This is the latest installment in our spotlight series on StreetsPAC endorsed candidates.
In her 10 years in the City Council, Tish James has established a reputation as an outspoken crusader unafraid of seemingly lopsided battles. As Public Advocate, she pledges to use the powers of her office to ensure that the NYPD conducts full and complete crash investigations and holds dangerous drivers accountable for their actions, and will champion the expansion of complete-street projects, especially to disadvantaged neighborhoods that are all too often plagued by poor road design.
Letitia-Tish-James · @TishJames
StreetsPAC: What is the biggest transportation issues facing the city?
Tish James: The biggest transportation issue facing New York City is our public transportation system's not being able to meet the demand of commuters. Our transportation system is already operating at capacity and beyond. We need to increase capacity, especially as we work to make our City greener and safer. If we want to implement an effective plan that would reduce the number of vehicles in NYC, we need to have the infrastructure in place to meet the demand.
SP: How do you make the case to residents, community board members, and business owners that livable streets are good for the city?
TJ: Livable Streets are good for everyone; they help make our streets safe- less accidents involving pedestrians. And they change the landscape and character of a neighborhood, making it more inviting to foot traffic and bicycle riders. They're also good for local small businesses.
SP: What do you think New York City streets will look like four years from now? What about twenty years from now?
TJ: NYC streets will be less congested- less cars, more pedestrian plazas and more access to bike sharing. Public transportation will be revolutionized with NYC leading the way.
SP: You have been a big supporter of bike share. What has surprised you about the program so far?
TJ: Despite some hiccups leading to the kickoff to the bike share program – I have been surprised by the overwhelming participation. I am also amazed how many other neighborhoods in the outer boroughs want to participate in this program.
SP: What livable streets projects from the last five years would you like to see expanded, improved upon, or implemented in other neighborhoods?
TJ: I would like to see more Summer Streets and play streets programs in the outer boroughs to ensure that underserved and congested neighborhoods can have a breath of fresh air, free of vehicle emissions- even if it’s for a day or two. I would like to see more pedestrian plazas, and expansion of bike sharing programs.
SP: Everyone has a memorable story to tell about being on the subway. What's yours?
TJ: I like the art work displayed at several of our City's subway stations. I also like hearing the young talent providing music to subways riders at all hours of the day and night.