NYS Questionnaire; Menchaca Save-the-Date; Brooklyn Bridge; StreetsPoll Results

StreetsPAC Issues 2016 Questionnaire for State Senate and Assembly Candidates

If you're running for the New York State Senate or Assembly, we invite you to complete our 2016 Candidate Questionnaire. It is a pre-requisite for being considered for StreetsPAC's endorsement, but it'll take you only a few minutes to complete.

To get started on completing our questionnaire, please visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYS2016. You can return to an unfinished questionnaire before submitting it, and we will confirm your submission with your campaign once you complete the survey.

And if you're a New York City voter who's interested on how the candidates in your Senate and Assembly districts stand on safe-streets and public transit issues, we urge you to share the link with their campaigns. You deserve to know where the people running to represent you in the State Legislature come down on these important questions.

Completed questionnaires are due on Monday, August 22.
 
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More Vision, More Zero(es); Better L-ternatives; Rosenthal Recap; StreetsPoll Results

More Vision, More Zero(es): New Data Shows Uptick in City Traffic Deaths

Streetsblog reported Tuesday that New York City had – after several months – updated its Vision Zero View map, and the news, unfortunately, isn't good: traffic deaths increased in the first six months of the year vs. the same period in 2015.

Overall, 111 people died in traffic crashes from January to June, an increase of four deaths from the year-ago period. People on foot accounted for 58 of the fatalities, and 12 people riding bikes were killed, vs. 63 and 5, respectively, in the first half of 2015.

Traffic injuries suffered by pedestrians and cyclists, which as Streetsblog points out are less subject to random variation, also increased, up 9% vs. last year (injuries to people on bikes were up 15%). The city does not report on the severity of injuries.

While the increase in traffic deaths and injuries isn't catastrophic (a particularly bloody June accounted for all of the bump in deaths), they're a stark reminder that the city needs to double down on its commitment to Vision Zero if we're going to achieve the goal of eliminating all traffic deaths by 2024. And that means putting significantly more money and effort into redesigning city streets, especially our deadliest arterial roads.

Vision Zero is first and foremost about the way streets are engineered. And while the City Council requested a 25% increase in funding for street redesigns in the new budget, City Hall did not adhere to the Council's request. Occasional NYPD crackdowns on dangerous driving and marketing campaigns are no substitute for safer street designs.

We know how to achieve Vision Zero. The question is whether we have the political will. A good demonstration of that would be having the vision to add some zeroes to NYC DOT's capital budget.

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Tonight: Fundraiser for Helen Rosenthal!

Please Join Us This Evening for a Fundraiser for City Council Member Helen Rosenthal

This Thursday, July 21, at 6:30 p.m., we invite you to join us for a fundraising event we're co-hosting for Upper West Side City Council Member (and 2013 StreetsPAC endorsee) Helen Rosenthal.

Helen has been a leading voice for safe- and complete-streets projects and policies, including the recently installed Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane, a car-free Central Park, and unrestricted access to buildings for people with folding bicycles.  Shortly after taking office in 2014, she introduced and led the passage of legislation creating Cooper's Law, which empowers the Taxi & Limousine Commission to suspend or revoke the license of a cab driver who causes serious injury or death when violating traffic laws, named in memory of Cooper Stock.

Helen is ramping up her 2017 re-election bid, and we want to make sure that she gets off to a fast start. Your help will be crucial to her success.

Please click the image below to RSVP. We hope to see you tonight!

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Helen Rosenthal Fundraiser; Support StreetsPAC; Bed-Stuy ❤️ Citi Bike; StreetsPoll Results

Join Us! Fundraiser for City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, July 21, 6:30 p.m.

Please join us next Thursday, July 21, at 6:30 p.m., for a fundraising event we're co-hosting for Upper West Side City Council Member (and 2013 StreetsPAC endorsee) Helen Rosenthal.

Helen has been a leading voice for safe- and complete-streets projects and policies, including the recently finished Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane, a car-free Central Park, and unrestricted access to buildings for people with folding bicycles.  She's beginning to gear up for her 2017 re-election bid, and we want to make certain that she gets off to a fast start. Your help is critical!

Please click the image below to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you on the 21st.

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Speaking of Which... Please Help StreetsPAC Reach our Summer Fundraising Goal!

