Best Reimagining of a Crosstown Expressway - 2009
If it's good enough for Portland and Seattle, then why isn't New York equipped with a light rail (aboveground) express for crosstown travel, done in an economical, environmentally sound way? The answer to that question may come from VISION 42, an initiative spearheaded by architect Roxanne Warren and co-chair George Haikalis. The group proposes a two-and-a-half-mile-long, car-free route across 42nd Street with 16 stops, including Port Authority, Bryant Park, the Public Library, and the United Nations. Compared with a 7 train extension that would cover less area and cost $2 billion, V42's studies say that the light rail is estimated to be one-quarter of that cost, which could be paid for with tax-increment financing (higher property values bringing in more tax money). That's not even mentioning the estimated increase in pedestrian convenience, hotel reservations, and theater ticket sales. Though the City Council approved funding in '94, V42 has found no mayoral support since then, but it's got fans in the form of many area business owners who are excited about the plan.