Eric McClure

StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Greenway Master Plan, Public Restrooms

We testified at yesterday's New York City Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure oversight hearing on managing public space, in support of bills that would require a Greenway Master Plan, foster creation of more public restrooms, and make it easier for schools and other institutions to use adjacent open spaces. Our full testimony follows below.

StreetsPAC is strongly supportive of this committee’s assessing of the large and crucial task of managing the city’s public space. Welcoming, dynamic, easily accessed, and equitable public space is critical to the health of New York City and its citizens, and we believe the creation of a high-level entity within city government to coordinate and manage the city’s public spaces is urgently necessary.

The pandemic has underscored just how important access to open space is to New Yorkers, and just how immensely popular – and good for business – welcoming, strollable, and sittable areas are across diverse communities. We urge this committee and the full Council to prioritize improvement in the city’s management of public space.

As to the three bills before the committee today, we support all of them.


published StreetsPAC's 2022 Primary Election Voter Guide in News 2022-06-27 17:39:47 -0400

StreetsPAC's 2022 Primary Election Voter Guide

Today is Primary Day in New York, and polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you're registered to vote with a political-party affiliation, you are eligible to vote in your party's primary.

We've spent the past few months evaluating responses to our in-depth candidate questionnaire, analyzing policy platforms, and conducting personal interviews with dozens of candidates. We've endorsed 19 candidates for State Assembly, 16 of whom appear on primary ballots today. You can learn more about each of them below, as well as the street-safety and transportation issues they'll advocate for in office.

This primary will undoubtedly continue a trend of low-turnout elections. While we're fans of robust voter participation, the silver lining is that your vote for a candidate who supports safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit, has the potential to make a real difference in a close race.

To find your polling location, see a sample ballot, and check your voter-registration status, please visit vote.nycWe urge you to get out and vote for our endorsed candidates. Read on for our full voter guide; you can click the links at the top to jump to our endorsements in a particular borough.

And if you have an hour or two to spare today, it's not too late to help our endorsees get out the vote. We've compiled links to all of our candidates' volunteer opportunities – just click here to find a GOTV opportunity near you.


Vote for Our Assembly Endorsees – and Help Them Get Out the Vote!

Vote Early for StreetsPAC Assembly Endorsees

Early voting continues this week in advance of the June 28th Primary, and if you haven't voted already, you have until 3 p.m. today, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, to vote early. And poll sites will of course be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the Primary on Tuesday. You can locate your early-voting and regular polling site, check your registration status, and find other election info at vote.nyc.

We've endorsed 19 candidates for Assembly, 16 of whom are on the Primary ballot (three incumbents are not facing challenges, noted below). New York State will hold a separate primary for State Senate races on August 23rd – stay tuned for our Senate endorsements in July.

You can read about all 19 of our endorsed Assembly candidates below, listed chronologically by district number, with links to their websites and maps for each district. You can also click the borough links to jump ahead. Please vote and help us grow the pro-safe streets, pro-transit majority in the Assembly!

Volunteer to Help StreetsPAC Candidates Get Out the Vote

A number of our endorsees are running in tight primary races, and with low turnout, every vote is hugely important. There are numerous opportunities to help them get out the vote between now and Tuesday, from phone-banking to door-knocking to Primary Day visibility near polling sites. Even just an hour or two of your time could help make the difference in a close election.

We've compiled links to all of our endorsees' volunteer opportunities here. Please pitch in for a few hours and help them win!


Help StreetsPAC's Assembly Endorsees Get Out the Vote

Early voting continues through Sunday, June 26, before the June 28 primary election, and many of the Assembly candidates we've endorsed in the primary need your help to get out the vote.

We've listed below links to volunteer opportunities over the coming days with all the candidates we've endorsed. Even an hour or two of your time knocking on doors, phone-banking, or handing out literature could make the difference between a victory or loss in a closely contested election – and the difference between electing a candidate who will support protected bike lanes or a dedicated busway and one who will defend the cars-first status quo.

Click on links below to learn more about upcoming volunteer shifts with StreetsPAC's 2022 Assembly endorsees.

