City Council Testimony on Congestion; Questionnaire Deadline Extended; Carlos Menchaca Fundraiser

StreetsPAC Testifies at City Council Transportation Hearing on Traffic Congestion

This past Monday, the City Council's Committee on Transportation held an oversight hearing on ways that New York City can effectively address traffic congestion, and we were there to testify.

The big news from the hearing was the contention by Move New York lead organizer Alex Matthiessen and NYU Law School Professor Roderick Hills, summarized nicely in this Gothamist story from Emma Whitford, that New York City can implement a "home rule" version of the congestion-pricing plan without approval from Albany. New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg contended that city attorneys disagree, but several attorneys and law professors signed a letter to Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez arguing that deference to the state is unfounded.

The home rule version of the plan, if enacted, would be Move New York-light, with $2.75 tolls charged on the East River bridges and along a river-to-river cordon at 60th Street in Manhattan. Supporters believe that it would generate about $1 billion in annual toll revenue, and help fund initiatives like Fair Fares, Citi Bike expansion and improved service in the city's transit deserts.

Our testimony focused on things that City Hall and NYC DOT could do right now to alleviate congestion, including charging smarter (read: higher) prices for curbside parking, reforming placard parking, implementing HOV restrictions on the East River bridges, giving priority to buses on city streets, tackling the exploding growth in ride-hailing services, and better managing truck deliveries.

You can read our complete testimony here.

City Council Questionnaire Deadline Extended! 

We've already received dozens of responses to our 2017 questionnaire for candidates for City Council, and due to the level of interest, we've decided to extend the deadline to complete the survey until this Friday, June 9. If you're interested in being considered for our endorsement, but haven't yet received the questionnaire, please click here for more info and to request a link.

And for those of you who've already submitted your responses, thank you! You'll be hearing from us soon regarding next steps.

Fundraiser for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Wednesday, June 21, 6:30 p.m.

CarlosMenchaca.pngDoug Gordon, whom many of you may know better by his nom de tweet and blog, Brooklyn Spoke, is hosting a fundraiser later this month for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and we've agreed to sign on as co-hosts.

Carlos represents District 38 in Brooklyn (Sunset Park, Red Hook, and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Carroll Gardens, Dyker Heights, Gowanus, Greenwood, South Slope, and Windsor Terrace), and has been a staunch advocate for safe-streets policies from his first day in the City Council. Furthermore, as Doug writes, Carlos's "work extends to so many more issues that are of huge importance right now. Whether it's immigration, equality, workers' rights, or open government, he's on the right side every time."

Here are the details:

Carlos Menchaca Fundraiser
Wednesday, June 21
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
309 2nd Street #1B
Brooklyn, NY 11215

The minimum ask for the fundraiser is just $25. It's a low sum, designed to encourage as many people as possible to attend, especially anyone who might not have the resources to otherwise get involved. Of course, we urge you to give more if you can, and any amount up to $175 will be matched $6-to-$1 by the NYC Campaign Finance Program.

If you'd like to join us, and we hope that you will, there's a public Facebook event page here at which you can RSVP. 

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StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.