This is the latest installment in our spotlight series on StreetsPAC endorsed candidates.
"I forgot how wonderful it is to use a bike to get around," enthused Ede Fox after a StreetsPAC-guided ride around her district. "Everyone has a right to be safe on every public street, regardless of how they get around." Fox will push to tame speeding on major thoroughfares like Atlantic, Park and Bedford Avenues, and will advocate for MTA service restoration and expansion of express-bus service. She will support Vanderbilt Avenue-style treatments on other avenues to increase safety, build community and spur economic activity. Fox knows she has big livable-streets shoes to fill in those of current 35th district Councilmember Tish James, but pledges that she's up to the challenge.
StreetsPAC: What is the biggest transportation issue facing your district?
Ede Fox: Lack of reliable bus service and cuts to valuable bus lines. For those with disabilities and the seniors not close to a train station this is particularly a problem. I would advocate for more frequent bus service and will push for the expansion of bus rapid transit. In addition, truck traffic through Brooklyn, especially on small residential streets is a concern. I believe it is time to review the truck routes map and consider what the best routes are.
SP: How do you make the case to residents, community board members, and business owners that livable streets are good for the district?
EF: I think we all know that livable streets are good for our district. Every time a pedestrian is killed, a car/bike crash happens, or we’re stuck in traffic, we understand that livable streets are important. The question of how to communicate change is what’s at issue. I think we need to have more communication with DOT and Community Boards, Merchants Associations and residents so that all voices are heard and opinions taken into consideration before decisions are made. In fact, many business owners on Brooklyn Community Board 8 have said slower traffic and bike lanes increase foot traffic and ultimately their sales so they aren’t necessarily at odds with safe streets. I would work with DOT, the CBs and Merchant Associations/BIDs to have regular meetings to address concerns and changes on an ongoing basis.
SP: What do you think New York City streets will look like four years from now? What about twenty years from now?
EF: In four years I expect to see more bike lanes, more sidewalk extensions and more street plazas. I don’t know what our streets will look like, but I’ll tell you what I’d like to see. More bus only lanes, bus rapid transit extensively throughout the district and loading/unloading zones so we don't see double parking. I’d also like to see a much more extensive network of separated bike lanes with their own system of traffic lights so less adventurous bicyclists will feel safer. I’d also like to see the DMV test amended to include questions about bicyclists so new drivers will be more cognizant that they are sharing the road.
SP: What are some of the best places to visit by bike in your neighborhood?
EF: I think the best place to bike is the Eastern Parkway Greenway. It’s utterly beautiful, nicely shaded and has a timeless quality that I love.
SP: What street in your neighborhood/district do you think is a model for what you'd like to see elsewhere?
EF: Eastern Parkway is a great model for what could be done on Atlantic Avenue. We need to slow traffic on Atlantic and what better way to do it than a greenway, service roads and better timed lights.
SP: Everyone has a memorable story to tell about being on the subway. What's yours?
EF: When I was a kid my mom, a natural born worrier, worked for the MTA and was always telling me horror stories about kids killed while subway surfing or “tagging” in tunnels. I let it go in one ear and out the other until a friend of mine’s fiancé was running, jumped the turnstile and wasn’t able to slow down enough to keep from running right off the very narrow subway platform into the path of the oncoming train. His gruesome death always reminds me that we have a powerful transportation system and it’s not a toy. I shudder when I see people standing on the yellow line looking to see if the train’s coming.
Want to know more about Ede? Join us at our meet and greet Tuesday 8/27, 7pm at the Red Lantern, 345 Myrtle Ave. RSVP at our facebook event here!