Queens

Anthony Andrews, Assembly District 32: All Volunteer Opportunities

Jessica González-Rojas, Assembly District 34: All Volunteer Opportunities

Juan Ardila, Assembly District 37: All Volunteer Opportunities

Brooklyn

Brian Cunningham, Assembly District 43: All Volunteer Opportunities

Emily Gallagher, Assembly District 50: All Volunteer Opportunities

Samy Nemir Olivares, Assembly District 54: All Volunteer Opportunities

Hercules Reid, Assembly District 58: All Volunteer Opportunities

Manhattan

Grace Lee, Assembly District 65: All Volunteer Opportunities

Ryder Kessler, Assembly District 66: All Volunteer Opportunities

Eddie Gibbs, Assembly District 68: All Volunteer Opportunities

Delsenia Glover, Assembly District 70: All Volunteer Opportunities

Adam Roberts, Assembly District 73: All Volunteer Opportunities

Tony Simone, Assembly District 75: All Volunteer Opportunities

Patrick Bobilin, Assembly District 76: All Volunteer Opportunities

Bronx

Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assembly District 81: All Volunteer Opportunities

Jonathan Soto, Assembly District 82: All Volunteer Opportunities


published 2022 NYS Assembly Primary in Endorsements 2022-06-16 11:57:10 -0400

2022 NYS Assembly Primary

2022 State Assembly Endorsees: Queens | Brooklyn | Manhattan | Bronx

Queens


Khaleel AndersonKhaleel Anderson, 31st Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Assemblymember Anderson won his seat in 2020 with StreetsPAC's endorsement, becoming the youngest African American to ever serve in the Assembly. He's been a vocal supporter of improved public-transit service since his days as a youth activist, especially better and more reliable buses. He's co-sponsored a number of bills aimed at improving safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians, and frequently bikes to meetings within his district. Assemblymember Anderson is also lead sponsor of a bill that would tax air travel to create an environmental justice fund. He's advocated for creating more open space within his district, including an effort to de-map several blocks beneath the elevated A train line to create a network of public plazas. Anderson does not face a primary challenge, a testament to his work in his first term.

Anthony AndrewsAnthony Andrews, 32nd Assembly District, Queens (Challenger) – Dr. Andrews, an educator and community leader, is challenging long-time incumbent Vivian Cook in this eastern Queens district. He supports improving public transit, including the redesign of the Queens Bus Network and expansion of the Freedom Ticket for LIRR customers, and believes that use of bus-lane enforcement cameras and transit-signal priority should be broadened significantly. He also wants to see the area's haphazard bike lanes connected and expanded into a safe and contiguous network. Dr. Andrews supports allowing speed cameras to operate 24/7, and backs the deployment of specialized cameras to combat noise pollution from illegally modified mufflers.

Jessica Gonzalez-RojasJessica González-Rojas, 34th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent) – Assemblymember González-Rojas won her seat in 2020 with StreetsPAC's support. She was the lead sponsor in the Assembly of, and worked tirelessly to pass, the MTA Bike Access bill, which was signed into law late last year and mandates the creation of a strategic plan to facilitate access to the MTA's bridges and stations. She's proudly championed the 34th Avenue Open Street, and wants to see it turned into a linear park. Assemblymember González-Rojas has continued to advocated for the redesign of dangerous Northern Boulevard, pushing for dedicated bus lanes and protected bike lanes. She's certainly earned another term in Albany.

Juan ArdilaJuan Ardila, 37th Assembly District, Queens (Open Seat) – Ardila, whom StreetsPAC endorsed when he ran for City Council in 2021, is running to succeed Cathy Nolan, who is retiring from the Assembly. He wants to reduce the car culture in the eastern part of the district by improving transit access and making it easier and safer to bike, and supports the expansion of Citi Bike and the bike-lane network. He's excited about the prospects for the Interborough Express, and is supportive of operating speed cameras around the clock. He's also committed to pursuing reform of the Department of Motor Vehicles, including the periodic retesting or recertification of drivers, and ongoing education efforts.

