StreetsPAC Announces Fourth Round of City Council Endorsements

StreetsPAC this morning announced a fourth round of City Council candidate endorsements for New York City’s September 2017 primary, backing Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, Justin Brannan and Richard David for three of the Council’s open seats, Ede Fox in a rematch of 2013’s 35th District race, and Vanessa Gibson for re-election in the Bronx’s 16th District.

"With only a handful of open seats up for grabs in the City Council, we’re pleased to be able to back three well qualified candidates in Robert Rodriguez, Richard David and Justin Brannan," said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. "Assemblyman Rodriguez led the push in Albany for the Move NY Fair Plan, and with Governor Cuomo’s newfound interest in congestion pricing, he could play a critical role in getting it enacted."

"Richard David will bring energy and innovation to a district that’s been starving for it," said Ken Coughlin, a StreetsPAC Board Member. "We’re excited to back him in what has suddenly become a very dynamic race."

"Bay Ridge is going to elect a new Council Member for the first time in 14 years," said StreetsPAC Board Member A. Scott Falk, "and no one’s better suited to the role than Justin Brannan. He’s got a strong grasp of progressive transportation policies, and we expect him to make change right out of the gate."

"We endorsed Ede Fox’s 2013 campaign for City Council, and we felt she was worthy of our support again," said StreetsPAC Board Member Hilda Cohen. "She’s committed to making safer streets a priority in the 35th District."

“Vanessa Gibson has been a staunch supporter of Vision Zero and the city’s Right of Way Law,” said Steve Vaccaro, a StreetsPAC Board Member.  “She also possesses a granular knowledge of the streets in her district, and is committed to making them better, and safer.”

Today’s announcement brings the total number of City Council candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC to 20, surpassing the number of endorsements StreetsPAC made in Council races in the 2013 primary election. StreetsPAC expects to issue a final round of City Council endorsements early next week.

Here are more details about today’s endorsements:

RobertRodriguez.jpgRobert Rodriguez, Council District 8, Manhattan/Bronx (Open Seat) – Rodriguez, who has been a member of the State Assembly since 2011, is running for the open seat held by the City Council’s term-limited Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito. He’s led the effort for the Move NY Fair Plan in the Assembly, and will continue to push for its adoption in the Council. He’ll also advocate for extending the 2nd Avenue subway, having been a strong supporter of that project in Albany. In addition, Rodriguez supports expansion of Citi Bike, with increased subsidies for low-income users, and will work to expand deployment of speed and red-light cameras.

VanessaGibson.jpgVanessa Gibson, Council District 15, Bronx (Incumbent) – Gibson, who’s running for a second term representing the West Bronx, chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee. She pledges to continue fighting against traffic violence and for Vision Zero. In her district, she supports the redesign of the Grand Concourse with protected bike lanes and other enhanced street designs that improve safety for all users. As Public Safety Chair, she remains committed to working with all stakeholders to increase street safety, and to providing much needed resources to the NYPD's Collision Investigation Unit, and will further support efforts to improve public outreach, education and enforcement of existing laws.

RichardDavid.jpgRichard David, Council District 28, Queens (Open Seat) – David is running for the Queens seat recently made vacant by the criminal conviction of Ruben Wills. His priorities include a push for improved bus service, including real-time arrival information, and the redevelopment of the Jamaica Bus Terminal, with a focus on improved pedestrian safety. He also wants to see the bike network expanded throughout the 28th District, and will advocate for the restoration of the Commuter Tax, with the proceeds dedicated to improving mass transit. Whoever wins the seat, be it David or capable opponents Hettie Powell and Adrienne Adams, it will be an upgrade for residents of the 28th District.

EdeFox.jpgEde Fox, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Fox, whom we backed in the 2013 race for this seat, has worked for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and was Chief of Staff to Council Member Jumaane Williams. Her top transportation priority is establishing more safe options and north-south travel connections through the district, including new and expanded Select Bus Service routes, improved local bus service, and better cycling infrastructure.  She’s also committed to pushing to make the Franklin Avenue subway station fully accessible, and to encouraging more diversity and youth participation on local Community Boards.

JustinBrannan.jpgJustin Brannan, Council District 43, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Brannan, a Bay Ridge native, has worked for the de Blasio administration and for term-limited Council Member Vincent Gentile, whom he hopes to succeed. He wants NYC DOT to look at extending the redesign of 4th Avenue south of 65th Street, and is an advocate for improving the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. He supports restoring the two-way toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and backs the effort to build a pedestrian and cycle path on the bridge as part of the Harbor Ring plan. He’d also like to see truck traffic shifted from local streets to the Belt Parkway, where it’s not currently permitted.

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

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StreetsPAC Announces Third Round of City Council Endorsements

StreetsPAC today announced a new round of candidate endorsements in New York City’s September 2017 primary, backing Keith Powers and Amanda Farias for open seats in Manhattan and the Bronx, respectively, Brian Cunningham, a challenger for the 40th District seat in Brooklyn, and Council incumbents Helen Rosenthal and Ritchie Torres for re-election.

