With sadness I read of the death of Jane Jacobs. Author, of course, of "The Death and Life of Great American Cities", and the bane of Robert Moses.
As she wrote:
Look at what (they) have built... Low-income centers that have become worse centers of delinquency, vandalism and general social hopelessness than the slums that they were supposed to replace… Cultural centers that are unable to support a good bookstore. Civic centers that are avoided by everyone but bums… Promenades that go from no place to nowhere and have no promenaders. Expressways that eviscerate great cities. This is not the rebuilding of cities. This is the sacking of cities.
The Times makes the case today that the pendulum has swung perhaps too far, in the direction of paralysis, but I agree that she didn't want all things stopped, just bad things. I hope to be riding the 2nd Avenue Subway without the need for the ADA-compliant features I no doubt know it will possess, so call me an optimist.
Next time you walk through SoHo, remember to thank her and the others, who Moses decried as "nobody but a bunch of mothers", for the elevated highway that isn't running through the middle of it. Rest in peace, Jane Jacobs.