Covering the environment, engineering, technology, and economics
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Engineering and the Sins of Public Infrastructure
From the Daily News - In NYC, throwing good money after bad by Aaron Rena:
"Money covers a multitude of sins. Gotham’s powerhouse economy
spins off oceans of cash. This makes it all too easy for politicians to pretend
to fix immediate problems by throwing more money at them.
New York is also
so desirable that people are willing to put up with a lot to live and do
business here. That includes overcrowded trains and subpar airports, not just
high rents and taxes.
But not even
this region can make bad decisions forever without reaping the consequences.
New Jersey commuters face two years of pain to repair Hurricane Sandy damage to
the lone pair of Hudson rail tunnels. The MTA has a huge hole in its capital
plan and troubling levels of debt. Declining subway service levels and
over-packed trains are a reality today.
Make no mistake,
New York needs to spend money on its transit system — especially to keep basic
service at a high level. But wasting billions upon billions of dollars on a
half-dozen high-profile projects gets us no closer to that crucial goal.
Mayor de Blasio just went to Bostonto join other mayors in calling for
more federal transportation spending. But how can New York demand Congress do
its job if the city and region won’t take care of its own by doing its part to
stop this insanity?"