"We're especially excited about today's group of endorsees," said Dave 'Paco' Abraham, a member of StreetsPAC's board. "Amanda, Keith and Brian are all young and energetic candidates, but they also bring a wealth of experience to their respective campaigns. We expect that they'll all make a quick, positive impression in the Council and in their districts."

"Helen Rosenthal has been an outspoken advocate for safer streets," said StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure. "She introduced and passed Cooper's Law shortly after taking office, was instrumental in getting cars out of most of Central Park, and authored the law that permits folding bikes in passenger elevators. She's clearly deserving of another term."

"There's no brighter rising star in city government than Ritchie Torres," said StreetsPAC Board Member Sebastian Delmont. "He's been committed to making streets safer since his first day in the Council, has pushed for a number of street and intersection redesigns in his district, and has been an advocate for Community Board and police reform."

Today’s announcement brings the total number of City Council candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC to 15. StreetsPAC issued a first round of endorsements on July 24, and endorsed a second group of candidates last week. StreetsPAC plans to make several more endorsements in City Council races in the coming days.

Here’s the rundown on today’s endorsees:

KeithPowers.jpgKeith Powers, Council District 4, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Powers, a former Chief of Staff in the Assembly, is running for the East Side Council seat held currently by the term-limited Daniel Garodnick. He supports the creation of a "PeopleWay" on 14th Street during the extended shutdown of the L train, and would like to see complete-streets treatments implemented on 5th and 6th Avenues. He'll also advocate for closing the gaps in 2nd Avenue's protected bike lane, and will work to complete the East River Greenway.

HelenRosenthal.jpgHelen Rosenthal, Council District 6, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Rosenthal, who's running for a second term, faces a strong challenge from the very capable Mel Wymore. She's determined to make Central Park's loop fully car-free, and will push for protected bike lanes on the Park's transverses. She's also committed to working with the Parks Department to improve the hilly detour for cyclists along the Hudson River Greenway between 72nd and 83rd Streets. In addition, she plans to advocate for a dedicated rush-hour bus lane on Amsterdam Avenue, and will work for smarter curbside regulations to reduce double parking.

RitchieTorres.jpgRitchie Torres, Council District 15, Bronx (Incumbent) – Torres, who has yet to turn 30, is the only first-term Council Member to hold a leadership position. He's committed to passing a Council home rule message supporting the Move NY Fair Plan, and is interested in increasing deployment of speed cameras for research and education purposes. He'll also advocate for making the Grand Concourse a true complete street, and to expand and improve bicycling infrastructure on East Tremont and Arthur Avenues. He also wants to see Vision Zero education made an integral part of police training.

AmandaFarias.jpgAmanda Farias, Council District 18, Bronx (Open Seat) – Farias is a native of the area she seeks to represent, the district currently led by term-limited Council Member Annabel Palma. Her top priority is improving transportation access for constituents. She'll advocate to bring NYC Ferry service to Soundview, expand Select Bus Service in the district (especially connecting to the ferry), and work to improve subway accessibility. She's committed to bringing Citi Bike to the district, and to complete-streets initiatives that will ensure neighborhood sidewalks and streets are accessible to all.

BrianCunningham.jpgBrian Cunningham, Council District 40, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Cunningham, born and raised in Flatbush, is a former State Senate and City Council staffer. He's dedicated to making Vision Zero projects a local priority. While another contender for the seat, Pia Raymond, has done noteworthy work to increase street safety along the Nostrand Avenue corridor, we are backing Cunningham for his commitment to advocate for expansion of the area's nascent bike lanes along Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn Avenue, and Kingston Avenue, along with his support for a robust proposal to create a safe pedestrian plaza at the Franklin Avenue triangle. He also pledges to make Prospect Park permanently car-free, and to work with the MTA to give the Prospect Park subway station the much-needed facelift straphangers deserve. 

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

 

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StreetsPAC Announces Second Round of 2017 City Council Endorsements

StreetsPAC today announced a second round of candidate endorsements in New York City’s September 2017 primary, offering support for two first-time City Council candidates, Marjorie Velázquez and Randy Abreu, as well as three Council veterans, Margaret Chin, Jimmy Van Bramer and Brad Lander.

“We’re very pleased to be able to endorse two bright, young, up-and coming Bronx candidates in Marjorie Velázquez and Randy Abreu,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “We’re confident that they can follow in the footsteps of Ritchie Torres in bringing energetic new leadership to the City Council and their respective districts.”

“Margaret Chin has been one of the City Council’s staunchest advocates for pedestrians, and no one has been more outspoken about parking-placard abuse," said StreetsPAC board member Janet Liff. “Jimmy Van Bramer and Brad Lander possess two of the most distinguished records in the City Council on transportation and street-safety issues. From Queens Boulevard to Prospect Park West, they’ve been at the leading edge of important complete-streets transformations.”

Today’s announcement brings the total number of City Council candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC to 10.  StreetsPAC previously endorsed Carlina Rivera, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, Ydanis Rodriguez and Carlos Menchaca.

The endorsement process will continue in the coming days.

