New York City's Infrastructure Woes

Why is it so difficult to complete basic infrastructure projects in New York City? Marron Fellow Marc Dunkelman takes this question on in a recent piece for Crain's, arguing that the city's fear of Robert Moses reincarnate leaves it paralyzed on basic infrastructure projects.

Just as Moses arose from Tammany's ineptitude, the current stalemate is a reaction to Moses' abuses. And the question is what New York will do now.

As the city prepares to house 9 million residents, projects including Gateway, Moynihan Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal need to come online. But the answer isn't to vest power into big quasi-governmental authorities—we live in an age when people have dwindling faith in institutions of all sorts. Rather, New York needs to shape a reform agenda that rebalances the fulcrum of power so that decision-makers serve the region's broader interests even while protecting local communities.

A system that makes progress possible again will get some projects wrong. But the status quo—a system in which nothing gets done absent a crisis—imperils too much of what New York does well.

Read Dunkelman's full piece here

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