Friday, February 15, 2013

On The Uninspiring Transit and Livable Streets Stances of Mayoral Candidates

To quote Ben Fried:

"So mayoral candidates aren't going to campaign on road pricing, even if they believe in it, and in the end, the person who has the most power to make it happen is the governor. If the NYC region is going to get a rationally priced road network and a well-funded transit system, it's up to Andrew Cuomo to get things started — from the looks of it, preferably sometime after the mayoral election."

This is true.  Sadly the conventional wisdom is that pro-transit, pro-bike and pro-livable streets platforms are not political winners.  I think that's utter bullshit.  But it IS the conventional wisdom. 

I don't expect to see a single candidate put forth an inspiring position on these issues. Is that sad?  Yes.  Does it make me angry?  Yes.  Do I feel hopeless?  Absolutely not. 

Do watch out for candidates who signal a truly backwards/reactionary position on complete streets and transit, congestion pricing et al.  But don't expect a white knight to appear until after the election is over.  

And certainly don't write off a solid progressive candidate *cough* De Blasio *cough cough* because of tepid positions in this area.  Maddening as it is, it's still perceived to be politically risky for citywide campaigns. 

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