Assessing the Economic Impact of New York’s Failing Infrastructure. Hearing 2: Transportation before the New York City Council Committees on Transportation and Economic Development—November 3, 2014

Testimony by Jeffrey Dugan, co-chair of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Transportation infrastructure, with long-term planning forms the basis for resolving many of the problems that the city faces today. In light of that we must plan for population growth, continued economic development, NYC’s continued status as a creative cultural capital, social equitability, quality of life and environmental stewardship.

While the past decade has seen a remarkable collaboration among city agencies a good part of New York City’s transportation infrastructure is planned, maintained and built by entities outside city government. The City must continue to focus on City agency collaboration and reach out to our State, regional, and federal friends to forge alliances that will be beneficial to all.

The interconnectedness of our five-borough city relies on its transportation system. As the storms Irene and Sandy proved, shutting down those transportation systems paralyzed the city. With our awareness of climate change and economic connectedness we must build on prior success to expand bikeways and bike share, continue a state of good repair of NYC’s infrastructure, continue momentum to complete partially-funded infrastructure expansion projects like East Side Access, continue to roll out Select Bus Service on heavily trafficked corridors, and expand transit options for neighborhoods lacking adequate options for access.

New planning goals for the City should include better integrated land-use and zoning with transportation planning. Our work to increase affordable housing should be linked to expanded public transit options. Vision Zero and redesigned streets should be accompanied by improved stormwater management, increased pedestrian resources, upgraded bike paths, and improved signage and traffic management technologies.

New York City’s transit system must keep pace with “world class” service. All options for funding these goals must be considered: federal and state, assessments on private development for public transport, public private partnerships and public funds.

By developing and building with transportation in mind, improving street design for public safety and increasing access to underserved areas we will create opportunities for city residents, workers, and visitors. Architects understand the challenge and will be part of the solution.

Read the full PDF of testimony here: City Council Testimony by Jeffrey Dugan