It’s been written in this column that Thompson’s strategy of building up support in the outer-boroughs will pay off on primary day. Thompson is in a large field of Democratic candidates, none of whom have really jazzed the electorate thus far.
Speaker Christine Quinn may be the favorite, but she could have trouble outside of Manhattan, which is why Thompson has wisely gathered support from people like former congressman Floyd Flake in Queens and now Serrano in the Bronx.
The typical “attack the leader” approach has been targeted at Quinn, with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio trying to distinguish himself as the true progressive. But there is an issue that is dogging this field of candidates, and that is the city’s historically low crime rate. Campaigning to change the strategy – and the commissioner – may not be what many New Yorkers want.
Thompson, while critical of how the city has managed its stop-and-frisk policy, has not really distanced himself from the NYPD. That may come back to help him. There are two kinds of New Yorkers in thie electorate: those who remember New York City before the crime rate went down and those who came along later.
Those who came later seem to think that this safe Renaissance city is par for the course. But the other New Yorkers know better. If Thompson can assuage the fears of the longtime New Yorkers, he can push the election in September to a run-off election.
The endorsements he has stacked up are going to help him. This man is a closer, and he is going to sneak up at the end of the summer and do just that.
Bike Share is Happening in NYC
We should like the idea of a bike-sharing program, but it should have started in Queens. Manhattan is currently the hub of this program, with 330 docking stations (which means even less parking) and thousands of bicycles.
In the Financial District, where there is less traffic than Midtown, the notion that all of these bicyclers are going to be able to ride safely just does not add up. The idea is a good one, but it may be misplaced.
Perhaps once the program gets rolling we will get used to it, the way we did with smoke-free bars and other ideas. This just seems as though it should have started in less congested areas of the city.
Manhattan has the most tourists, and they are more likely to utilize a bike program. The billing even suggests that this is garnered toward tourists, with the program’s daily rates posted at docking stations.
In the future, if there are fewer private vehicles in the city, the program will fully take off. For now, however, there may be growing pains - as in traffic accidents. This is a good idea, but the analyst in me just has no idea how it will work in the heavily congested parts of the city.