Brooklyn


Brian CunninghamBrian Cunningham, 43rd Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Cunningham, who won a special election to succeed Diana Richardson in March, is running for re-election to a full term. A member of the Assembly's Transportation Committee, he co-sponsored the speed-camera reauthorization bill, and supports creation of a dedicated bus lane on Flatbush Avenue, something he looks forward to working toward with a fellow StreetsPAC endorsee, Council Member Rita Joseph. He's an advocate for Citi Bike expansion, in conjunction with a safer, more robust network of bike lanes. In an attractive field of candidates (we were especially impressed by Tim Hunter, a certain rising star), Cunningham, whom we endorsed for City Council in 2017, stands out for his experience.

Robert Carroll, 44th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Assemblymember Carroll, whom we've endorsed multiple times since 2016, has been a consistent champion for safer streets and better public transit. He continues to advocate for implementing congestion pricing as soon as possible, with no additional exemptions, and for improved bus service, especially a Brooklyn bus network redesign with more dedicated lanes. He's been a vocal supporter of expanding the city's allocation of speed and red-light cameras, and supports expanding the use of cameras to keep bus lanes and bus stops clear of parked cars. Assemblymember Carroll does not face a primary challenge.

Emily GallagherEmily Gallagher, 50th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Emily Gallagher pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the 2020 election cycle, winning her seat by defeating 24-term incumbent Joe Lentol with StreetsPAC's endorsement and a platform that centered progressive transportation policies. Since taking office, she's continued to champion safer streets, serving on the Assembly's Transportation Committee and successfully lobbying New York City to invest $39 million in improvements to McGuinness Boulevard. She's been a staunch advocate for Open Streets, and her bill with Senator Andrew Gounardes requiring that New Yorkers taking the driver's pre-licensing course be instructed in pedestrian and cyclist safety passed the legislature last month. Next on Assemblymember Gallagher's agenda: advocating for major design changes to her district's Manhattan Avenue.

Samy Nemir OlivaresSamy Nemir Olivares, 54th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Samy Nemir Olivares, a Democratic District Leader, is challenging incumbent Assemblymember Erik Dilan in the 54th District, which includes parts of Bushwick, Cypress Hills, and East New York. He's committed to advocating for improved transit service, especially faster and more reliable buses by way of dedicated lanes, and believes buses should eventually be fare-free. A regular cyclist, he supports significant expansion of the district's bike-lane network. He'll also push for the speedy implementation of congestion pricing once in office.

Hercules ReidHercules Reid, 58th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Challenger) – Reid, a former aide to Eric Adams, joined Families for Safe Streets after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in 2015. That experience shaped his advocacy for better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, something he'll prioritize for the 58th District. He'll also push to bring Citi Bike to the area. Reid is committed to working to improve the area's transit options, like speeding up the B46 on Utica Avenue by reducing double-parking, increasing the reliability of the B8, a key east-west bus route, and identifying locations for busways. Monique Chandler-Waterman, who won the May special election for the 58th District Assembly seat, completed our questionnaire but did not schedule an interview.

Manhattan


Grace LeeGrace Lee, 65th Assembly District, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Lee, a neighborhood organizer and small-business owner, impressed us when she ran for this same seat in 2020 against Yuh-Line Niou, who is running for Congress. Lee will make upgrading public transit a priority, especially improving bus service and subway accessibility on the Lower East Side, and she's also interested in reforming the MTA board and making sure the agency is focused on enhancing service. A regular Citi Biker, she supports a safer and more robust bike network, speeding up fixes to Canal Street, and cracking down on the placard abuse that plagues the district's streets and sidewalks. Lee's main primary opponent, Illapa Sairitupac, also impressed us greatly with his enthusiasm around street-safety and transportation issues, but we believe Grace Lee has the experience and commitment to best deliver for the district.

Ryder KesslerRyder Kessler, 66th Assembly District, Manhattan (Challenger) – Kessler, a progressive organizer and former social-impact entrepreneur who's challenging long-time 66th District Assemblymember Deborah Glick in the Democratic primary, has made transforming and improving the safety of the city's streets a central plank in his platform. He's an advocate for replacing free curbside car storage with more space for pedestrians, containerized trash receptacles, protected bike lanes, dedicated busways, and improved outdoor-dining setups. He believes the bike network should be expanded and universally hardened against incursion by drivers, and will advocate to end delays in the implementation of congestion pricing. Despite Kessler's robust agenda, this was not an easy decision for us. Assemblymember Glick has worked with Families for Safe Streets to champion speed cameras and other street-safety initiatives. Yet she was slow to come around on congestion tolling, and more recently, rallied with opponents of the Open Restaurants program. We believe the district is ready for new leadership, and we're confident that Ryder Kessler will be a leader in Albany on transportation issues.

