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Corey Johnson’s Simple But Innovative Plan to Fix New York’s Transit System

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Perhaps you’re reading this in the back of an Uber (hopefully not in the driver’s seat), while you wait for scores of pedestrians to waddle across the street and get out of the way of your left turn. Or you’re one of those slow-moving pedestrians, glancing up from your screen long enough to register the fleet of mammoth Escalades snorting in impatience while you cross. Or you’re sitting on a bus that keeps its doors open while a passenger maneuvers her walker over the mound of snow that’s been plowed up against the curb. Maybe you’ve saved these words for later because right now you’re busy threading your bike through the mesh of foot and car traffic and dodging a delivery truck parked in the green-painted lane that has theoretically been set aside for your use. All of us — drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, subway riders, cops, and delivery workers — are locked in a matrix of mutual dependency. Many of us pass frequently from one category to another: Anyone who steps out of a car instantly becomes a pedestrian. When one group can’t move easily and safely around the streets, it usually means the rest of us can’t either.

It’s because of this complex, interlocking system that a 104-page transportation plan released by New York’s city council speaker — usually the kind of dry, chart-filled document that generates a frenzy of yawns — is actually exciting. Speaker Corey Johnson has made himself suddenly indispensable by swooping in on one issue that affects virtually everyone: how we move around. Attention has focused on his proposal that the city take control of its own transit system.........

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