We gave you a small break by letting the July campaign finance filing deadline pass on Monday without asking you for money (everyone else was doing that!), but that doesn't mean we're letting you off the hook.

StreetsPAC relies 100% on contributions from you and other supporters of safe and complete streets to fund the critical work of backing candidates who share our beliefs, and the simple truth in politics is this: money talks. We're the only Political Action Committee in New York devoted solely to promoting better streets and transportation policies, and we can't succeed without you.

Please give today to help us recruit and educate candidates who share your commitment to the safety of people who walk and bike, to a fully funded, reliable and accessible transit system, and to achieving Vision Zero. While a good deal has been accomplished during the past few years, there is still so much work left to do.

As an extra incentive, if you contribute $100 or more this month, we'll send you a StreetsPAC t-shirt as a thank you gift.

Donate today!
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Albany Shame; Summer Streets with a Twist; Reynoso Resolute; Rosenthal Fundraiser

Albany to New York City Street Users: Keep Being Dropped Dead!

The 2015-2016 legislative session in Albany came to a close several days ago, and shamefully, the State Legislature failed to act on a number of measures that would have made streets safer for New York City residents and visitors.

Legislation supporting the Move NY Fair Plan, which would equalize tolls on New York City's bridges and simultaneously reduce traffic congestion in and around Manhattan while creating a vital funding stream for the MTA, never made it to a vote.

Neither did a bill that would have increased the number of speed safety cameras deployed in New York City, while eliminating restrictions on their hours of operation.

Nor did the legislature act on a bill that would have ended New York City's stipulated fine program. Or a bill that would have made it faster and cheaper to complete important infrastructure projects.

But take heart! A chance for New York's voters to convene a state Constitutional convention is less than 500 days away! As Crain's New York Business reported yesterday:
Albany’s control over procurement—as well as tolls, traffic lights, schools, rent laws and even fees on plastic bags—will be open for reconsideration in November 2017, when New Yorkers vote on a constitutional convention referendum. The vote, which is held every 20 years, could initiate a larger conversation on the appropriate distribution of power and authority between the state and its municipalities. Constitutional reform could ensure that decisions on laws like design-build—or Move New York's tolling plan—are decided in New York City, not 150 miles to the north.
We'll be keeping a close eye on the Constitutional referendum as November 2017 comes nearer.

In addition, and a good deal more immediately, the de Blasio Administration can take a number of street-safety matters into its own hands, as Streetsblog's Ben Fried opined last week.

 

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Action Alert: Time to Move (Alba)NY; StreetsPoll Results; NYC Mobility Report; TLC Vision Zero Base Reports

Action Alert: Tell Albany to Act on Move NY, Speed Cameras & Stipulated Fines

The 2015-2016 legislative session in Albany is coming to an end tomorrow, and — surprise! — several critically important bills aimed at improving transportation and street safety are languishing in the Assembly and Senate.

The Move NY Fair Plan, which would equalize tolls on New York City's bridges and simultaneously reduce traffic congestion in and around Manhattan while creating a vital funding stream for the MTA, does not appear to be moving forward.
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Nor does a truly life-saving bill that would increase the number of speed safety cameras that the New York City Department of Transportation could deploy while also expanding their hours of operation (a bill that would have permitted speed cameras at every school in New York City, and allow them to operate 24 hours a day, is already effectively dead).

And there's no news on the fate of a bill that would end New York City's stipulated fine program, which reduces or eliminates illegal-parking fines for truck fleets. Collecting the fines — which would amount to tens of millions of dollars in revenue — and in turn creating significantly more on-street loading zones, is a much better alternative.

Please contact State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (518-455-3791 or Speaker@assembly.state.ny.us) and State Senate Leader John Flanagan (518-455-2071 or flanagan@nysenate.gov) today and politely ask them to move these three crucial pieces of legislation forward in this session. Our streets and transportation system can't wait another year!

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Mark Levine Event Tonight; Remembering Mike Ameri; MoveNY; StreetsPoll Results

Reminder: Join Us Tonight in Support of City Council Member Mark Levine!

