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  News and Updates


In January 2015, we were very saddened to learn of the death of Jean-Claude Baker, a much-beloved, long-time member of the vision42 Advisory Committee, and owner/impresario of Chez Josephine, the bustling bistro in Theater Row on Far West 42nd Street. It was named for Jean-Claude's unofficial foster mother, Josephine Baker, the scandalous dancer from St. Louis who set France afire in the 1920s. La Baker, who had served in France's Resistance during World War II, took in the 14-year old Jean-Claude as an unoffical addition to the twelve adopted children of her "rainbow tribe." He, in turn, fostered her twilight career and took her name. For nearly three decades, Jean-Claude, as a budding showman of his own, welcomed and entertained actors and other luminaries at his cafe. He was particularly looking forward to the realization of vision42 as a vast improvement to the environment of 42nd Street. He left instructions for Chez Josephine to stay open after his death, but he himself will be sorely missed.


On Tuesday, December 30, 2014, a forum took place at One Bryant Park which featured the members of one of the winning teams of the vision42 international urban design competition - KB Architecte, a French studio of highly experienced architects, landscape architects and urban deigners (Alfred Peter, Charles Bove, and Karen Bloch Listowsky) - together with some key New York City decision-makers. The purpose of the forum was to help acquaint the New Yorkers with the advantages, benefits, and beauty that can be achieved with urban light rail.


On Monday, November 17th, 2014 through Monday, January 5, 2015, there was a seven-week exhibition on 42nd Street in the Lobby of Four Times Square of the work of the four winning teams of an international urban design competition for vision42. See photos from the Exhibition here.


On Saturday, May 21, 2011, we took a group of some fifty New Yorkers on a study tour of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Line in New Jersey. The trip across the Hudson and back was made by ferry, courtesy of NY Waterway. We were hosted on the NJ side by engineers from URS Engineering, who provided a VIP light rail vehicle for the group and discussed how the LRT system was realized. This was a repeat of a similar trip that had been made in September 2008, and gave New Yorkers yet another opportunity to become familiar with this wonderful mode of travel.


We were saddened to learn of the death in November 2010 of one of our most distinguished Advisory Committee members, Theodore W. Kheel. Ted was a pre-eminent labor leader in New York from the 1950s through the 1980s, who was known for his extraordinary ability to achieve peace between fueding parties. Between 1956 and 1989 he served as arbitrator for the citywide transit authority, during which period he handled an average of 1,000 disputes a year. He was also a highly successful entrepreneur, and this allowed him to be active as a philanthropist. In the 1960s he headed the Ghandi Society for Human Rights, which helped the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King raise money for the civil rights movement. He continued his environmental pursuits in his 80s and 90s, when he founded Earth Pledge and Nurture New York's Nature, in which he was active until his death at the age of 96.


In May 2010, we were delighted to welcome actor Matthew Modine as the 42nd member of the vision42 Advisory Committee. Matthew has a keen sense of the humanitarian benefits and popular appeal of the vision42 proposal.


In April 2010, Roland Lewis, President & CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, became the 41st member of the vision42 Advisory Committee. He is particularly interested in the superior access that the light rail will offer the public to the Hudson and East River waterfronts.


The vision42 Advisory Committee contintues to grow. In December 2009 we were very pleased to welcome our 40th member, A. J. Pietrantone, Executive Director of the Friends of Hudson River Park, whose special interest in the project is the improved access to the park that will be offered by the light rail.


For the month of October 2009, Harry Couglan, President @ General Manager of Clear Channel/Spectracolor, graciously arranged to install in Times Square a billboard featuring vision42, as a public service announcement. The following month, we were very pleased to welcome Harry as the 39th member of the vision42 Advisory Committee.


In September 2009, we were pleased to welcome a new, 38th member of the vision42 Advisory Committee -- Jeffrey Katz, President & CEO of Sherwood Equities, Inc., a major NYC-based real estate company. Jeffrey is especially interested in the ultimate extension of vision42 beyond 42nd Street to create a continuous two-way loop with 34th Street.


Resolution Passed by CB5: A resolution passed by Community Board Five, dated December 12, 2003, urged that the City seriously study and consider vision42 and other proposals for improving crosstown surface transit and the pedestrian environment. This resolution was sent to the City Council and to the Manhattan Borough President.
:: Read the Resolution


vision42 Highlighted in Several Newspaper Articles and Electronic Newsletters: On August 9, 2002, the Regional Plan Association's Spotlight on the Region published a lively and favorable article on vision42 by Alex Marshall, which noted that "...(t)he cars on 42nd Street carry little economic freight; New York needs more crosstown mass transit; and making 42nd Street pedestrian would compliment Times Square's new role as a family-oriented, tourist center." The September 2, 2002 issue of Carfree Times also featured an article describing the vision42 proposal.  And following our April 18, 2005 Informational Forum, there has been quite a flurry of newspaper articles on the proposal.
:: Read the Articles



Posted: 06/11/2004


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On August 10, 2008, the vision42 proposal was presented to the Annual Convention of the American Bar Association, at a well-attended session of the Section of Public Contract Law.  There was considerable interest in the extension of the line to create a continuous two-way light rail loop with 34th Street, as well as in the project’s projected annual economic and fiscal benefits, and in its potential for development as a public-private partnership.

If you'd like to learn more about vision42, its traffic impacts, its costs, and its (tremendous) economic potential, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the key findings of the vision42 Technical Studies, as well as the full reports - all available on this website.