Eddie GibbsEddie Gibbs, 68th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Gibbs, the first formerly incarcerated person to serve in the State Legislature, was elected to succeed Robert Rodriguez in a special election in January. Assemblymember Gibbs supports implementing congestion pricing with no additional carveouts, and would like to see the MTA improve bus service with more Select Bus Service routes and crosstown busways. He backed the renewal and expansion of the city's speed-camera program and passage of the Crash Victims Rights & Safety Act, and would like to see more street space dedicated to cycling and pedestrian uses.

Delsenia GloverDelsenia Glover, 70th Assembly District, Manhattan (Challenger) – Glover, a long-time housing-rights activist and former Deputy Public Advocate for Housing Equity, is challenging incumbent Assemblymember Inez Dickens in this district that covers much of Harlem. Glover believes the city would be a much better place with fewer cars, and supports improving bus service with new busways, and expanding the bike network, including improving the greenway along the Harlem River. She supports the expansion of the city's speed-camera program, and will support efforts to pass noise-camera legislation. We believe voters in the 70th District would do well to elect this "big believer in changing the whole cityscape." 

Adam RobertsAdam Roberts, 73rd Assembly District, Manhattan (Open Seat) – There's a very competitive race shaping up to succeed past StreetsPAC endorsee Dan Quart in this Upper East Side district, but we believe Adam Roberts stands above the pack. Roberts, who directs policy for the American Institute of Architects' New York chapter and was an aide to former Council Member Ben Kallos, is committed to improving transit service and making it safer and easier for people to walk and bike. He supports converting all crosstown bus routes serving the district to Select Bus Service, completing the Second Avenue Subway, and expanding the congestion-pricing zone north of 60th Street, and is a proponent of wider sidewalks, protected bike lanes (including on 72nd Street), and containerizing trash in the street. Two of his competitors, Alex Bores and Kellie Leeson, also impressed us with their positions, but we believe Adam Roberts, with his commitment to transforming the district's built environment, is best positioned in this race.

Harvey EpsteinHarvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Assemblymember Epstein, whom we endorsed in 2018 and 2020, and who's seeking his third term in the Assembly, has been a reliable vote for safer streets and better public transit. He's championed automated camera enforcement, and has expressed an interest in authoring legislation that would increase the consequences for habitually dangerous drivers. He's an advocate for improving bus service, and as someone who often gets around by bike, he supports building more protected bike lanes across the city. He's also been a vocal supporter of Open Streets. Epstein does not face a primary challenge.

Tony SimoneTony Simone, 75th Assembly District, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Come January, the people of the 75th District will have a new Assemblymember for the first time in more than half a century, as Richard Gottfried is retiring. We believe Tony Simone is best qualified to succeed Gottfried. Simone, who's had extensive experience inside and outside government, believes fewer cars, better transit, and more people on bikes are key to a more livable city. He supports moving ahead quickly with congestion pricing, and taking steps to speed up buses. He also supports rethinking the way the city manages its curb space, and told us he thinks the Hudson River Greenway should be widened by taking a vehicular lane from West Street.

Patrick BobilinPatrick Bobilin, 76th Assembly District, Manhattan (Challenger) – Bobilin, a community organizer and digital-marketing expert, is challenging four-term Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright for this Upper East Side seat. Bobilin supports transit improvements, especially to bus service – he'd like to see a 14th Street-style busway on 86th Street – and ultimately envisions a fare-free transit system supported by progressive taxes. He'd like to improve ferry service by integrating it with the larger transit system, and plans to advocate for major improvements to the East River Greenway. He's also expressed an interest in pushing for reform of the State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Bronx


Jeffrey DinowitzJeffrey Dinowitz, 81st Assembly District, Bronx (Incumbent) – Assemblymember Dinowitz has long been a champion for public transit, authoring the MTA "lock-box" bill that became law in 2019. Though he came later than some of his colleagues to support for congestion pricing, he now backs its implementation without any exemptions not already in the law, citing the need for revenue to improve service and accessibility. He wants the Bronx Bus Network redesign to lead to more frequent buses, especially on east-west routes, and he's expressed an interest in introducing a bill that would allow bus cameras to operate universally. He'd also like the city's Department of Transportation to restart the Neighborhood Slow Zone program, which he feels has improved safety in his district.

