which is also getting a facelift including lighting on the 1 train’s aqueduct and landscaping in the area between the Hudson and old Broadway. It’s nice that this area will get a lot of attention. But I would argue that the industrial aesthetic is kind of a neat relic to the neighborhood. So hopefully we don’t lose that. And another relic: Coney Island. The boardwalk is getting repaired in a selection of “crumbling,” places.
To see a full list of funded projects, view the press release.