This is the latest installment in our spotlight series on StreetsPAC endorsed candidates.
Councilmember Dan Garodnick helped bring complete streets to First and Second Avenues in Midtown, serves as point person in the New York City Council for the plan to fill the midtown gap in the East River Greenway, and is a staunch advocate for transportation upgrades as a necessary part of any Midtown East rezoning. In a third term on the Council, he will support an extension of the bike-share program to his own district and especially to areas with limited public transit access. He plans to evaluate Fifth and Sixth Avenues from a complete-streets perspective, to identify potential improvements in the pedestrian experience, transportation options and quality of life.
StreetsPAC: What is the biggest transportation issue facing your district?
Dan Garodnick: We have a number of transportation issues in my Council district -- starting with congestion on our streets, and in our subway system. That is why I voted in support of congestion pricing, and why I have been an advocate for the Second Avenue Subway and Select Bus Service on First and Second Avenues. In consideration of the mayor's proposal to rezone midtown Manhattan, we also need to take steps to improve access to the Lexington Avenue line, to improve pedestrian flow and thereby reduce platform congestion, and to allow more trains to pass through each hour.
SP: How do you make the case to residents, community board members, and business owners that livable streets are good for the district?
DG: We all want streets that allow for a variety of methods of travel. It is important for our quality of life, and also for safety. In my district, I've worked hand in hand with the community board to redesign our streets so that cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians can travel harmoniously.
SP: What do you think New York City streets will look like four years from now? What about twenty years from now?
DG: I hope we'll see more select bus service, and a dynamic network that will allow New Yorkers to traverse the City on foot, bicycle or car and make public transit connections -- including ferries -- with ease.
SP: What are some of the best places to visit by bike in your neighborhood?
DG: We are putting the pieces in place to create a continuous greenway along the East River between 38th and 60th Streets. That will easily be the best place to visit by bike in my neighborhood. Until that is done, Central Park is still the reigning champion.
SP: What street in your neighborhood/district do you think is a model for what you'd like to see elsewhere?
DG: We are in the process of converting an underused street-- Asser Levy Place between 23rd and 25th Streets-- into a city park. I hope it will be a great model of transforming a space for cars into a space for people to enjoy the outdoors.
SP: Everyone has a memorable story to tell about being on the subway. What's yours?
DG: I prefer to keep my subway experiences not at all memorable.