Elected officials are calling on Mayor Bloomberg to create a commission to study the city's aging infrastructure, saying there is an urgent need to prepare for the city's future.
A City Council member of Queens who is running for comptroller, David Weprin, said yesterday that a series of recent infrastructure crises, including last week's subway flooding, a steam pipe explosion near Grand Central Terminal in July, and the Queens blackout in 2006, deserves the attention of a full commission.
"We really have to plan ahead and now is the time to act," Mr. Weprin said. The commission would study electrical outages, the city's steam piping system, bridge and tunnel safety, the sewer system, and road maintenance. Comptroller William Thompson Jr., who is considered a candidate for mayor, appeared with Mr. Weprin outside City Hall yesterday morning to back the proposal. He praised the proposed commission because it would examine Consolidated Edison's role in providing power to the city.
It appears unlikely, however, that the proposal will win support from Mr. Bloomberg.
"We've already spent 300,000 hours over the last 18 months creating PlaNYC, which is a master plan to meet the City's infrastructure, transit, environmental and other needs," a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, Stuart Loeser, said in a statement. "We don't need another commission to study the problems, we need funding for the solutions and we welcome any and all help in that area."
Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat of Queens and Brooklyn who is expected to run for mayor, and the chairman of the council's transportation committee, John Liu, who is raising money for a citywide campaign, called on the Metropolitan Transit Authority yesterday to install cell phone service on the subway's underground platforms.
Mr. Weiner said that during last week's subway delays and shutdown, the MTA should have been communicating with riders by cell phone.