“We will roll out endorsements in several more Council races shortly, and we’ll be weighing in on citywide races soon,” said StreetsPAC board member Ken Coughlin.  “We expect to make endorsements in about two dozen Council races by the time we’re done.”

Here’s more information about today’s endorsees:

MargaretChin.jpgMargaret Chin, Council District 1, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Chin, who’s running for a third term representing Lower Manhattan, has been an outspoken advocate for pedestrian safety and placard reform. She plans to introduce a Council resolution calling for restoration of the two-way toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and will advocate for the reopening of Manhattan’s Park Row with a pedestrian path and protected bike lane. And she’ll continue to lead the charge for placard reform and real enforcement of placard abuse.

MarjorieVelazquez.jpgMarjorie Velázquez, Council District 13, Bronx (Open Seat) – Bronx native Velázquez, who survived a serious car crash in 2012, is running for the open Council seat in 13th District.  Her priorities include expediting the construction of new Metro North stations in Morris Park and Parkchester/Van Nest, and advocating for new NYC Ferry service to Throgs Neck, Ferry Point and City Island.  She’s also committed to improved bus service, with additional routes and better reliability, including round-the-clock service to City Island and more express buses to Manhattan.

RandyAbreu.jpgRandy Abreu, Council District 14, Bronx (Challenger) – Abreu, an attorney who worked in the Department of Energy under President Obama, is seeking to represent the neighborhood in which he grew up.  He wants to expand Select Bus Service in the Bronx, especially with signal priority, and will work to bring the MTA’s Freedom Ticket reduced-fare pilot program to Metro North.  He’ll also advocate for Citi Bike expansion throughout the district, and he’s committed to expanding the use of speed and red-light cameras.

JimmyVanBramer.jpgJimmy Van Bramer, Council District 26, Queens (Incumbent) – No Queens elected official has been a better advocate for safe and complete streets than Van Bramer, the Council’s Majority Leader.  He’s committed to advocating for more protected bike lanes, including on Skillman and 43rd Avenues, and for better bike-network connectivity, and he’ll push the Departments of Transportation and Design and Construction for speedier implementation of critical Vision Zero infrastructure.  He also plans to lead the effort to reopen the Queensboro Bridge south walkway.

BradLander.jpgBrad Lander, Council District 39, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Lander, who’s running for a third term, has been as true a champion for safe streets and better transit as there is in the City Council.  He wants to see the protected bike lanes planned for Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue extended all the way to Atlantic Avenue, and he’s committed to exploring the expanded deployment of speed cameras for educational and research purposes (while working to win the right for New York City to deploy and operate automated enforcement as it sees fit).

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

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Improving New York City's Subways

StreetsPAC submitted the following testimony today to the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation, which is holding an oversight hearing on improving the city's subway system:

It’s impossible to overstate how important the subways are to New Yorkers. As we underscored in the Transportation and Equity Agenda we released in partnership with seven other leading advocacy organizations last month, mobility is opportunity in New York City, and nothing moves more New Yorkers more quickly and efficiently than the subway. It’s the mechanized circulatory system that keeps the city alive.

But as everyone here today knows all too well, the system is suffering badly. Breakdowns, outages, signal malfunctions and track problems occur daily, inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of people at a time. Commutes have turned into crapshoots. Weekend subway trips have become odysseys. Nothing short of our global competitiveness is at stake.

The great shame in this is that it’s all fixable, if only for want of political will and the willingness to invest properly in our most critical infrastructure. It’s time to implement the Move New York Fair Plan, which will not only provide a large, bondable revenue stream for the MTA, but tackle crippling congestion, to boot. And it’s time to get our capital construction costs, among the highest in the world, under control.

It’s time to get serious – really serious – about upgrading the critical signal systems that run the subways. The Subway Action Plan outlined last month by MTA Chairman Lhota is a badly needed step in the right direction, but it’s just a step. It must be followed by a giant leap forward on implementing communications-based train control, a process that has floundered for too many years. It will take money, and it will take will.

It’s time to implement a new, 21st century payment system, one that will allow a New Yorker to transfer seamlessly from a ferry to a subway to a Citi Bike, all for a single fare. Using a phone, or a contactless fob.

It’s time to make the subway system fully accessible to all New Yorkers. The fact that only a fraction of the system’s stations have elevators, and that far too many of them are not working at any given time, is patently unacceptable. We put a man on the moon nearly half a century ago, but we can’t keep an escalator running for more than a few weeks at a time. Platform doors, which should be rolling out across the system by now, aren’t even in the conversation. Again, it’s money, and will.

Let’s use the shutdown of the L line in 2019 as a testing ground for new methods and technologies. Experiment. Learn. Refine. Improve.

And then, of course, there’s our struggling bus system, whose falling ridership and interminably slow routes make our subway look flawless by comparison. But that’s a discussion for another day and hearing.

Our future as a city will only be as good as our transit system. We need to put politics aside and fix our subway problems, now. We commend the City Council for shining a spotlight on the problems, and for its willingness to lead in identifying solutions that will get New York City back on track.

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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.

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! 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!
CarlosAugust5.jpeg
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.

TransportationandEquity.jpg

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