Carlina Rivera Fundraiser Tomorrow! Carlos Menchaca Day of Action Saturday!

Tomorrow: Please Join Us For A Fundraiser for Carlina Rivera!

Tomorrow – Wednesday, August 2nd – we're proud to be co-hosting a fundraiser for Carlina Rivera, an up-and-coming young star in New York City politics whom we endorsed in her race for City Council last week.

We hope you'll come and meet Carlina in person, enjoy a drink and hors d'oeuvres on us, and make a donation to her campaign for the open seat in the City Council's 2nd District, which extends from Murray Hill through the East Village and Alphabet City.

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Here are the details:

An Evening with Carlina Rivera
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Grape and Grain
620 East 6th Street
Suggested Donation $50 to $175

There's more info on our Facebook event page – please share it! We'd also appreciate it if you would RSVP to Tatiana Jorio at tatianajorio@gmail.com or (917) 583-0897, so we can have an idea of headcount.

There are only a small number of open seats up for grabs in the City Council in this election, and electing Carlina will ensure that the 2nd District is represented by a safe-streets and pro-transit champ. Please join us Wednesday and help make it happen!
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Carlos Menchaca Office Grand Opening and Day of Action, Saturday, August 5!

Speaking of our endorsees, Brooklyn City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, who was one of the very first candidates we backed in 2013, and whose re-election effort we endorsed last week, is holding a campaign office grand opening and day of action this Saturday, August 5.

Carlos, who has been a real standard-bearer in the City Council for complete streets, is facing one of the toughest re-election battles of any sitting Council Member.  He's been there for all of us who care about making sidewalks and bike lanes and crosswalks safe from his first day in the Council, and now it's time for all of us to be there for him.

So we're calling all volunteers to come out this Saturday at 10 a.m. to hear directly from Carlos as he opens his campaign office, and to pitch in for a day of action to help him kick off  his ground game in earnest. Even if you can spare just an hour or two, it will mean a lot in making sure this livable-streets champion wins another four-year term in the City Council.

See you there!

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Carlina Rivera Fundraiser; Car-Free Prospect Park; Round 1 Endorsees; Register to Vote!

Please Join Us For A Fundraiser for Carlina Rivera Wednesday, August 2nd!

Next Wednesday, August 2nd, we're teaming up with East Village activist and major StreetsPAC benefactor Aaron Sosnick to co-host a fundraiser for Carlina Rivera, one of our initial 2017 endorsees for City Council (see below), and an up-and-coming young star in New York City politics. We hope you'll come and meet Carlina in person, enjoy a drink and hors d'oeuvres on us, and make a donation to her campaign for the open seat in the City Council's 2nd District, which extends from Murray Hill through the East Village and Alphabet City.

CarlinaforCouncil.png

Here are the details:

An Evening with Carlina Rivera
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Grape and Grain
620 East 6th Street
Suggested Donation $50 to $175

There's more info on our Facebook event page – please share it! And we'd be grateful if you would please RSVP to Tatiana Jorio at tatianajorio@gmail.com or (917) 583-0897 so we have a sense of a headcount.

There are only a handful of open seats up for grabs in the City Council this next term, and electing Carlina will ensure that the 2nd District is represented by a safe-streets and pro-transit champ. Please join us Wednesday and help make it happen!

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Please Join Us For a Fundraiser for Carlina Rivera, August 2nd!

Join Us For A Fundraiser for Carlina Rivera on August 2nd!

In addition to endorsing Carlina Rivera in her race for the open seat in Manhattan's 2nd Council District, we're teaming up with East Village activist and major StreetsPAC benefactor Aaron Sosnick to co-host a fundraiser for Carlina the first week of August! We hope you'll come and meet Carlina in person, and help us make sure that she's well positioned to win her primary in September.
CarlinaRivera.jpg
Here are the details:

An Evening with Carlina Rivera
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Grape and Grain
620 East 6th Street
Suggested Donation $50 to $175

We'll have plenty of free hors d'oeuvres, and your first drink will be on the house. There's more info on Facebook. Please do us the favor of RSVPing to Tatiana Jorio at tatianajorio@gmail.com or (917) 583-0897. 

Help us elect this dedicated safe-streets and pro-transit candidate to the City Council! Join us!

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StreetsPAC Announces Initial 2017 City Council Endorsements

StreetsPAC Announces Initial 2017 City Council Endorsements

StreetsPAC today announced the first of its candidate endorsements in New York City’s September 2017 primary election, supporting the campaign of Carlina Rivera for the open City Council seat in the Lower East Side’s 2nd District, as well as the re-election efforts of incumbent Council Members Ben KallosMark LevineYdanis Rodriguez and Carlos Menchaca.

“We’re excited to offer our first endorsements of 2017 to a diverse and impressive roster of candidates, all of whom are dedicated to making New York City’s streets safer and our transit system better,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “We look forward to helping elect, or re-elect, each and every one of them to the City Council.”

