Sign Our Petition: NYC Needs a Comprehensive Snow-Removal Protocol!
Last week's snowstorm – while thankfully not the blizzard that many outlets had predicted – served as yet another reminder that New York City lacks a comprehensive system for clearing snow from intersections, crosswalks and catch basins.
While the Department of Sanitation did its usual bang-up job of plowing and salting the city's streets, too much of that plowed snow ended up creating headaches for pedestrians – and for less able-bodied New Yorkers, dangerous and impassable obstacles.
As LTV Squad's Joseph Anastasio pointed out a year ago, snow removal at intersections falls into a responsibility black hole, while too many property owners take their time (or altogether skip) shoveling their sidewalks because fines are low and enforcement is almost nil. He offers up a plan that largely puts the onus on the citizenry, which may or may not be the ideal solution – but at least it's a plan! And here are three suggestions from Streetsblog's Ben Fried for improving upon the current situation.
Given its role in creating laws, the City Council needs to tackle this nagging problem head-on. Please take 30 seconds to sign our petition asking the Council to initiate a comprehensive plan for improving snow removal in New York City, one that puts the mobility of pedestrians, transit riders and cyclists on par with that of drivers.
Tell Albany: NO Higher Speed Limit on Ocean Parkway – or Any Other NYC Street!
As Streetsblog's Brad Aaron reported Monday, State Senator Simcha Felder has introduced a bill in Albany that would raise the speed limit on Brooklyn's Ocean Parkway to 30 miles per hour, exempting it from New York City's life-saving 25 mph speed limit.
The bill, first brought to light by City Council Member Brad Lander in a Facebook post on Saturday, has also been introduced in companion legislation in the Assembly by Brooklyn Democrat Steven Cymbrowitz.
Ocean Parkway has for years been one of the city's deadliest roadways, earning the title of the most dangerous street in Brooklyn in both 2011 and 2012. Streetsblog reports that drivers killed eight pedestrians on Ocean Parkway between 2009 and 2013, severely injuring several dozen more. It's one of the streets slated to get safety upgrades thanks to the city's Vision Zero Action Plan.
We urge you to take a moment right now to sign Transportation Alternatives' petition opposing the bills, and to contact both Senator Felder (718-253-2015 / email@example.com) and Assemblyman Cymbrowitz (718-743-4078 / firstname.lastname@example.org) to voice your opposition to their misguided legislation.
Complete Streets Treatment Ahead for Brooklyn's 4th Avenue?
Last Thursday, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that the city would take a fresh look at Brooklyn's 4th Avenue, potentially scrapping plans to permanently expand the median in favor of a complete-streets redesign that would include additional pedestrian islands and protected bike lanes running from Boerum Hill to Bay Ridge.
In a press release, Trottenberg said:
“The chance to redesign one of New York City’s ‘Great Streets’ may only come about every fifty years, and so it’s critical we get it right. The dramatic surge in cycling, combined with safety changes that have dramatically improved Fourth Avenue’s safety and livability, have simply transformed the way Brooklynites see this street. Before we undertake construction that will transform the corridor for decades, we look forward to engaging with elected officials, neighborhoods, and community boards to consider changes to our original plans.”
NYC DOT plans to engage residents though public workshops and to visit Community Boards 2, 6 and 7 in the coming months. City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, who has been a vocal advocate for a complete-streets treatment along 4th Avenue, was especially pleased by the decision to reexamine existing plans.
"I thank the DOT and Sunset Park’s Community Board 7 for accomplishing something government seldom does: pausing a large construction project, listening to the people, and considering additional options like pedestrian safety islands and protected bike lanes," Menchaca said. "On Fourth Avenue, we should extend the design progress already made and add all we’ve learned from Vision Zero."
Stay tuned for information about the public workshops.
Help Jumpstart StreetsPAC's 2017 Election Effort – Donate Today!
New York City's 2017 Primary election is less than six months away, and we need your financial support right now as we develop our candidate questionnaire, begin meeting with candidates, and start considering endorsements.
Every citywide officeholder is up for re-election – the Mayor, Public Advocate and Comptroller – as is every member of the City Council, all five Borough Presidents, and the Brooklyn and Manhattan District Attorneys. 61 races in total. Our goal is to be a player in every one of them.
But we can only do it with your help. In 2013, your contributions made it possible for StreetsPAC to back winning candidates in 13 of 18 Council races on primary night. Not to mention the eventual Mayor, Public Advocate and Manhattan Borough President. The message was crystal clear – support for safe and livable streets, and robust public transit, had arrived as a political force. In total, 21 of the 27 candidates we endorsed were elected in 2013.
Help us do it again. Please give generously. Together we can make our streets safe for every New Yorker.