A group of New York City advocates with a broad portfolio in grassroots activism announced today the launch of StreetsPAC, a political action committee dedicated to electing public officials who are committed to improving the safety, mobility and livability of one of New York City’s greatest assets: our streets.
StreetsPAC will raise money to support the electoral campaigns of candidates who demonstrate unwavering dedication to complete streets, including the expansion of traffic-calming infrastructure, growth of the city’s Neighborhood Slow Zones initiative, building out of more pedestrian plazas, expansion of the city’s network of bike lanes, and better and more thorough crash investigations and enforcement of traffic laws.
“New York City has made major advances in street safety over the past few years, and we want to continue that momentum,” said Steve Vaccaro, a StreetsPAC board member and attorney whose firm represents pedestrians and cyclists injured in crashes. “We envision a city in which everyone is safe to use the streets, whether they’re on two feet, a bike, in a wheelchair, on a bus or in a car – and supporting candidates who share that goal is a logical next step in realizing that vision.”
StreetsPAC will be evaluating candidates via a questionnaire and personal interviews over the next few months, and plans to donate to, make endorsements of, and mobilize volunteers for those candidates who stand out among their peers for their commitment to safe, complete streets.
“Pedestrian plazas and bike lanes don’t just make our streets safer,” said StreetsPAC board member Hilda Cohen, founder of Make Brooklyn Safer. “They also make good politics. A large majority of New Yorkers support plazas, bike lanes and bike share, and smart candidates who support those initiatives will tap into a very motivated and active constituency.”
Complete streets – those that make room for pedestrians and cyclists, and transit and motor-vehicle users alike – make everyone safer. Studies have shown repeatedly that such well-balanced streets significantly reduce the frequency and severity of injuries for all users. What’s more, complete streets are demonstrably better for business.
“To be a competitive 21st century city, New York needs to keep advancing its commitment to safe, balanced streets,” said Eric McClure, StreetsPAC’s treasurer and a co-founder of grassroots advocacy group Park Slope Neighbors. “Cities are in a tooth-and-nail battle to attract the young knowledge workers who will lead tomorrow’s economy, and they’re increasingly fighting that battle by making their cities more walkable, expanding bike networks and introducing amenities like bike-share systems. Complete streets are an economic engine.”
StreetsPAC is registered with the New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board. To learn more about StreetsPAC, its mission and its board of directors, please visit www.streetspac.org.