How badly does New York City need a makeover?

Christina Drill
March 13, 2014

The Center for Urban Future published a pretty astounding and enlightening report about the state of New York City's infrastructure.

True, New York City's infrastructure was paid a lot of attention after Hurricane Sandy hit-- its subway systems, power lines, and water pipes were put to the test. But The Centure for Urban Future's report "Caution Ahead" prove there is a lot more we need to be paying attention to.

Take this as an example: over 1,000 miles of New York City's water pipes are over one hundred years old. In 2012, Forty-seven bridges throughout the five boroughs were considered structurally unsafe. But wait, this fun fact is sure to infuriate you the most-- 269 miles of mainline subway signals have far surpassed their supposed 50-year life. Now that explains all the train traffic. CUF explains that New York City is stuck in the 20th century, which is a problem, since think of all the other big cities out there-- Dubai, Tokyo, and Stockholm are all very 21st century. Very Back to the Future.

The CUF urges DeBlasio and Cuomo to make investing in NYC's infrastructure a top priority as they begin to budget out next year's finances. In order for New York City to remain a major mecca, it needs to do a bit (when I say bit, I mean lot) of maintenance.

Just take a look at this infographic. Scary? Yes. However, Gizmodo points out that while the numbers are not made up out of thin air, there are a few things that appear exaggerated. For example: for a bridge to be labeled as "structurally deficient" it just means it has at least one defect-- even just a minor one.

Yes, I think many of us can attest to the fact that the subways could run more smoothly and that blackouts and burst water pipes could happen less often. But fixing all the infrastructure in New York City would cost the city $47 billion. And who is ready for taxes to go up? Definitely Not I.

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