May 20, 2016
By Tara Jessup
New York, NY – In order to meet the physical demands brought by a growing economy, New York City must revamp the way it plans, pays for, and builds its vast network of roads, bridges, transit, schools, and other vital infrastructure systems.
This according to Building a Better NYC Capital Budget, a policy report released by the New York Building Congress. In the report, the Building Congress urges the adoption of a series of user fees and taxes that would be dedicated to infrastructure investment.
“To their credit, the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations have invested heavily to maintain and improve the City’s infrastructure. It is encouraging, too, that the City’s latest ten-year, $83.3 billion capital strategy is the largest in history,” said New York Building Congress Chairman Richard Cavallaro.
Despite the City’s increased capital spending, the infrastructure is currently straining to keep pace with the growth of the workforce and population. These strains are manifested in crowded schools, slower commutes, wear and tear on streets and bridges, and growing capital backlogs at public housing and healthcare facilities. The Building Congress calls on City government to overhaul its antiquated capital budgeting process to better define long-term priorities.
“The City should aim for a coherent and transparent capital planning process,” stated Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson. “Such an approach would give project managers, elected officials, and other branches of government – as well as the general public – a clearer understanding of each capital project’s progress and facilitate a far more informed discussion of costs and capital priorities.”