Monday, September 26, 2005

NEW YORK: Tyler Brule for Mayor!

Move over Mike Bloomberg. You too Fernando Ferrer. Globetrotting style guru Tyler Brule -- though he probably wouldn't admit it -- wants to be mayor of Gotham, or at least its transportation chief. In this past weekend's "Fast Lane" in the Financial Times, "Get moving, New York, or you'll be seriously stuck," he writes an open letter to New York's mayoral candidates offering his transportation platform for the sluggishly traffic-clogged city to use. For free! (But you may have to pay to see it on the FT's website, if you can find it. I don't think it's available.)

Some select quotes (any my analysis) from Tyler Brule's vision of New York's glorious future:

1.) Tyler isn't a fan of the Long Island Railroad, MetroNorth and New Jersey Transit commuter networks. The trains just aren't stylish enough: "Trains linking the tri-state area never fail to remind me of prison trains rolling eastward from Moscow."

Is there a "tub of fermenting cedar and cypress chippings" out at a Japanese spa in Ronkonkoma he's keeping secret? Shame on him.

2.) Tyler wants sidewalks to be less crowded, perhaps to make his street-level shopping exploits a little more enjoyable. If I'm reading his plan correctly, he wants to keep the crowds upstairs ... out of sight, out of mind. His plan would transform New York into something like downtown Charlotte's mind-blowing Overstreet Mall, just without the Chick-fil-A and not as ugly as the old Third Avenue El: "With a bit of planning and inspired landscaping, the city could use a series of elevated foot and bike paths to give walkers and riders intersection-free highways to navigate Manhattan."

Screw the High Line (Tyler says it's a "good start."). Let's finally build Metropolis (pictured above) in Gotham!

3.) "While Manhattan may not want to install a [Vienna-style commercial delivery] tram network, it could explore ways of using its subway network to operate a courier network and figure out a similar scheme for its buses."

Hmmm. To try this out, maybe the MTA could terminate all local service on the Lexington Avenue Line (while keeping express service) and replace it with Tyler's underground courier service scheme. Does anyone really need to get out at 28th Street anyway?

These are all revolutionary ideas. Maybe Tyler should run for governor. (Does Virgin Atlantic fly to Albany?)

Then Tyler has some good ideas, but these are nothing new, i.e. airport express train service from JFK to Lower Manhattan. We'll probably see that when the Second Avenue Subway gets built; and a new uniform taxi cab design.


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