Main | Thursday, February 05, 2009

The WPA On The UES

My congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (whom I adore) is telling her constituents how the Second Avenue subway construction is helping the city economically.
Yesterday, Representative Carolyn Maloney released a report detailing how construction for the Second Avenue Subway, as well as the East Side Access plan, have helped out the economy. According to the findings, the Second Ave Subway has created 16,00 jobs, generated $842 million in wages, and produced $2.87 billion in economic activity, while East Side Access has created 22,000 jobs, generated $1.176 billion in wages, and produced $4 billion in economic activity. And by the end, she said, “The stock market may be slumping, but these two transit megaprojects are delivering a very healthy return on the federal and state investments in them... While these projects won’t cure everything that ails our economy, they are a huge help in getting us back on track.” Last month, NY1 focused on 2nd Avenue businesses that have taken a hit since the dig—Second Avenue Business Association says, "Within the first six months of the construction process commencing, business declined between 15 and 20 percent."
This is probably a good example of what Obama hopes to do with his national infrastructure plans to rebuild the nation's bridges and highways. It's the WPA all over again. On the downside, the sidewalks on my stretch of Second Ave have been sliced to one-third of their former width and three of the twelve storefronts on my block have closed - two restaurants and a bodega. That may or may not be related to the construction, however. On the really downer side, the subway won't be finished until 2017.

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