No single reason can explain why New York needed more than 30 years to finalize a transportation plan for a 30-mile long corridor. The saga was too complicated to blame a single person, institution, or factor for the state’s failures.

Year after year, decade after decade, seven different factors worked together in an insidious way to thwart New York’s efforts. Conveniently, these factors form an acronym—FAILURE.

Funding that was insufficient

Adverse goals

Interagency conflict

Lack of leadership

Uncertainty about the alternatives

Regulations that were onerous

Expectations that were unrealistic