Bloomberg to visit all five boroughs on farewell tour
If you thought Mayor Michael Bloomberg was going to phone it in during his last weeks in office, think again.
With 15 days left in his third and final term, Bloomberg announced Monday that he will be going on a farewell tour across the five boroughs, where he will tout his administration's accomplishments and successes in each area.
Political experts say this move not only aims to promote Bloomberg's legacy but gives New Yorkers a chance to express their thoughts about the administration's policies.
"Bloomberg has done so many new things during his tenure as mayor that it doesn't surprise me that he would tack on a new tradition," political consultant Andrew William Moesel said. "He's not going on a victory lap for his own edification, but because he believes so strongly in his principles."
The details of the mayor's tour, which begins Tuesday, haven't been revealed, but his office said he will take a ceremonial ride Friday on the No. 7 train to the line's future new stop at 34th Street and 11th Avenue. That station, which the mayor got city financing for, is slated to open next June.
Bloomberg, who will be running a nonprofit consultant group that will give policy advice to municipalities around the world, launched a website, progress.mike bloomberg.com, detailing the progress the city has made in the last 12 years.
From crime reduction and job growth to new zoning regulations and health initiatives, the site shows off all of the facts and figures in maps, charts and other images.
George Arzt, a political insider who worked with former Mayor Ed Koch for years, said Bloomberg's years of experience would be a powerful tool for any city to use and the farewell tour and website will give interested municipalities a firsthand look into the fruits of his labor.
"It's a very effective visual," he said. "He ends with a pretty high performance rating and I think people will look back kindly on the mayor."
Christina Greer, an assistant professor of political science at Fordham University, agreed. Although the mayor took some hits during his tenure for some of his more controversial issues -- like overturning term limits, stop and frisk and the defeated ban on big sodas -- his approval ratings never dipped below percentages in the 40s.
"It is interesting because he has been accused of being the mayor of Manhattan and a few blocks in Brooklyn. Now he can show that he has been interested in the outer boroughs," she said.
Greer added that Bloomberg will also use the time to gauge New Yorkers' needs and their opinions on his policies. Lee Miringoff, director of Marist Institute polling, said he doesn't think Bloomberg's critics will resort to tomato throwing.
"It has not been a love-hate relationship, it's been a like-dislike. He doesn't arouse extremes in terms of people's reaction to him. They're not hot and cold, they're sort of lukewarm," he said.