“Interest in safe, complete streets, and in subways and buses that run reliably, are more important to New Yorkers than ever before,” said Hilda Cohen, a founding member of StreetsPAC’s board. “More and more, we find that people are ‘Vision Zero voters’ – these issues really determine their choices in the voting booth."

More than 60 candidates for City Council have responded to StreetsPAC’s questionnaire, and StreetsPAC has been conducting personal interviews with candidates for the past several weeks.

“We’ll be making multiple rounds of endorsements,” said StreetsPAC board member Peter Frishauf. “Our recommendations will serve as a guide for voters who care about living in a safe, walkable, bikeable city, and one with a reliable transit system. They’ll be able to go to the polls knowing these candidates share and understand their challenges and desires."

The five City Council candidates receiving StreetsPAC’s initial endorsements are running to represent very different districts and neighborhoods. Here’s a round-up:

CarlinaRivera.jpgCarlina Rivera, Council District 2, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Rivera, running to replace term-limited Councilmember Rosie Mendez, is a former City Council aide with a strong record of local organizing.  She wants to expand Select Bus Service and improve pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure in the district, and supports implementing dedicated bus lanes and protected bike lanes and eliminating curbside parking in favor of loading and pick-up/drop-off zones along 14th Street for the duration of the L train shutdown.

BenKallos.jpgBen Kallos, Council District 5, Manhattan (Incumbent)
 – Kallos, who first won his East Side seat in 2013, is a Vice-Chair of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus.  He’s committed to filling the gaps in the Second Avenue protected bike lane, and to adding additional crosstown bike lanes in his district.  He’s also working to bring Citi Bike to Roosevelt Island, and Select Bus Service to 96th Street, and is dedicated to completion of the East Side Greenway.

MarkLevine.jpgMark Levine, Council District 7, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Levine, who’s running for a second term in the Council, has been a stalwart in advocating for transit improvements and safer streets.  He’s committed to making Central Park, once and for all, completely car-free, to advocating for protected bike lanes on Manhattan’s Riverside Drive, and to leading an effort to improve conditions on the city’s greenways, including the Cherry Walk section of the Hudson River Greenway, which is badly in need of safety improvements.

YdanisRodriguez.jpgYdanis Rodriguez, Council District 10, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Rodriguez, who has distinguished himself as the outspoken chair of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation, is running for his third term.  He’s a proponent of making portions of Broadway permanently car-free, and is committed to working for implementation of Fair Fares and a five-borough bike-share system.  He also plans to advocate for creation of a comprehensive, long-term transportation plan for New York City, along the lines of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Transportation Manifesto.

CarlosMenchaca.jpgCarlos Menchaca, Council District 38, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Menchaca, running for re-election in his Sunset Park and Red Hook district, was one of the very first candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC in 2013.  He’s been the leading champion for the complete-streets redesign of Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue, and is committed to seeing his bill to permit bicyclists to use leading pedestrian interval signals enacted into law.  He will also continue his work to ensure that underserved communities have a seat at the table in determining the future of their streets and transportation systems.

StreetsPAC will help elect endorsed candidates with cash contributions and volunteer support.

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StreetsPAC Joins Fellow Advocates to Release 2017 Transportation Agenda for Candidates

"Transportation and Equity: A 2017 Agenda for Candidates," Provides a Roadmap to Safer Streets and Better Transit

Yesterday, we joined the New York League of Conservation Voters, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, Pratt Center for Community Development, Regional Plan Association, Riders Alliance, Transportation Alternatives and Tri-State Transportation Campaign in releasing "Transportation and Equity: A 2017 Agenda for Candidates," outlining steps that the City must take to ensure that New Yorkers have affordable, reliable transportation options and access to streets that are safe for all.

The agenda, the first of its kind developed by New York City's eight leading transportation advocacy organizations, identifies policy priorities for candidates for all New York City offices to champion. With elections for Mayor, Public Advocate and Comptroller, all 51 seats in the City Council and all five Borough Presidencies happening later this year, the platform outlines a series of achievable steps that the City can take to improve bus service, provide better access to affordable transit, improve conditions for bicycling and walking, and more – and they're all changes the City can make without having to seek permission from the State. The agenda is being shared with all candidates seeking office in New York City in this year's election.

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While only Governor Cuomo can fix the performance of the state-run MTA subway system, there are a number of steps the city's government can take to help New Yorkers get to work, school and other destinations – and gain better access to jobs and economic opportunity as a result. The agenda is a roadmap to safer streets and better transit that's achievable now, without meddling or obstruction from Albany.

