Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey held a press conference today to outline the broad parameters of several transportation proposals, without providing any details, cost estimates or funding sources. Massey has recently seized on the spate of subway troubles as a weapon against Mayor de Blasio, notwithstanding the limited role the mayor has in running the subway system, and he expanded that approach today as he briefly described several transportation projects beyond the subway. That list included an expansion of PATH service to Staten Island, a “transformational infrastructure investment program” on most of the City’s major highways and an unspecified number of bridges, building “green corridors” over parts of the BQE and extending the G train into Manhattan. He also pledged to implement an MTA system-wide maintenance campaign, despite the mayor not currently having the authority to do that, and a “total ground-up overhaul” of the City’s traffic management.
Massey’s approach concerning the subway is expressly premised on his acquiring sufficient control of the MTA, or at least its New York City Transit division, to actually direct its activities. He offers little guidance on how he’ll do that beyond saying that he’s a “consensus builder” and a mayor who “has a force of personality and a will to get things done.” He repeatedly criticized Mayor de Blasio for the recent subway breakdowns and delays, as well as for the condition of Penn Station.
Massey promised “immense detail” on each of proposals, adding that he will provide that immense detail thoughout this week, including a “solution … in great detail” for the G train on Wednesday.
Massey did say that he opposes any congestion pricing plan or imposition of tolls on City-owned East River bridges. That’s a winning position with many City residents outside Manhattan, but eliminates a potentially significant tool in addressing traffic congestion.
Here is Massey’s full press conference: