Saturday, March 15, 2014

After Buildings Collapse, New York City Mayor Postpones Dealing With Crumbling Infrastructure

Aging Infrastructure Crumbles In New York, and Mayor Wants to Delay the Inevitable

"The city's infrastructure, including its aging gas mains, were again called into question on Wednesday, after an explosion caused two buildings to collapse in East Harlem," reported Dana Rubinstein last week in Capital New York.

But New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dislikes being challenged into having difficult conversations by the media, refused to discuss the city's crumbling infrastructure.

“This is not the occasion to talk about the dynamics of our national government and the lack of support for infrastructure improvements," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference last Thursday, according to Capital New York. "That’s a separate discussion, but for another day."

Thousands of miles of main gas lines in New York City are decades old, The Christian Science Monitor reported. WNYC reported that the gas main that runs near the buildings, which exploded and collapsed, is 127 years old. Last year, it was reported that a building was damaged by a partial collapse in Chinatown. The aging and collapse of city buildings comes on top of a report published today by Politicker, where the mayor was unapologetic for not having yet appointed a permanent head for a major city infrastructure agency.

Isn't it about time that the mayor got around to finally appointing a permanent commissioner to head the city's Department of Buildings ? After that, the de Blasio administration should complete an assessment of the city's crumbling infrastructure, map it against prior complaints, and prioritize the renewal of the city's basic physical and organizational structures, facilities, and utilities. And he should use this opportunity to make the city go green. Get rid of that dangerous Spectra natural gas pipeline running under the West Village.

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