Page images
PDF
EPUB

crowding of all the lines in Brooklyn to a point characterized by impartial observers as an “intense” overloading and causing highly brutalizing congestion of people upon its cars, especially outraging the decencies of life so far as women were concerned.

The foregoing followed upon an increasing of the congestion of the traveling public due to the installation on August 1, 1919 of 970 new transfer charge points on the surface lines in Brooklyn, and a separation on October 19, 1919, of about 60 per cent of the surface line facilities from the former B. R. T. system. This increased congestion came about by reason of passengers rerouting themselves to avoid or keep at a minimum the number of new and added five-cent fares or two-cent transfer charges to be met with in traveling to and from their homes and places of business.

Throughout the greater city there has been a duplication of these conditions. First, that of abandoned lines and breaches of contract obligation by the companies involved. Second, increasing of congestion of traffic due to the unscrambling of former systems into constituent companies. Third, the adding of all this to previously existing intense overloading. Fourth, no attempt on the part of the companies to keep pace with the increase of population in the matter of adding to the number of cars operated. This has been true particularly in the Boroughs of Manhattan and Richmond where companies have completely abandoned operation of lines in whole or in part.

All of these conditions were co-existent with demands for increased fares. The lack of justification has been demonstrated by investigations into the operations and finances of the various companies. And it has been further revealed by the operation of these motor bus lines that the people served by them can be furnished with adequate transportation on a five-cent fare basis with reasonable profit.

The dislocation and disturbance of transit conditions that will result from a complete suspension of motor bus facilities now in operation in the City of New York, is evidenced by the number of people using them. It is estimated that almost 400,000 passengers use these bus lines daily as a matter of necessity.

The need for immediate action arising because of the vast number of people whose rights and convenience are affected is revealed by the number of users and the multitudinous demands for the continuance of these motor bus lines made upon the officials of the City of New York by delegations from all parts of the city affected and through the medium of innumerable communications from similar sources, but for the further reason that conditions tending to public disorder and actually resulting in public disorder cannot be permitted to again spring into being.

Making grants of franchises to private operators in an endeavor to procure adequate and proper transit facilities through privately owned companies exercising these franchises has been a failure. That method of solving the problem, present and past experience demonstrates to be insufficient. Attempting to use that method of solving the problem results in the undesirable division of responsibility between State officials and City officials. The problem is exclusively a local one. It concerns exclusively the local people and the local officials whom they elected to serve them and whom as a practical fact they hold responsible.

I have studied the transit situation in this city and in the course thereof have found that the greatest obstacle in the way of proper transit facilities in this city has been due to the franchises which have been held by corporations destitute of any desire or intention to perform their contract obligations to furnish adequate service to the people from whom they have received their grants in the City of New York. After careful thought I have come to the conclusion that the only effective way to proceed in the future development of transit in this city is to proceed along municipal ownership and operation of lines, particularly of motor bus lines.

With all these facts brought specifically to its attention, it is unthinkable that the Legislature will withhold the needed power in the municipality to prevent a recurrence of the foregoing conditions that the stopping of the bus lines will give rise to.

I am constrained, therefore, to call upon you to end the doubt as to the City's power and to convene the Legislature at the earliest time possible under the Constitution and request it to enact a specific statute authorizing the City of New York to municipally own and operate motor bus lines generally in such parts of the City as there is necessity therefor.

Yours respectfully, (Signed)

JOHN F. HYLAN, Mayor.

Recommending Amendment to Finance Law so as to Permit
. Sale of Temporary Notes at the Lowest Rate of Interest
Obtainable
STATE OF NEW YORK — EXECUTIVE CHAMBER

Albany, September 20, 1920 To the Legislature (in Extraordinary Session):

I am in receipt of a letter from the Honorable Eugene M. Travis, State Comptroller, of which the following is a copy:

September 20, 1920. Hon. ALFRED E. Smith, Governor, State of New York, Executive Chamber,

Albany, N. Y.: My Dear Governor.— I respectfully call your attention to the enclosed bill amending section 14 of the State Finance Law, and would urge that you submit it to the extra session of the Legislature with the recommendation that it be passed for the following reasons :

Under the law, as it now stands, the Comptroller can only issue temporary notes, in anticipation of the sale of bonds, at a rate of interest not to exceed 5 per cent. This amendment authorizes these notes to be issued at the least rate obtainable. The funds derived from the sale of Barge Canal Terminal and Highway bonds have become exhausted, and for several months it has been necessary to finance the estimates payable on contracts in force from the proceeds of temporary loans issued in anticipation of the sale of long term bonds authorized by the referendums. Over $4,000,000.00 of such loans have been taken by the sinking and trust funds of the State, as authorized by law, but all of the cash in these funds has now been borrowed and it will be necessary for the Comptroller to sell these notes in the open market to provide the necessary money to meet these payments.

The best judgment of prominent financiers is that it would be impossible for the State to sell long term bonds at par at 41/2 per cent under the present condition of the money market and that it would be for the best interests of the State that short term notes be sold until such time as the permanent bonds can be disposed of.

At it would be impossible to sell these short term notes to bear 5 per cent interest, the rate now authorized by law, it is important that this amendment be passed at this session of the Legislature.

Very truly yours,

EUGENE M. TRAVIS, Comptroller.