Jonathan SotoJonathan Soto, 82nd Assembly District, Bronx (Challenger) – Soto, a former staffer for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a background in law and urban planning, is challenging incumbent Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, who's represented this East Bronx district for 18 years. Soto is concerned with the area's too-often "dangerous" car culture, and wants to make it much easier, and safer, for residents to get around without driving. He'll advocate for better biking infrastructure in the district, and would like to see ferries – critical for speeding up long Bronx commutes – made more environmentally friendly and integrated into the transit system. 


StreetsPAC Endorses 19 Candidates for New York State Assembly

We are excited today to endorse 19 candidates for the New York State Assembly!

Our endorsees include eight incumbents, seven candidates challenging sitting Assemblymembers, and four candidates seeking open seats. Three of the incumbents we're endorsing are not facing primary races, which we've noted below, so they won't appear on the ballot until November's general election. We also anticipate making additional Assembly endorsements this summer.

The majority of our endorsees, however, will appear on the Democratic Primary ballot on June 28th. In-person early voting begins this Saturday, June 18th. You can check your registration status, find out where to vote, and find other election info at vote.nyc. We've included links to district maps for each of the candidates we're endorsing.

As you probably know, New York State will hold a separate primary for State Senate races on August 23rd. We will be making endorsements in Senate races in the coming weeks.

We are delighted with the 2022 class of Assembly endorsees, and hope you'll join us in supporting their candidacies. Read on to meet them all, listed below chronologically by district number. You can also click the borough links to jump ahead.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on the Influx of Federal Infrastructure Funding

We testified today at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure oversight hearing on assessing the state of the city's infrastructure and laying the foundation for federal infrastructure funding, a broad and somewhat complicated topic (there are reportedly 34 separate funding streams for infrastructure projects). We focused on certain aspects of the city's transportation system; our full testimony follows below.

Thanks to an unprecedented flow of federal infrastructure funding, New York City has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade and expand its transportation system.

While there are many pots of federal money, quite a few of which are tied to competitive grants, StreetsPAC believes the city should be guided by a few overarching principles.

First, similarly to the Priority Investment Areas outlined in the New York City Streets Plan, funding should be prioritized in communities that have historically been underserved. Economically disadvantaged and predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods should receive priority when it comes to these transportation initiatives.

Secondly, investments in transportation infrastructure should emphasize safety and accessibility, especially the safety of vulnerable street users. The reversal in the progress of the city’s Vision Zero initiative has reached a critical juncture. We know that investments in complete streets, protected bike lanes, curb extensions, raised crosswalks and similar design treatments improve safety for everyone, and the influx of federal funds can both expand and speed up the implementation of these types of infrastructure. Similarly, we should take this opportunity to accelerate the pace of investment in making our transit system 100% accessible.

Thirdly, we believe the city should prioritize quick-build projects wherever federal funding will support that. Dedicated bus lanes, busways, protected bike lanes, and a host of traffic-calming installations can be implemented quickly, and often at relatively low cost. Bus and bike improvements can also help to plug gaps in transit deserts.

Relatedly, we believe the availability of federal funds for alternative transportation modes presents a golden opportunity to subsidize accelerated expansion of the city’s bike-share program. Bike share remains the only aspect of our transportation system that receives no subsidy, and we should seize this chance to expand bike share across the five boroughs and to New Yorkers of all means.

Finally, we want to amplify the call by Council Member Rivera and others to make a substantial investment in the city’s Greenway network. Greenways have the potential to extend open space into all corners of the city, and to serve as the backbone of a safe, separated, and resilient citywide bike network. Federal funds can jumpstart the city’s decades-old plan to build a robust, interconnected Greenway network. Let’s not let this opportunity go to waste.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on 2022-2023 Transportation Budget

We testified today at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing regarding the city's fiscal year 2023 transportation budget, and the importance of fully funding the New York City Streets Plan, a position shared by more than 60 of our partners in advocacy. Our full testimony follows below.

