In Bloomberg's New York, The Poor Move Further Out, Lengthening Commutes
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 04:00 AM
Mayor Bloomberg has championed public transportation. From Select Bus Service to bike share, New Yorkers have more options for getting around than they did in 2002, when he took office. At the same time, the mayor has presided over a real estate boom that has pushed residents of lesser means further from Manhattan and left many with longer commutes.
During Mayor Bloomberg's three terms, it became especially expensive to rent or buy a home in Manhattan and neighborhoods close to it. Over the last 10 years, most of the growth in commuting to well-paying jobs in Manhattan has occurred in Manhattan itself - and in places like Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Downtown and Brownstone Brooklyn.
That development has pushed some New Yorkers of limited means to neighborhoods further from Manhattan, where most of the jobs are located. And increasing numbers of New Yorkers are traveling within or between the outer boroughs to get to work, often using a Manhattan-centric transportation system that is not well suited to getting them where they need to go.
By subway, travel from places such as East Flatbush to much of Manhattan takes more than an hour, shown as medium-blue and darker. Pick your own starting point in the map below.
But Bloomberg supporter Mitchell Moss, an NYU professor of urban planning and a former adviser to the mayor, argues that the economic growth that is driving up real estate prices hasn't displaced that many people. "No one was living in parts of Hunters Point, no one was living in parts of Lower Manhattan, no one was living in DUMBO," Moss said. "Those areas have become, not gentrified, they've become populated."
Even so, it will be the next mayor's job to try and lower the number of New Yorkers who commute more than an hour each way to work - a problem Mayor Bloomberg, for all his success at adding transportation options to the city, couldn't solve.