November/December 1994, p.2

NYC Department of Transportation Hall of Shame

Since the passage of 1991 federal legislation that made it easier for local government to spend its federal transportation aid on positive projects like bikeways and traffic calming plans, the NYC DoT has made some steps in the right direction. However, it has also wasted millions of dollars in highly dubious staff-padding schemes. Here we profile two of the most shameful:

Project Title: Voluntary Entry by License Plate Program
Cost: $1.846 million
Staff: NYC DoT staff who would have otherwise been laid off by the City budget cuts.
Idea: That the NYC DoT will get people not to drive by distributing educational materials establishing voluntary once-a-week license plate exclusion days.
Work Performed So Far: None evident
Real World Effect: Some DoT staff were able to keep their jobs.

Project Title: Community Based Projects
Cost: Phase I: $400,000.00, Phase II: $400,000.00
Staff: Same as the Voluntary Entry by license Plate Program.
Idea: To establish a grant program from DoT to neighborhoods for community transportation improvement priorities. It s a great idea, but half the budget is allocated to DoT administration. Although Phase I was approved and funded two years ago, the DoT has not issued one dime to ANY neighborhood.
Work Performed So Far: Paper shuffling inside the DoT, expenditure of valuable funds.
Real World Effect: Again, some DoT staff got to keep their jobs.

If you have questions about where your federal tax money Is going, contact NYC DoT Commissioner Lee Sander at 40 Worth Street, NYC 10013. Better yet, clip this and send to Mayor Giuliani to help him reinvent government. City Hall, NYC 10007.

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