# 3: I Don’t Drive
Robert Moses (December 18, 1888 - July 29, 1981), arguably the most powerful municipal official in New York history, also gave the city the congested Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the choked Bruckner, and Cross Bronx expressways, and the jampacked Tri-Borough and Verrazano bridges.
Over a 44-year career, he built more than 400 miles of highways and 13 bridges that bulldozed through slums and vibrant neighborhoods alike. A new book even blames him for driving baseball’s beloved Dodgers out of Brooklyn.
But traffic jams were not Moses’s only legacy. He was the force behind such well-received projects as the United Nations building and plaza, the Lincoln Center arts complex, the New York Coliseum, and more than 600 city playgrounds. He virtually invented the idea of state parks; perhaps his finest is the seaside wonderland of Jones Beach on Long Island, whose wide stretches of sand have beckoned sweltering city dwellers for years.
But Moses is also blamed for having destroyed more than a score of neighborhoods by building 13 expressways across New York City and by building large urban renewal projects with little regard for the urban fabric or for human scale.
Yet, for all the highways built, bridges that spanned hitherto; he never drove a car or had a driver’s license.