Fully funding the New York City Streets Plan is essential to improving transportation for all New Yorkers, increasing the safety and accessibility of city streets, speeding up commutes for millions of bus riders, creating more safe and welcoming public spaces, and beginning to address the equity gap in access to transit, cycling, and micro-mobility options.

That will require an investment of $170 million dedicated to the Streets Plan in fiscal year 2023, and we urge the City Council and Mayor Adams to make certain that those funds are allocated in the coming budget.

This investment in an expanded network of protected bike lanes, safety improvements to thousands of intersections, and redesigns of the city’s most dangerous streets, is essential for protecting New Yorkers from traffic violence. It becomes clearer every day that we can’t enforce our way to Vision Zero, especially with it so obvious that the NYPD has largely withdrawn from traffic enforcement. Achieving the benchmarks laid out in the Streets Plan will be critical to reducing deaths and injuries, as better street design is key to improving safety. 

Meeting the benchmarks for building bus lanes and busways and improving bus stops is a necessity for improving service for the millions of people who rely on the bus, as well as to reverse the ongoing decline in ridership. Better bus service is a fundamental equity issue, as buses disproportionately serve black and brown and lower-income New Yorkers, and expanding bus service is the fastest and most effective means of eliminating transit deserts. It’s a moral imperative that we prioritize speeding up buses, rather than leaving straphangers stuck behind road-hogging single-occupancy personal cars and empty double-parked vehicles.

Beyond the need to fully fund the Streets Plan, we also urge the Council and the Mayor to prioritize increased investment in the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program. While the program is just ramping up, it’s already obvious that it must be expanded. The thresholds for triggering the program must be lowered to allow interventions with a greater number of dangerous drivers, as intended in the original legislation, not just the very worst of the worst, and that will require more funding. Because the city’s speed and red-light camera programs do not assign points to drivers’ licenses, the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program is the only effective means of holding chronically reckless drivers to account.

While, as we noted, we can’t enforce our way to Vision Zero, we can employ technology to identify and intervene with dangerous drivers, and it is incumbent on the Council and the Mayor to make sure that we do all we can as a city to enable that.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Transportation Equity

We testified today at the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing regarding transportation equity. Our full testimony follows below.

This hearing, let alone our two minutes of testimony, will only begin to scratch the surface of the problem of inequity in New York City’s transportation system. It’s a crucial topic that requires much more attention and effort, but calling attention to it today is a good and welcome start.

New York City is plagued by inequality, and that grave imbalance extends from incomes and housing and education to the city’s streets. Black and brown New Yorkers, and African Americans and low-income communities especially, are disproportionately victimized by traffic violence. This is due in large part to the city’s failure to make equitable and adequate investments in life-saving infrastructure, in traffic-calming designs like road diets, curb extensions, refuge islands and protected bike lanes, a failing underscored in an excellent analysis last month in Streetsblog developed by reporter Julianne Cuba and How’s My Driving creator Brian Howald.

The New York City Streets Plan, however, is a promising step in beginning to address that inequity. Passed by the last Council and signed into law by then-Mayor de Blasio, the Streets Plan lays out important benchmarks for investment in the city’s transportation network and infrastructure, and it rightly prioritizes that investment in communities that have been poorly served in the past. It’s incumbent on this committee and the Council, and we in the advocacy world, to make certain that City Hall and DOT meet the benchmarks laid out in the Streets Plan – and to insist that it’s fully funded.

We must also continue to prioritize investment in automated enforcement strategies that remove human bias, like speed and red-light cameras, and lobby Albany to allow those devices to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We don’t turn off ShotSpotter overnight or on weekends. We don’t turn off security cameras after hours. Far, far too many crashes that cause death or injury happen in places with speed cameras that are not operating due to curfew. The Council must join with the Mayor in lobbying Albany for home rule, for speed limits as well as camera systems.

