This is the latest installment in our spotlight series on StreetsPAC endorsed candidates.
John Mancuso, Council District 50, Staten Island
John Mancuso, a Captain in the Auxiliary Police from South Beach, plans to focus on improving Staten Island's transportation infrastructure. His most urgent priority is to transform dangerous thoroughfares like Hylan Boulevard into high-performance complete streets that safely accommodate more users. He'll champion construction of a pedestrian and cyclist path on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, in order to add transportation options, improve disaster preparedness, and boost tourism to Staten Island. He will also work to keep cars out of parks and reform New York City's dysfunctional bridge-tolling system to equalize fares across all of NYC's bridges.
StreetsPAC: What is the biggest transportation issue facing your district?
John Mancuso: Lack of reasonable transportation options. Buses are often lodged in traffic congestion, causing major delays and headache for all. In the council, I will fight for increased select bus service along major corridors, fast ferry service from the East Shore and additional park-and-rides to get commuters off the roads.
SP: How do you make the case to residents, community board members, and business owners that livable streets are good for the district?
JM: I would state the facts. Livable streets are safer for all, better for business and more sustainable in the long run.
SP: What do you think New York City streets will look like four years from now? What about twenty years from now?
JM: What happens over the next four years is crucial to the future of New York City streets. We need to strengthen traffic enforcement and expand the speed camera program to ensure not one more innocent life is lost at the hands of a reckless driver. This will be our biggest task and essential to a truly livable city. Aside from eliminating traffic fatalities, I expect to see citi bike expanded to all 5 boroughs, increased select bus service and more ways to get around via New York's waterways.
SP: What are some of the best places to visit by bike in your neighborhood?
JM: Ft. Wadsworth and the East Shore boardwalk - two of Staten Island's gems!
SP: What street in your neighborhood/district do you think is a model for what you'd like to see elsewhere?
JM: Hylan Blvd has come a long way, but still requires a lot more work. Select Bus Service runs along its entirety all the way into Bay Ridge. This line has been a success and I would like to see the service expanded throughout the borough. Other recent improvements include: delayed lights, giving pedestrians more time to safely cross, countdown clocks, no left turns and smart light technology. If elected, I will work toward turning Hylan Blvd into a complete street. Reducing its highway-like structure and adding pedestrian islands will limit reckless driving and make the boulevard safer for all. I would also like to see protected bike lanes installed as there is heavy bike traffic.
SP: Everyone has a memorable story to tell about being on the subway. What's yours?
JM: Sitting next to Phillip Seymour Hoffman on the 1 train!