Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All Hail Marty Moose

Well I'll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgeory to remove our godamn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of you're assholes! I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose

Friday, October 08, 2010

"If Christie weren't governor, you'd be home by now."

Governor of New Jersey Kills $8.7 Billion Train Tunnel:

The largest public transit project in the nation, a commuter train tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to Manhattan, was halted on Thursday by Gov. Chris Christie because, he said, the state could not afford its share of the project’s rising cost.

Mr. Christie’s decision stunned other government officials and advocates of public transportation because work on the tunnel was under way and $3 billion of federal financing had already been arranged — more money than had been committed to any other transit project in America.

It has taken 20 years to design and get the funding which includes over $3 billion from the fed government which now will go elsewhere. The only rail link from New Jersey to midtown Manhattan is a 2-track tunnel, built 100 years ago and is at capacity. Now hundreds of jobs will move elsewhere as there will no longer be capacity to bring any additional NJ commuters into midtown. And 6,000 anticipated construction jobs will now vanish. What do you think this does to property values in northern new jersey?

Years of work by transit advocates, planners and collaboration between 2 states, a bi-state agency, and the federal govt has all been trashed because Chris Christie wants to run for president, or at least hang out in thinktanks when he stops being governor.

How about this billboard?
"If Christie weren't governor, you'd be home by now."

The the Regional Plan Association, the perhaps most-respected nonpartisan planning organization in the New York Metro Area issued the following statement on Christie's idiocy:


(New York, NY) - Regional Plan Association, an independent planning organization representing the tri-state region, today released the following statement regarding the cancellation of the Access to the Region's Core project:

Governor Chris Christie today announced he would cancel the Access to the Region's Core tunnel project - the largest public transit project underway in the nation - citing potential cost overrun concerns.

The decision casts a dark shadow over the economic future of New Jersey
. The State will lose out on an astonishing $6 billion matching contributions from the federal government and Port Authority. The tunnel would have opened New Jerseyans' access to Manhattan's lucrative job market, raised tax revenues for the state and local governments, boosted property values, provided a more reliable and faster commute to hundreds of thousands of NJ TRANSIT commuters and drivers, and saved on greenhouse gas emissions.

As Krugman says, even if roads did pay for themselves through gas and other fees (they don't, not even close), there's still a basic economic argument for subsidizing mass transit, because it ameliorates congestion. From an economic standpoint, there's "too much" congestion because congestion is an externality. You can reduce it by adding a toll, or by making an alternative route more attractive by subsidizing it.

This project was about the one thing which gave me some confidence in the idea that this country could actually do anything.