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