StreetsPAC today announced its fourth round of candidate endorsements for New York City’s September primary election, backing longtime livable-streets supporter Gale Brewer for Manhattan Borough President, sitting Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez for additional terms, and Ede Fox and Chris Banks in highly competitive Council races in Brooklyn.
“Gale Brewer has been a dedicated advocate for safe and complete streets in the City Council, and she’ll bring that same commitment to the office of Manhattan Borough President,” said Steve Vaccaro, a StreetsPAC board member. “Several candidates in this hotly contested race have strong livable-streets credentials, but Gale stands out both for her track record and her vision for transforming Manhattan’s streets.”
“Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez have both been strong supporters of safer streets in their eight years in the City Council,” said StreetsPAC co-founder Dave “Paco” Abraham. “We look forward to their turning that same focus to Fifth Avenue, which runs the length of their two districts, to advocate jointly for much-needed complete-streets treatments that are proven to reduce crashes and injuries to all street users.”
Ede Fox is running to succeed one of the City Council’s most outspoken livable-streets advocates, StreetsPAC Public Advocate endorsee Tish James. “We’re confident she’s up to the task,” said Hilda Cohen, a StreetsPAC board member. “She clearly stands out among the candidates in the 35th in understanding the importance of safe streets and supporting the changes that will make them a reality.”
Chris Banks is running in a wide-open race in Brooklyn’s 42nd Council District, which covers East New York and parts of Canarsie, Brownsville and East Flatbush. “Chris has experience with transportation issues from his time as CB5 transportation co-chair,” said Cohen. “He’s the one candidate in the 42nd with the passion and experience to catalyze the district’s nascent livable-streets movement.”
Here’s more background on today’s StreetsPAC endorsees:
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President (Open Seat) – In her 12 years in the City Council, Gale Brewer has consistently championed livable streets with characteristic patience, most notably by forging a consensus on the Upper West Side to eliminate cars in Central Park and to install and extend pedestrian-safety improvements and protected bike paths on Columbus Avenue. As Manhattan Borough President, Gale pledges to work to expand bike share to all of Manhattan. “Bike share is only months old, and it’s already a critical part of the mass transit system for thousands of New Yorkers,” said Brewer. “Just as we provide public support for ferries and student Metrocards, we should support the expansion of bike share throughout Manhattan and the city.” Brewer is also committed to finding a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to relieving the burden of truck traffic on Manhattan residents – the fatalities, injuries, noise, pollution and sheer oppressive presence of traffic. “As Borough President, I’ll bring all the responsible agencies and stakeholders together – police, transportation, consumer affairs and others – to reduce pass-through traffic to a minimum with fair tolling, encourage late-night deliveries, and improve regulation and enforcement so that truckers stick to truck routes, have the required safety equipment, and are held responsible for the harm they cause.”
Dan Garodnick, Council District 4, Manhattan (Incumbent) – 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.
Rosie Mendez, Council District 2, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Councilmember Rosie Mendez has been a steady voice for livable streets in the City Council, voting for congestion pricing, backing the implementation of Select Bus Service on 1st and 2nd avenues, and supporting bike share across her district. She’s called for better NYPD investigations of collisions that injure pedestrians, and provided funding to ensure the Baruch College pedestrian plaza had proper lighting. Mendez supports the redesign of Fifth Avenue to include bus, bicycle, and pedestrian amenities, and plans to explore new bicycle and pedestrian prioritization on University Place.
Ede Fox, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – "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.
Chris Banks, Council District 42, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Chris Banks is eager to bring much-needed bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to the neglected roadways that locals call "the pothole capital of Brooklyn." He demands greater investment in the community's transit options; as co-chair of Community Board 5's Transportation Committee, Banks fought the MTA when it cut the B20 bus line and championed the New Lots pedestrian plaza. Banks adamantly supports improved access to the waterfront greenway along Jamaica Bay, envisions a bicycle lane along New Lots avenue, and proposes a complete-street makeover for 10-lane Linden Boulevard.
For more information, and to sign up for volunteer opportunities this election season, click here to get involved with StreetsPAC.