ReThinkNYC’s response to the Regional Plan Association’s report “Crossing the Hudson”
Aug 22, 2017
The RPA’s report last week on “Crossing the Hudson” was a major step forward for those of us who have been beating the drum about the need to better coordinate spending. At the core, we and the RPA have both identified the single biggest problem with regional transit planning in the New York City Metropolitan Region: Agencies make plans that solve part of related problems without ever coming together behind a holistic solution.
From the RPA’s report: “Each of these projects [Gateway, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Moynihan Station] has been planned and studied in isolation of the others. Rather than looking holistically at the links across the Hudson River, and where people are coming from and going to, the agencies have been focused on solving their individual problems. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that they haven’t been able to come up with a comprehensive solution.”
And from the Executive Summary of our own RUN proposal, released earlier this year: “New York needs to change the way it approaches projects like [Gateway] for its system to meet the needs of residents and businesses. It’s no longer sufficient to have disconnected plans that neither work together nor leverage each other. New York needs holistic, regional planning that simultaneously addresses multiple issues. “
Identifying this issue is an important first step, but it does not make either the RPA or us unique. Nor is identifying the problem enough. We need to truly commit to the principles that this insight demands of us as planners. Unfortunately, the RPA has not done that. The actual proposals that they have made in this report fall victim to the exact same problems they identified and criticized in current proposals.