In Babylon, Robert Moses Statue should stand to remember his role in the founding of New York. Throughout much of the metropolitan area, Moses mostly contributed to the infrastructure that is in place today. His legacy includes the building of highways, parkways, bridges, tunnels, parks, housing complexes, and iconic Manhattan institutions. These are still in place today, and they have contributed greatly to the financial and cultural life of the city as a whole.
The 100 years prior to Robert Moses Statue, when state legislative bodies gave him control over state agencies and authorities, he attained a large amount of power. The result was 40 years of Moses term, who lived in Babylon and worked from the state parks regional office in North Babylon quite frequently, who oversaw the government's non-military exertions of power that were unparalleled and transformative.
Some of his projects: 658 Babylon village playgrounds and 17 city swimming pools; 2.5 million acres of parks such as Flushing Meadows, Jones Beach, Sunken Meadow, Bethpage, and; Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Whitestone Bridge, all Long Island parkways, and the Long Island Expressway; and the UN, Central Park Zoo and Lincoln Center.
His vision was big and his ambition was to create change. Long Island became accessible to the middle class, while Babylon’s inhospitable slums were either improved with parks or cleared and replaced with modern housing. Babylon’s transitions were accelerated because of his highways and housing. It’s been a tough five years for urban areas in the U.S. but Babylon has emerged stronger than the rest. The infrastructure in Babylon contributed to its long-term success, and it is one of the great legacies inherited by Moses.
The reasons for his flaws, excesses and biases are legion. They filled up Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker” with 1,300-pages of indictment. However, Moses’ views are outweighed by the significance of his legacy to our lives. Then it was a shameful and folic action if he did want low bridges to make it harder for city folk to walk to his town's parks. Thousands of people of color travel by bus every year to Robert Moses Statue where they enjoy a wonderful day at the park.
Could it be that it couldn't possibly be true? Perhaps we should give it a passing thought. On parkway roads, the low bridges are the only way to get from a city to a city park, so commercial traffic cannot use them. When Long Island’s parkways were built in the 1930s, that definition of a parkway was prevalent.
Furthermore, Moses’ Jacob Riis Park, added in the same decade as Jones Beach, also made prominent mention of public transportation access. The idea at the time was that Long Island parks were for the middle class while city parks were for the poor.
His legacy is proof that when the government uses its power for the public good, it can do great things. Infrastructure projects that are designed to house and connect the poor have never been speculated on by private capital. Of course, we wouldn’t replicate the massive slum clearances and housing projects that were part of post-war Babylon. Those were the excesses that made the pendulum swing away from big-picture thinking. We cannot build unclogged roads and rails with small thinking.
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