The proposal calls on the city to:

  • Find Funding for Public Transportation by advocating for funding sources in Albany and identifying local solutions (such as real estate value capture) to address the transit funding crisis.
  • Provide Better Bus Service by implementing the local bus improvement recommendations of the Bus Turnaround Campaign and expanding the City’s Select Bus Service program.
  • Implement Affordable Access to Public Transportation by funding Fair Fares for low-income riders and reducing ticket prices for Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road riders who are traveling within city limits.
  • Double Bicycling by 2020 by building a citywide network of protected bike lanes and expanding affordable bike share to all five boroughs. 
  • Achieve Vision Zero by 2024 by prioritizing safety in all transportation and road-design decisions; fully funding Vision Zero and fixing known dangerous streets in all boroughs; ensuring that traffic enforcement is data-driven, effective, fair and just; and establishing clear metrics for reaching zero deaths and serious injuries.
  • Reallocate Street Space by eliminating parking minimums, reforming street parking and adopting new technologies for managing curb space.
  • Protect L Train Riders during the shut-down.  
You can read the entirety of "Transportation and Equity: A 2017 Agenda for Candidates" here. We're proud to have joined these outstanding organizations in laying out a vision for a more accessible, more equitable and safer New York City.

 

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StreetsPAC Strongly Supports Bill Requiring Installation of Bollards Around Schools, Plazas and Priority Intersections

StreetsPAC submitted the following testimony today to the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation:

StreetsPAC strongly supports Intro 1658, legislation that would require the Department of Transportation to install bollards adjacent to schools, pedestrian plazas and priority intersections.

Advocates have been warning about the need to physically protect pedestrians from motor vehicles for years.  Approximately 10% of pedestrian deaths in New York City occur when drivers of motor vehicles strike victims on sidewalks.  The fact that, historically, all but a handful of these incidents have been unintentional, offers little comfort to victims, or their families or friends.

And now a new threat imperils pedestrians.  Whether it’s a deliberate terror attack, as we’ve seen on multiple occasions in London over the past few months, and in Nice last summer, or the act of a mentally unstable individual, as we experienced firsthand in Times Square just a few weeks ago, a car or truck can be turned into a deadly weapon with no advance warning.

Alyssa Elsman, the young woman killed when Richard Rojas steered his car onto the sidewalk at 7th Avenue and 42nd Street on May 18, would likely be alive today if the bollards protecting the Thomson Reuters building at 3 Times Square had been placed at the curb line instead of along the building’s façade.  Thankfully, a metal bollard at the corner of 7th Avenue and 45th Street put an end to Rojas’s carnage.

People-protecting bollards are prevalent in many densely populated cities in Europe and around the globe.  And while protective bollards have been installed in numerous locations around New York City, in too many cases, as at 3 Times Square, they’ve been deployed to protect property rather than pedestrians.  As we’ve seen too often, the human body makes for a very “soft target” for a speeding car or truck.

As Transportation Alternatives wrote in “Rethinking Bollards,” their excellent 2007 white paper outlining how bollards can save lives and prevent injuries, “the potential to deploy bollards to protect pedestrians and enhance our public spaces… remains severely underexploited.”

We urge the Committee on Transportation to vote Intro 1658 out of committee as soon as possible, we urge the full Council to pass it quickly, and we urge Mayor de Blasio to sign it into law without delay.

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Join Us Today at City Hall to Rally for Citi Bike and Tonight for a Carlos Menchaca Fundraiser!

Rally to Expand Citi Bike Citywide, Today at 11 a.m. at City Hall!

Today at 11:00 a.m., we'll be on the steps of City Hall with New York City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, other members of the City Council, the Citi Bike for All Coalition and other advocates to rally for the expansion of Citi Bike to all five boroughs. And we hope you'll be there with us!

citibikecityhall.jpgCiti Bike's parent company, Motivate, has developed a plan to increase the number of bikes in the system from 12,000 to 18,000, which would allow for expansion to all five boroughs and additional bikes in the existing service area in order to improve access. The expansion plan would also include new technologies to further improve the system. And it would all happen at no additional cost to taxpayers (the city failed to include funding for Citi Bike expansion in the 2017-2018 budget, despite support for public funding from the City Council).

In just four years, New Yorkers have taken more than 43 million rides on Citi Bikes, including 14 million trips in 2016 alone. It's become an important cog in New York City's public transportation system, especially in providing a last-mile connection to other transit modes. The proposed expansion would potentially expand Citi Bike to the Bronx and Staten Island, and make Citi Bike accessible to hundreds of thousands of additional New Yorkers.

Please join us today at 11 a.m. on the steps of City Hall to voice your support for expanding Citi Bike!

Please Join StreetsPAC for a Fundraiser for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Tonight at 6:30 p.m.!

Tonight, we're teaming up with Doug Gordon, aka Brooklyn Spoke, to host a fundraiser for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, who is running for reelection later this year.

