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Manhattan BP Presents “Moynihan Two-Step”

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer wants to get Moynihan Station “back on track.” In an editorial for today’s New York Sun, he offers a “two-step strategy that builds on the strengths of the Port Authority and the public conservancies that have been responsible for development successes like Battery Park City.”

Given its experience with transportation infrastructure and its deep pockets, we should let the Port Authority broker a deal and oversee construction.

The Port Authority has $2 billion in available funds to get the deal done now. As Senator Schumer and Governor Paterson have noted, it is the only agency equipped to provide the centralized coordination — and, most importantly, the deep pockets — that the project desperately needs.

However, some critics, including the mayor, have raised very legitimate concerns about the Port Authority. They worry that it is too unaccountable to New Yorkers, and inherently insensitive to the public input and design considerations that are critical to a project of such monumental civic worth.

To solve this potential problem, the design, operation, and maintenance of the new train station should fall to a new State-City public conservancy that is accountable to the public and modeled on the Hudson River Park Trust or the Battery Park City Authority.

Call it the Moynihan Station Conservancy. The ground rules for the new conservancy would establish a process of public hearings and input before major actions took place, it would have a community representation on its board of directors, and its finances would be transparent.

Read “Moynihan Two-Step,” by Scott Stringer for The New York Sun