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Links roundup—MTA & State of the State edition

January 6, 2012

Ahhh, nostalgia: a subway token from 1979.

MTA

  • New York City’s lost subways. [Transportation Nation]
  • Bloomberg agrees with a grim assessment of transit, says he’s done trying to help the state fix it [Capital NY]
  • Now that former MTA director Jay Walder is running the well-financed, first-class Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (with a cushy salary no less), he can garnish his accomplishments at the MTA while simultaneously making us feel pathetic for having a rail system held together by spit and glue. [NYT City Room Blog]

State of the State

  • Governor Cuomo didn’t mention transit in his state of the state address this week, but he did propose a $15 billion plan to repair roads, bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure. [Transportation Nation]
  • He also wants to build the largest convention center in the U.S. at the Aqueduct Racetrack. [State of the State] [Daily News]
  • But is a convention center really a good idea? American cities have been overbuilding convention centers for decades and “the result has been a gigantic nationwide surplus of empty meeting facilities, struggling convention centers, and vacant hotel rooms…. In 2010, conventions and meetings drew just 86 million attendees, down from 126 million ten years earlier. Meantime, available convention space has steadily increased to 70 million square feet, up from 40 million 20 years ago.” [City Journal]
  • And did Gov. Cuomo just forget about the Albany Convention Center Authority? [Albany Insider]
  • Cuomo also proposed to master plan the redevelopment of the Jacob Javits Convention Center using the Battery Park City model, which presumably entails the creation of a new public authority akin to the Battery Park City Authority. [State of the State]
  • But Cuomo loves all of New York, not just the five boroughs, so he’s also pledging to spend $1 billion on economic development in Buffalo. [State of the State] [Buffalo News]

Misc.

  • Quickly dropping temperatures cracked sections of two D.C. Metro tracks last weekend. [WaPo]
  • The perils of privatization. [Slate]
  • Check out this episode of New York Now, which features an interview with Robert Caro. [TU Capitol Confidential Blog]
  • The new Moynihan Station is facing a big problem: Amtrak can’t afford to relocate there from Penn Station unless it can occupy Moynihan Station “effectively rent-free.” [The Atlantic]
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