What 2013 has in store for New Yorkers
1. New mayor takes city reins
Brace yourselves for the inevitable shock of a new mayor for the first time in 12 years, and a mayoral race that is sure to be, if not action-packed, candidate-packed. The list of maybe-contenders continues to grow, with Sal Albanese and Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon throwing their hats in the already-crowded ring with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, former comptroller Bill Thompson, and City Comptroller John Liu. We’re still waiting on confirmation from Joe Lhota, who stepped down as MTA Chairman to “explore” a possible mayoral run, and supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis told the NY Times he’ll decide on his run in February.
2. New Yorkers displaced by Sandy may return home
Many lower Manhattan residents are still shut out of their powerless buildings several months after Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc on the area. Residents at one building, 2 Gold Street, were given an estimated return date of March 1.
3. Big gulps no more
Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial large soda ban will take effect on March 12.
4. MTA fare hike shocker
The next MTA fare hike will also hit New Yorkers in March, bumping the base fare up from $2.25 to $2.50, and a monthly unlimited from $104 to $112.
5. Cell phone calls from the subway
Transit Wireless, the company that aims to provide cellular service to 227 subway stations across the city, anticipates expansion of its pilot program to 30 stations in the first quarter of the new year, targeting heavily-used stations, like Times Square, Columbus Circle, and Rockefeller Center.
6. Bike share hits the street
The Department of Transportation has promised the Citi Bike program will launch in May, providing 5,500 bikes at nearly 300 locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bike program is sponsored by Citi Bank and Master Card and is expected to not use any taxpayer funding and actually bring in revenue to the city.
7. Knicks aim for championship
Chances seem good for Knicks as a serious contender for this season’s title — if their performance thus far is any indication, Madison Square Garden could be rocking in June.
8. Baseball’s best gather for All-Star Game
The Mets are hosting this year’s MLB All-Star Game for the first time since 1964, in their new home at Citi Field mid-July.
9. NY Marathon back in action
Many of the disappointed would-be runners from last year’s cancelled marathon may take the New York Road Runners up on their offer of a guaranteed spot to take place on November 3.
10. Field of one in comptroller race
Chances seem high that current Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer will win the election for city comptroller in November, if he continues to run a decidedly successful race against no one.
11. NYC becomes #1 tech capital
The City’s growing Tech Sector will continue to do just that in 2013. The new Cornell University and Technion technology school on Roosevelt Island is only the latest in a series of initiatives started by the city with a stated desire of “increase the probability that the next high growth company — a Google, Amazon, or Facebook — will emerge in New York City and not in Shanghai, Mumbai, or Sao Paolo,” a probability that may come to fruition in this new year.
12. Possible subway barriers (but probably not)
2012 set a record high over the past five years for fatal subway accidents. While the possibility of installing “platform edge barriers” has been floated before — MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told the Daily News in February 2011 that the authority was considering the option — the MTA has consistently insisted that the “varied station designs” and “differences in door positions” on subway cars make the effort prohibitively expensive and daunting. However, after two deaths in the month of December alone, the authority said, “in light of recent tragic events, [they] will consider the options for testing such equipment on a limited basis.”
13. Bloomberg looks to holster NRA
While Mayor Bloomberg is set to leave the stage as New York’s Mayor it is doubtful that he will pass his baton as one of the most outspoken proponents of gun control in the country. In addition, Council Speaker and current Mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn has already publicly called NRA leader Wayne LaPierre’s call for armed guards in schools “asinine,” according to reports from Capital New York.