StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates Win Manhattan, Brooklyn Assembly Primaries!
In New York's September 13th primary election, two StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates for the New York State Assembly won their respective Democratic primary contests in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In Upper Manhattan's 72nd Assembly District, which also includes a small portion of the Bronx, challenger Carmen De La Rosa defeated incumbent Assemblyman Guillermo Linares in a four-person race. And in Brooklyn's 44th Assembly District, attorney Robert Carroll won a three-way race for the Democratic nomination for a seat held currently by Assemblyman Jim Brennan, who is retiring.
The three other candidates whom we endorsed in the primary didn't fare as well. Adrienne Adams lost to incumbent James Sanders, Jr. in Queens’s 10th Senate District, Paul Newell finished third behind winner Yuh-Line Niou in the six-way race for Sheldon Silver's former Assembly seat in Lower Manhattan, and Micah Lasher ran a close second to Marisol Alcantara in a tight race to replace Adriano Espaillat in Manhattan and the Bronx's 31st Senate District. We congratulate the winners, and thank our endorsees for embracing safe and complete streets and better transit in their campaigns.
Additionally, we endorsed incumbent Brooklyn Assembly Members Felix Ortiz (51st District) and Jo Anne Simon (52nd District) for re-election, neither of whom faced a primary challenge.
Carmen De La Rosa and Robert Carroll have both pledged to support the Move New York Fair Plan, installation of life-saving speed cameras at all 2,000+ New York City school (without restriction on their operation), increased deployment of red-light cameras, and expansion of the MTA’s Select Bus Service if elected to the Assembly. See below for a bit more about them.
Carmen De La Rosa, Winner, AD 72 Democratic Primary, Manhattan/Bronx
De La Rosa was until recently Chief of Staff to City Council Member (and Transportation Committee Chair) Ydanis Rodriguez. While working in the Council, De La Rosa played a key role in the passage of a number of pieces of legislation related to Vision Zero, and she’s firmly committed to improving public transit and street safety throughout her district. Born in the Dominican Republic, she immigrated to Inwood as a child. She's a graduate of Fordham University and the Coro Leadership Institute.
Robert Carroll, Winner, AD 44 Democratic Primary, Brooklyn
Carroll, an attorney and former president of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democratic club, has been a fixture in local politics since his teens. He has a strong command of the issues facing the MTA, and is determined to find a win-win solution to the contentious issue of restoration of express service on the F subway line, which runs through the 44th District. Born and raised in Windsor Terrace and Kensington, Carroll graduated from SUNY-Binghamton and New York Law School. The Believers, a play about campaign politics that Carroll wrote and produced, debuted to good reviews in 2014.
Finally, Prospect Park West Bike Path Opponents Drop Lawsuit
From the Department of It's About Time: Last week, the small group of plaintiffs who went by the Orwellian names of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety, came to their senses and withdrew the five-and-a-half-year-old lawsuit challenging Brooklyn's wildly popular Prospect Park West bike path. While it was highly unlikely that they would have prevailed in their legal effort to return Prospect Park West to a three-lane urban speedway, the withdrawal of the suit makes the two-way bike path abutting Prospect Park undeniably permanent.
In the statement they issued announcing the end of the lawsuit, NBBL and Seniors for Safety, who won a court ruling in March allowing the case to continue, acknowledged that "seeking removal of the lane" was no longer "the most constructive action our groups can take." That's for sure.
Writing on Streetsblog, editor Ben Fried had this to say:
As much as I would like to be gracious in victory, the fact is [plaintiffs Louise] Hainline and [Norman] Steisel set back New York City’s street safety efforts by at least a few years. The bike program survived, but it lost a lot of momentum because of this lawsuit. In some ways, NYC DOT still seems scarred by it and more hesitant to think big about street redesigns.
Yesterday’s NBBL statement is not an apology. It’s a longwinded attempt to save face and maintain the fiction that they sued to erase a perfectly safe and functional bike lane out of a sense of civic duty, not selfishness. It’s their last jab, a final round of misinformation to plant in the news cycle.
The only thing left to say is good riddance.
Last week, on the first day of fall, New Yorkers (and some out-of-town visitors, to be sure) took 67,489 Citi Bike trips, a new daily record and the ninth new high reached in September. The popular bike-share system also reached 10,000,000 rides for the year, an annual total that wasn't achieved until December 31st in 2015.
The increases in ridership coincides, of course, with the expansion of the system into several Brooklyn neighborhoods and northward in Manhattan, along with some additional station density on the Upper East and Upper West Sides. As Citi Bike noted in a communique to members last week, the system now rivals the city's Boro Taxi program and the Staten Island Ferry in daily ridership.
While a few people seem less than thrilled about Citi Bike's expansion, the growth in ridership and annual members (more than 100,000 at this juncture) indicates that they're clearly in the minority. That said, if you want to show your support for Citi Bike's expansion – especially in Brooklyn's Community District 6 – you can add your name to this thank-you petition.
StreetsPoll: If You Build It, Carlos, We Will Ride
In our most recent StreetsPoll, which we ran in conjunction with the September 7th fundraiser we held for City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (thanks to those of you who joined us and contributed!), we asked you which project or bill backed by Menchaca you'd most like to see happen.
Two-thirds of you chose the creation of parking-protected bike lanes along Brooklyn's busy and dangerous 4th Avenue, a project that Menchaca plugged to Streetsblog last month.
Congratulations to Michelle Herman of Brooklyn, the randomly selected winner of a StreetsPAC t-shirt from among respondents to the September 7th StreetsPoll.