By J. A. WENDELL, Deputy Comptroller. I recommend that section 14 of the State Finance Law be amended to permit the sale of temporary notes at the lowest rate of interest obtainable, as suggested by the Comptroller in the foregoing communication.

(Signed) ALFRED E. SMITH.

Recommending Amendment to Greater New York Charter so

as to Provide Adequate School Accommodations; also to
Authorize the Amount of $12,000,000 for Payment of
Extraordinary Expenses Due to Increased Cost of Materials
and Supplies
STATE OF New YORK — EXECUTIVE CHAMBER

Albany, September 20, 1920 To the Legislature (in Extraordinary Session):

I am in receipt of a letter from the President of the Board of Education of the City of New York, the Superintendent of Schools and the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York in relation to the construction of schools for school purposes, a copy of which is as follows:

September 20, 1920. To the Governor:

There is an acute situation with respect to the number of school sittings in the city of New York. There has been congestion for a number of years which resulted in the adoption of what is called the “part time" system of schooling, and as a supplementary measure the adoption of what is called the “double session" plan. Both of these plans, “part time," and “ double session," mean that one school sitting must accommodate two children.

There are at present in our schools 86,277 children on part time. There are also over 140,000 children on the double session plan. Approximately it would take 50 buildings, housing 2,000 children each, to remedy the situation, and at a cost of $50,000,000.

The unprecedented registration of this fall of over 18,638 increase is a sign of a greater congestion in the future if this emergency is not recognized.

Moreover, the passage of the continuation school law of 1919 (Chapter 531 of the Laws of 1919) makes it mandatory on the part of the city of New York to provide accommodation for 200,000 employed children within the next few years.

The buildings for the accommodation of these children must be begun at once if the provisions of that statute are to be complied with by the city. Building operations of a magnitude sufficient to cope with this situation cannot be undertaken unless the restrictions imposed by the “pay as you go" policy are removed. (Signed) ANNING S. PRALL,

President, Board of Education, (Signed) WILLIAM L. ETTINGER, Superintendent of Schools, City and School Districts of New York. (Signed) JOHN P. O'BRIEN,

Corporation Counsel.

Buca

[ocr errors]

I recommend an amendment to the Greater New York Charter that will except the erection of school buildings and the acquisition of sites for the same from the provisions of subdivision 9 of section 1669 of the Greater New York Charter.

I also call your attention to a recommendation of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York asking for an amendment to subdivision 8 of section 188 of the Greater New York Charter, and recommend that such an amendment be passed :

II – 10

September 20, 1920. To the Governor:

At the first session of the Legislature of 1920, by the provisions of chapter 729 of the Laws of 1920, subdivision 8, section 188 of the Greater New York Charter was amended so as to provide that, in the year 1920, $7,000,000 of special revenue bonds might be issued to provide for the payment of expenses authorized by the concurrent votè of all of the members of the Board of Estimate and three-fourths of all of the Members of the Board of Aldermen. The $5,000,000 thus authorized in addition to the regular Charter provision was thought sufficient to meet and provide for the payment of all of the additional expenses made necessary by the increased cost of living and supplies due to the war. Since that bill has taken effect it has been found that the amount authorized is far too little to meet the extraordinary expenses which have become necessary for the balance of the year 1920 in the administration of the various departments of the City of New York. So that, out of the aforesaid conditions, there are deficits confronting the municipal administration of the various departments, which, if not supplied at once, will result in a condition where some of the departments may cease to function. This will create a deplorable situation, particularly in the Ambulance Service, which must have an additional $30,000; the Child Welfare Department which must have $450.000; the Health Department which lacks $171,189; the Bellevue and Allied Hospitals which need $149,731 ; the Fire Department which needs $96,000; the Public Welfare Department which needs $202,500, and the Street Cleaning Department which must have $1,015,000. These are a few of the largest and most pressing needs which must be met before the close of 1920.

Added to the foregoing demands are the care of highways and public places and various unforeseen expenses in the office of the Borough Presidents, which will consume amounts at the present time unknown but which will amount in the aggregate to a large sum of money.

These expenses are due to the increased cost of materials and supplies, and are to a considerable extent due to legislation passed at the 1919 session of the Legislature. They were unknown and unforeseen when such legislation was passed and when the amendment to subdivision 8, section 188 of the Greater New York Charter was adopted by the present session of the Legislature. Otherwise a sufficient sum would have been set forth in the a foresaid amendment of 1920.

In the light of the information in the hands of the Finance Department at the time of the amendment of 1920 to section 188 of the Greater New York Charter was adopted by the present Legislature, the $5,000,000 increase was considered ample to meet all demands, but that sum has now been used up and another $5,000,000 very nearly consumed in necessary expenses, and extraordinary expenditures for the coming year.

Hence, on account of the emergency now existing, it is asked that a further amendment to subdivision 8, section 188 of the Greater New York Charter be passed by the Extraordinary Session of the Legislature, authorizing for the year 1920 the amount of $12,000,000 to provide for the payment of expenses to be authorized by the unanimous action of the Board of Estimate and concurred in by three-fourths of all of the members of the Board of Aldermen.

(Signed) JOHN P. O'BRIEN, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.

(Signed) ALFRED E. SMITH.

III

PART I VETO MESSAGES

[ 291 )

« PreviousContinue »