CarlosStreetsPoll.jpgCarlos represents District 38 in Brooklyn, and holds the distinction of being one of the very first candidates StreetsPAC endorsed in 2013. He's been a terrific champion for safe-streets policies from his very first day in the City Council, and has a stellar voting record on progressive transportation issues.

Here are the details:

Carlos Menchaca Fundraiser
Wednesday, June 21
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
309 2nd Street #1B
Brooklyn, NY 11215

This fundraiser is intended to be accessible to as many people as possible, with a minimum requested contribution of just $25. If you've never attended a political fundraiser, this is a great opportunity to get your feet wet, especially if you might not have the resources to otherwise get involved. Of course, we urge you to give more if you can, and any amount up to $175 will be matched $6-to-$1 by the NYC Campaign Finance Program.

Please join us tonight! There's a public Facebook event page here at which you can RSVP, and please feel free to share the link with friends.

Photo credits: NYC Progressive Caucus, StreetsPAC

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Carlos Menchaca Fundraiser; NYPD & Cyclist Deaths; City Council Speed Camera Vote

Please Join Us! Fundraiser for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Wednesday, June 21, 6:30 p.m.

StreetsPAC board member Doug Gordon, whom many of you may know better by his nom de tweet and blog, Brooklyn Spoke, is holding a fundraiser next Wednesday for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and we have signed on as co-hosts.

CarlosStreetsPoll.jpgCarlos represents District 38 in Brooklyn (Sunset Park, Red Hook, and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Carroll Gardens, Dyker Heights, Gowanus, Greenwood, South Slope, and Windsor Terrace), and was one of the very first candidates we endorsed in 2013. He's more than lived up to his campaign promises, and has been a terrific champion for safe-streets policies from his very first day in the City Council.

In addition to his commitment to progressive transportation policies, as Doug writes, Carlos's "work extends to so many more issues that are of huge importance right now. Whether it's immigration, equality, workers' rights, or open government, he's on the right side every time."

Here are the details:

Carlos Menchaca Fundraiser
Wednesday, June 21
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
309 2nd Street #1B
Brooklyn, NY 11215

The minimum ask for the fundraiser is just $25. It's a low sum, designed to encourage as many people as possible to attend, especially anyone who might not have the resources to otherwise get involved. Of course, we urge you to give more if you can, and any amount up to $175 will be matched $6-to-$1 by the NYC Campaign Finance Program.

Please join us Wednesday! There's a public Facebook event page here at which you can RSVP, and please share it with your networks.
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City Council Testimony on Congestion; Questionnaire Deadline Extended; Carlos Menchaca Fundraiser

StreetsPAC Testifies at City Council Transportation Hearing on Traffic Congestion

This past Monday, the City Council's Committee on Transportation held an oversight hearing on ways that New York City can effectively address traffic congestion, and we were there to testify.

The big news from the hearing was the contention by Move New York lead organizer Alex Matthiessen and NYU Law School Professor Roderick Hills, summarized nicely in this Gothamist story from Emma Whitford, that New York City can implement a "home rule" version of the congestion-pricing plan without approval from Albany. New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg contended that city attorneys disagree, but several attorneys and law professors signed a letter to Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez arguing that deference to the state is unfounded.

The home rule version of the plan, if enacted, would be Move New York-light, with $2.75 tolls charged on the East River bridges and along a river-to-river cordon at 60th Street in Manhattan. Supporters believe that it would generate about $1 billion in annual toll revenue, and help fund initiatives like Fair Fares, Citi Bike expansion and improved service in the city's transit deserts.

Our testimony focused on things that City Hall and NYC DOT could do right now to alleviate congestion, including charging smarter (read: higher) prices for curbside parking, reforming placard parking, implementing HOV restrictions on the East River bridges, giving priority to buses on city streets, tackling the exploding growth in ride-hailing services, and better managing truck deliveries.

You can read our complete testimony here.

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StreetsPAC Urges Action to Address Traffic Congestion in New York City

StreetsPAC testified at this past Monday's New York City Council Committee on Transportation oversight hearing on ways that New York City can effectively address traffic congestion. Here's what we had to say:

Traffic congestion is becoming an increasingly vexing problem for New York City. The elephant in the room, of course, is congestion pricing, which would be undoubtedly the most effective means of relieving congestion and discouraging car trips to Manhattan. Whether it’s the worthy Move New York plan or another variation, it’s high time for the State Legislature to pass a congestion-pricing plan for New York City, and for the Governor to sign it into law.  Even better would be legislation authorizing New York City to make its own decisions about road pricing.

Notwithstanding Albany’s inaction, there are a number of measures New York City can enact on its own to deal with congestion.  We’ve borrowed four of these verbatim from an article that David Meyer published on Streetsblog on February 15, entitled “4 Ways the Mayor Can Reduce Congestion Without Congestion Pricing,” since we couldn’t say it any better or more plainly than he did.

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