This evening, we're co-hosting a Manhattan fundraising event for Upper West Side Council Member Mark Levine, who's beginning to gear up for his 2017 re-election campaign.

marklevine.jpgMark has been as strong a voice for safe and complete streets as any member of the City Council. He pushed hard for the redesign of dangerous Amsterdam Avenue, a project just now coming to fruition, was instrumental in the fight to introduce Select Bus Service to 125th Street in Harlem, and on multiple occasions, he's been willing to push past recalcitrant Community Boards when they've stood in the way of safe-streets projects.

Please join us tonight to say thanks and to help his re-election effort.

Wednesday, June 1
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Parlour
250 West 86th Street

To RSVP and purchase a ticket online, please click here. To RSVP and pay at the door, please click here.

Either way, please join us to help re-elect one of the City Council's best safe-streets advocates!

Remembering NYPD Inspector Michael Ameri

Advocates, community members, elected officials and officers of the 78th Precinct gathered last night next to the short protected stretch of Brooklyn's Bergen Street bike lane to remember NYPD Inspector Michael Ameri, who first cordoned off the lane with temporary police barricades back in 2012. Ameri, who died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound on May 13, led the 78th Precinct from 2011 to 2014, before being promoted to Commanding Officer of NYPD's Highway Division, which includes the Collision Investigation Squad.

Ameri_Bike_Lane.jpgIn a ceremony before the monthly 78th Precinct Community Council meeting, Ameri was remembered for his embrace of New York City's Vision Zero Initiative. Under his command, the 78 initiated undercover failure-to-yield stings, put cops back on bikes for the first time in years, and instituted separate traffic-safety meetings in conjunction with the Community Council. Advocates and cops together installed a sign designating the one-block Bergen Street protected bike path as the "Inspector Michael Ameri Bike Lane."
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Join us June 1 for a fundraiser for Mark Levine!

Join Us June 1 for a Fundraiser for City Council Member Mark Levine!

Before you head out of town for the Memorial Day weekend, be sure to RSVP for the fundraiser we're co-hosting for Upper West Side Council Member Mark Levine on Wednesday, June 1.

Mark is one of the City Council's leading voices for safe and complete streets.  He's been a leading advocate for the redesign of dangerous Amsterdam Avenue (a much-needed project that has finally come to fruition), was a stalwart in the fight to bring Select Bus Service to 125th Street in Harlem, and has consistently taken the side of safety in the face of dithering Community Boards.

Here are the details:

Wednesday, June 1
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Parlour
250 West 86th Street

To RSVP and purchase a ticket online, please click here. To RSVP and pay at the door, please click here.

Either way, please join us to help re-elect one of the City Council's best safe-streets advocates!

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Bike to Work Day; Mark Levine Fundraiser; #EverySchool; StreetsPoll Results

Citi Bikes at City Hall – Celebrating Bike to Work Day

This past Monday, we joined the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council for their 3rd annual Bike to Work Day, both a celebration of cycling in New York City as well as a reminder that we still have plenty of work to do together to expand and improve safe biking infrastructure in all five boroughs.

Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos joined our Manhattan ride, and CMs Brad Lander and Carlos Menchaca met us at Brooklyn Borough Hall for the ride over the Brooklyn Bridge.  Steve Levin hopped a Citi Bike in Greenpoint and rendezvoused with us at City Hall, and Antonio Reynoso, the unfortunate victim of a recent bike theft, came by subway (yes, even members of the City Council are not immune to the scourge of stolen bicycles).

All six of the Council Members who participated in Bike to Work Day were endorsed by StreetsPAC in 2013, and among them, they have several bills pending in the Council that would improve cycling safety and access.  We were proud to join them Monday, and look forward to continuing to work together to make New York City's streets safer for everyone, regardless of transportation mode.

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Monday: Bike to Work with StreetsPAC & the City Council Progressive Caucus!

Bike to Work May 16 with the City Council's Progressive Caucus & StreetsPAC

Here's a quick reminder that this coming Monday, May 16, we'll be joining the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council for their 3rd annual Bike to Work Day!

Join us on the north side of Borough Hall in Brooklyn at 8:30 a.m., or in Union Square Park in Manhattan at 9:00 a.m., for group rides to City Hall, where we'll be teaming up with the Progressive Caucus and other advocacy groups for a rally on the steps at 10:00 a.m.

Don't miss your one chance of the year to lift your bike on the steps of City Hall!

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StreetsPAC
StreetsPAC supports candidates for public office who will champion Safe, Complete and Livable Streets.