This is the first installment in our spotlight series on StreetsPAC endorsed candidates.
After a great night petitioning together in Harlem, read a writeup here, StreetsPAC spoke to Vince Morgan about the transportation issues facing the new 9th Council District and his vision for the city.
StreetsPAC: What is the biggest transportation issue facing your district?
Vince Morgan: The biggest transportation issue facing my district is the extreme congestion along 125th Street. As a center of commerce and a transportation hub we must do more to alleviate the gridlock and promote public transportation changes that makes travel along 125th easier and safer. Related to this issue is the excessively high number of commuters that drive into the Harlem community daily to park their cars and then take public transportation downtown.
SP: How do you make the case to residents, community board members, and business owners that livable streets are good for the district?
VM: I believe everyone instinctually understands that livable streets are good for community building and in turn good for business. But, like everything else there is an education process and a commitment that we must all make to show up and become involved so that we can understand the "how" of what needs to be done to keep our streets safe, clean and livable. To often, good initiatives are stifled because of misinformation.
SP: What do you think New York City streets will look like four years from now? What about twenty years from now?
VM: In four years, I hope to see fewer cars and trucks and smaller fuel efficient vehicles. I also hope to see more bike lanes and more respect for those lanes from cars and trucks. In twenty years we should be in a city where every vehicle on the road is a streamlined, fuel efficient necessity and our public transportation system is modernized and properly funded.
SP: What are some of the best places to visit by bike in your neighborhood?
VM: There is so much to see in Harlem by bike, try a tour up St. Nicholas Avenue from 110th Street up to Hamilton Grange National Memorial on 141st Street in St. Nicholas Park.
SP: What street in your neighborhood/district do you think is a model for what you'd like to see elsewhere?
VM: I just love Lenox Avenue in Harlem, it's an amazing mix of old architecture, old and new restaurants and so much history between 110th and 135th. Central Park, Sylvia's Red Rooster, The Schomburg Center and much much more. For now it has the right balance of new development and neighborhood histrory, and I hope it stays that way. It is truly the place to get your Harlem Stroll on.
SP: Everyone has a memorable story to tell about being on the subway. What's yours?
VM: I like every New Yorker have too many memorable experiences on the subway to mention, some bad, some funny, some just plain disturbing. As a father of two small children I am always amazed at peoples generosity with me and my kids. Just recently and older gentleman insisted that we take his seat and then gave my son an autographed baseball card. It made his day and mine.