Streams

Infrastructure and Jobs

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In his economic address yesterday, President Obama highlighted three areas in which his administration will focus on job creation, one of which was infrastructure development. Michael Lind, policy director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, discusses the national implications of the plan, and Petra Todorovich, Director of America 2050, a national urban planning initiative of the Regional Plan Association, discusses what the plan could mean for the New York area.

Guests:

Michael Lind and Petra Todorovich

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Comments [12]

Mary Arnold from NYC, Queens

Concept plans for green freight transportation that utilize rail -- e.g., the city's Solid Waste Management Plan, Congressman Nadler's Cross Harbor project -- are not matched by the reality of freight rail on the ground. The rail system in NYC is a patchwork of private freight rail companies and passenger rail. Freight railroads operate with a remarkably free hand in the city -- an artifact of the history of railroads that needs to change drastically to meet contemporary standards for public health and safety and homeland security. New private business and city garbage are being piled on freight lines with old, polluting engines and aging, constrained infrastructure in residential areas. Stinking garbage trains, non-odorized liquefied petroleum gas tankers, and open carloads of construction debris sit parked next to homes and schools. The only ones who own the problems now are the host communities. Planners need to come see what really is going on in Queens and create realistic transportation plans with solutions, controls, and accountability for community burdens.

civicsunited@gmail.com

Dec. 09 2009 03:48 PM
Steve Anderson from Manhattan

Please, continue the infra dialogue---express your views, share ideas, post media and participate in poll questions (including infra investment priorities) at www.infrastructureUSA.org

Dec. 09 2009 12:05 PM
Mary Arnold from NYC, Queens

Concept plans for green freight transportation -- e.g., the city's Solid Waste Management Plan, Congressman Nadler's Cross Harbor project -- are not matched by the reality of freight rail on the ground in Queens. The rail system in NYC is a patchwork of private freight rail companies and passenger rail. Freight railroads operate with a free hand in the city -- an artifact of the history of railroads that needs to change to meet contemporary standards for public health and safety and homeland security. New private business and city garbage are being piled on freight lines with old, polluting engines and aging, constrained infrastructure in residential areas. The only ones who own the problems and environmental burdens now are the host communities. Planners need to come down out of their towers, see what is really going on, and make realistic plans with accountability and controls. civicsunited@gmail.com

Dec. 09 2009 11:19 AM
Mary Arnold from NYC, Queens

Concept plans for green freight transportation -- e.g., the city's Solid Waste Management Plan, Congressman Nadler's Cross Harbor project -- are not matched by the reality of freight rail on the ground in Queens. The rail system in NYC is a patchwork of private freight rail companies and passenger rail. Freight railroads operate with a free hand in the city -- an artifact of the history of railroads that needs to change to meet contemporary standards for public health and safety and homeland security. New private business and city garbage are being piled on freight lines with old, polluting engines and aging, constrained infrastructure in residential areas. The only ones who own the problems and environmental burdens now are the host communities. Planners need to come down out of their towers, see what is really going on, and make realistic plans with accountability and controls. civicsunited@gmail.com

Dec. 09 2009 11:19 AM
antonio from park slope

If you just use that money to create a updated rail system (maglev) in new york for example, and then smaller regional systems that connect to them you'll probably get this effect; jobs that CANNOT be outsourced. Building stations, laying track, engineers, material providers etc.
Having these speedy convenient trains will have people moving into areas that are not so popular, which will create a housing boom.. i.e. if I can get to albany in an hour from nyc, I might move farther out..

Dec. 09 2009 10:53 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

ADDENDUM: Forgot to insert at end of 2nd paragraph above the words "economic future."

Dec. 09 2009 10:53 AM
Mike

It's not just investment. The New Deal built all this great stuff that made us proud to be Americans, and the envy of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, that was 80 years ago, and it's all falling apart now.

Dec. 09 2009 10:52 AM
hjs from 11211

this is a no brainer. if u've been to western europe u know the USA is falling apart!

Dec. 09 2009 10:52 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

It shouldn't be just "shovel-ready projects," but and emphasis on long-term projects of efficiency and a new economy with regard to transportation (high speed rail, bus rapid transit etc.), drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, building retrofits, on and on.

Long-term thinking and subsequent activity on these projects will produce lasting results and equip our country for a new

Can't agree more with M. Lind on having a two pronged approaches for short-term (state govt.) and long-term (growth-oriented).

Dec. 09 2009 10:50 AM
MFan from Brooklyn, NY

As someone who had to recently do that A-train to Air-Train shuffle en route to JFK (as well as having to deal with that same decrepit line every day), I can think of at least a few points at which this city could use a boost in infrastructure.

Having had the privilege to do a lot of traveling lately, and seeing how much other countries have their act together when it comes to the whole airport to city thing, it's embarrassing to have to explain to people that it's going to take at least two hours and three transfers to get from their midtown hotel to JFK via public transport.

Dec. 09 2009 10:50 AM
Steven Mark from Manhattan UES

Just fill the pot holes at the bevelled street corners. In one week I saw an elderly man fall and a baby nearly thrown out of her stroller. Getting money where it's really needed, free of political decisions, is not rocket science. Come to think of it give NASA more funding. That IS rocket science.

Dec. 09 2009 10:46 AM
Mike

Any big money for the MTA?

Dec. 09 2009 09:52 AM

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