Acrisis besets America’s largest city. It threatens to derail the entire economy, but it most cruelly punishes working people, especially low-income residents, folks in the outer boroughs, the old and the young. It’s not a stretch to say it poses a threat to public safety, as the risk of serious accidents increases.
Add to the human toll an environmental one, because one potential consequence of the crisis is that thousands of New Yorkers will take steps to increase their individual carbon footprints. Beneath it all is a fundamental test about the ability of government to solve problems, coming at a time when faith in the public sector is thinner than ever.
Leaders tend to look to moments of crisis to show their mettle. But in the case of the crisis that has gripped New York City’s transit system this summer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have struggled to get beyond their bitter feud.