Our colleagues in advocacy have spoken and will speak about buses in greater detail, but we as a city must make better bus service a top priority. Buses are lifelines for working-class New Yorkers who often don’t have other means to get around, but we neglect them by allowing single-occupancy private vehicles to hog road space. A lone double-parked SUV can ruin a commute for 50 people on a bus. We must build more busways and separated bus lanes, rapidly expand signal priority and all-door boarding, and put enforcement cameras on every bus in the city.

We also must make cycling attractive, affordable, and safe for many more New Yorkers. Biking has boomed during the pandemic, but there’s so much more we can do. Subsidizing accelerated expansion of Citi Bike to many more neighborhoods, rolled out in tandem with a robust network of safe, protected bike lanes, is a great place to start. The city’s bike-share system is immensely popular, but it has yet to reach many New Yorkers for whom it would be an attractive mobility option. As the only facet of our transportation system that doesn’t receive public funding, it’s high time that we boost the bike-share program with operating subsidies, and with the kind of safe bike-lane network that will attract and protect new cyclists. Let’s see a bill come out of the Council this year that puts that in motion.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Outdoor Dining

We testified today at the New York City Council's Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection and Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises joint hearing regarding the city's permanent outdoor dining program. Our full testimony follows below.

New York City’s Open Restaurants program is responsible for having saved hundreds, if not thousands, of the city’s restaurants, by and large small, family-owned businesses, which faced overwhelming challenges at the depth of the pandemic, along with tens of thousands of attendant restaurant jobs, and has proved overwhelmingly popular with diners, who have voted convincingly with their cash and credit cards to make the program permanent.

That isn’t to say that the program is perfect, nor that some of the criticism of the Open Restaurants program isn’t valid. There are legitimate concerns about noise on blocks that mix commercial activity with residences, many outdoor dining structures are flimsy or sited haphazardly, and more than a few pose a hazard to safe cycling. But these are fixable flaws.

Ideally, as a long-term goal, the city should expand the width of sidewalks in places in which outdoor dining has proved popular, allowing for expanded café space immediately adjacent to the storefronts of participating restaurants. In places where that’s not possible, restaurants should pay a fee for using street space, or the city should create communal spaces open to anyone, along the lines of the Streets Seats program. In the shorter term, however, there are a number of things we can and should do to improve the Open Restaurants program. These include:

  • Shifting from more fully built structures to movable tables, chairs, and umbrellas, like in the Meatpacking District or Bryant Park.

  • Situating seating immediately adjacent to the curb, with physically protected accommodations where possible for existing curbside bike lanes rerouted between restaurant setups and motor-vehicle lanes.

  • Imposing strict design guidelines that limit the heights of restaurant structures to allow for better visibility, and to ensure that sidewalks are fully and easily passable.

  • Establishing well enforced rules regulating hours of operation and noise levels, to control negative effects in places with adjacent residences.

  • Reducing speed limits on smaller streets with curbside dining, and implementing physical safety barriers on larger streets and avenues where speed-limit reductions are impractical. A group of more than three dozen elected officials, including Speaker Adams and Council Members Ayala, Brannan, Powers, and Rivera, wrote to then-Mayor de Blasio in September of 2020 asking for such measures, which have yet to be implemented.

Finally, we must view the Open Restaurants program in the larger context of how the city manages curb space. Open Restaurants, Open Streets, and other pandemic-era efforts to increase access to street space have demonstrated the public’s overwhelming interest in allowing curbside uses beyond the storage of private cars. The curb has tremendous value, and should be managed in a way that reflects that. To that end, we urge the creation of an office of public space management or the public realm to oversee such efforts.


published It's Election Day in New York City in News 2021-11-02 05:48:49 -0400

It's Election Day in New York City!

Good morning! Today is Election Day in New York City!

Polls open at 6 a.m., and will remain open until 9 p.m. You can locate your polling site, confirm your registration status, and view a sample ballot at www.vote.nyc.

StreetsPAC's board has spent the past eight months evaluating responses to our detailed candidate questionnaires, analyzing policy platforms, and conducting in-depth personal interviews with more than 100 candidates. We've endorsed 28 candidates across New York City, for Mayor; Comptroller; Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn Borough President; Manhattan District Attorney; and for City Council seats in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. You can learn more about each of our endorsees below, and the safe-streets and transportation policies they'll champion in office.

