Resuscitating my blog: miscellaneous musings, politics & urbanism roundup

I’ve been slowly reviving my personal blog.  I set most of the posts to draft status to be re-edited before I release them back into the wild. I’ve stayed somewhat active on social media over the years, but mostly haven’t felt like blogging, letting this blog largely expire for a while.  I have a fairly large amount of content I’ve written going back to 2006, with a lull after 2011.  I am slowly re-editing it to update links.

Looking back on this content, there is so much that probably would only warrant a tweet now that I blogged about at one time. A post on New York newsstands? Well, it’s still cool, but it seems so 2008 to make a wistful blog post about that. Much of the political stuff is almost like a time capsule, but I find it amusing to read. Remember how the Gang of Four cretins derailed New York politics for so long? I kind of miss Richard Ravitch. I even miss David Paterson a little.

I never thought much of Mike Bloomberg’s authoritarian politics, but sometimes I found myself defending his policies. I thought congestion pricing was a good idea, for instance, and was always amazed at how people would bend over backwards to oppose it. Even the MTA was ambivalent about it, and as I remember the local transit unions were completely silent.  I always found automobile casualties futile and needless; the way we structure our society around cars makes us less safe. Of course, maybe in some of my musings on the subject, such as this one from 2006, I should have put more thought into mitigating the downsides, whether they were real or merely perceived.

I wrote a lot on transit and urbanism, sometimes just little details I found interesting. Some of my thoughts on urbanism were often too abbreviated but I think quite prescient too. This commentary on San Francisco’s transit center. Since I wrote that, many projects like that have opened in New York and they are still unfortunate.  I’ve been on the road a lot the past few years, so I’d probably like to talk about urbanism more. Meanwhile, complaints about every little fare increase were a constant theme in New York over the years.

I meant to put more into the post at the time, but have a time capsule about Kirsten Gallibrand, whose policy focus shifted greatly after David Paterson appointed her to the U.S. Senate to replace Hillary Clinton. Then, as now, little thought about transit.

Ten years ago I was paying a lot more attention to infrastructure than I am nowadays. But it’s unfortunate how much infrastructure could have been.  Transit on the Tappan Zee? Commuter rail to Stewart Airport?  This post mentions how transit was almost guaranteed on the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Well, muscle car aficionado Andrew Cuomo killed that a few years later.

I sometimes wrote, haphazardly, about higher education.  Elliot Spitzer of all people had some lofty ambitions for improving the state of New York’s higher education. I think since I wrote that I have taken a step back and reconsidered how higher education should have a role in our society. The decade since I published that post has seen Occupy Wall Street, student debt crises, ever-higher tuition fees, and of course the fiery campaign of Bernie Sanders at least somewhat centered on free higher education.

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