Many cities took a big step forward for clean air when they adopted buses fueled by natural gas. But there are other important projects that will make getting around easier, quieter and less polluting. New York City is getting ready to take a big step. From American City:
New York City has the potential to take those [bike sharing] concepts and scale them up to a size unseen on this side of the Atlantic. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a man the transportation community has a complicated relationship with, has been dangling a transformative bike sharing program in front of alternative transportation advocates since 2009 when New York’s city planners issued an “exhaustive proposal” that included a 10,000 strong fleet of safety-equipped, GPS-ready bikes.
Economically, the deal is a victory for innovative financing because it fully absorbs the burden of maintenance, damage, and —as this is a city— theft, vandalism, and “artistic destruction.” New Yorkers would buy their memberships on weekly, monthly, or yearly bases and get an unlimited number of free rides that take less than 30 minutes; ride a little longer, pay a little more. New York has decided that an initial burst of capital will serve their purposes the best not least because of their uniqueness among American cities in terms of density and population.
Take with one hand, then the other
A rich guy makes a gain at the expense of his state’s teachers’ pension fund and then asks for public funding for his stadium project. This is now how things should work — the public should just say “enough,” or at least demand more transparency around this deal that lost the teachers’ money. Bloomberg reports:
Philip Anschutz, who seeks taxpayer support for a $1.4 billion downtown Los Angeles football stadium complex, bought out a partner in his nearby hotel and condo project at a loss to investors including state teachers.