Bloomberg's Choice of Travel Is Questioned

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By David W. Chen, New York Times

In hindsight, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg acknowledged, grudgingly, on Friday, taking a helicopter flight from Manhattan to New Jersey to catch a U2 concert may not have been the most environmentally friendly way to travel.

Especially since Mr. Bloomberg had events on Thursday and Friday that were meant to burnish his environmental record.

On Thursday, Mr. Bloomberg, joined by former Vice President Al Gore, unveiled a program to paint rooftops white to reduce energy usage. On Friday, the mayor promoted a plan to offer energy-efficiency tips to 1,000 superintendents and building managers.

So using a helicopter to travel roughly five miles doesn't seem to be a very "green" choice.

"I suppose you could say that, but you know, there's other ways to get around and there are different ways of -- some are more energy efficient,'' Mr. Bloomberg told reporters. "I could have walked and swum across the rivers as well. That would have used less."

Mr. Bloomberg had wanted to watch part of U2's show at the Meadowlands so he could say hello to his friend and fellow celebrity philanthropist, Bono, whom he honored in March by renaming West 53rd Street "U2 Way."

Stu Loeser, Mr. Bloomberg's chief spokesman, explained that the mayor was trying not to waste time. He had just wrapped up an event with Leonel Fernandez, the president of the Dominican Republic, in Washington Heights, and determined that, given the hour (8:25 p.m.) and the traffic, it would have been difficult for him to make it to the Meadowlands in a timely fashion. Hence the air route.

Mr. Bloomberg, who was accompanied by his companion, Diana Taylor, ended up making it in time for most of the show, Mr. Loeser said.

News of Mr. Bloomberg's travel plans prompted a response from New York Waterway, which operates 34 commuter ferries on 18 routes between the city and New Jersey.

"Don't swim; take the ferry," Arthur E. Imperatore, the company's chief executive, urged Mr. Bloomberg. "We would be honored to take Mayor Bloomberg on a NY Waterway ferry any time he needs to travel between New York and New Jersey."

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on September 25, 2009 9:38 PM.

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