We urge you to vote for all the StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates on your ballot! Read on below for our full voter guide; you can click the links below to jump to our endorsements in a particular borough. Council races are listed in numerical order by district.


published StreetsPAC's General Election Voter Guide in News 2021-11-01 16:36:31 -0400

StreetsPAC's General Election Voter Guide

Tomorrow is Election Day in New York City!

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can locate your polling site, confirm your registration status, and view a sample ballot at www.vote.nyc.

StreetsPAC's board spent the past several months evaluating responses to our detailed candidate questionnaires, analyzing policy platforms, and conducting in-depth personal interviews with more than 100 candidates. We've endorsed 28 candidates across New York City, for Mayor; Comptroller; Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn Borough President; Manhattan District Attorney; and for City Council seats in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. You can get to know each of our endorsees below, along with the safe-streets and transportation policies they'll champion in office.

We urge you to get out and vote for all the StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates on your ballot! Read on for our full voter guide; you can click the links at the top to jump to our endorsements in a particular borough. Council races are listed in numerical order by district.


Early Voting Continues; City Council Hearing on Vision Zero

Early Voting Continues through Sunday

Early voting for New York City's municipal election continues through Sunday, with polls open today until 8 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m, Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Polls will then open again on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2nd, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

You can locate your polling site, confirm your registration status, and view a sample ballot at www.vote.nyc.

You can also see the complete roster of the 28 candidates StreetsPAC has endorsed in our voting guide, which you can find here. Here's a preview:

Testimony to City Council on Vision Zero, Illegal Parking, Reducing Reliance on Motor Vehicles, and Improving Street Safety

Yesterday, we testified at the New York City Council's joint Transportation and Public Safety oversight hearing on the topics above. We told the Council that Vision Zero doesn't need to be rethought so much as it needs to be implemented properly, with significantly greater emphasis on street design and less reliance on often-lacking police enforcement.

We also urged the speedy passage of Council Member Steve Levin's Int. 2159, which would enable civilian reporting of illegal parking, along with bills that would ban the sale or distribution of license plate covers and decriminalize jaywalking.

You can read our full testimony here.


published 2021 NYC General Election in Endorsements 2021-10-26 17:06:05 -0400

2021 NYC General Election

2021 Endorsees: Citywide | Manhattan | Bronx | Queens | Brooklyn

Citywide


EricAdams.jpgEric Adams, Mayor (Open Seat) – Eric Adams, who emerged victorious from a crowded and competitive Democratic mayoral primary in June, has been a reliable ally to advocates of safe and complete streets for more than a decade.

Mr. Adams, who was elected Brooklyn Borough President in 2013 after serving in the State Senate for seven years, has often credited a 2010 walk he took in Park Slope with "20's Plenty" founder Rod King for solidifying his views about the importance of traffic-safety issues.

As New York City's next Mayor, he is determined to revitalize the city's Vision Zero initiative. No elected official has shown up more often for victims of traffic crashes than Mr. Adams since he assumed the Borough President's role, and he clearly takes traffic violence personally. Come January, he'll be in a position to get Vision Zero back on track – with a focus on equity that has been missing from the program to date.

He introduced legislation while a State Senator calling for better education of drivers, has supported Neighborhood Slow Zones, and, with an eye to promoting equity in the city's cycling infrastructure, championed the Flatbush Avenue bike path, which now connects Grand Army Plaza and Ocean Avenue.

Mr. Adams's "Moving Forward Together" transportation plan calls for building true Bus Rapid Transit corridors, especially outside Manhattan, focusing first on wide corridors with service roads like Brooklyn's Linden Boulevard, and for accelerating the rollout of electric buses. He's pledged to stripe 150 new miles of bus lanes and busways, citing the success of Manhattan's 14th Street busway as a blueprint.

He also intends to go to bat for improved transit accessibility, such as faster implementation of elevators and ramps in the city's subway stations, reopening of existing-but-closed subway entrances, expansion of the Fair Fares program, and broad implementation of the Freedom Ticket. He's called for speedy implementation of the city's congestion-pricing program.

A strong proponent of active health and its many benefits, Borough President Adams can often be found riding his bicycle around Brooklyn, and he has for several years hosted a diverse Earth Day ride to call attention to the need for better street designs. In May, following a bike ride with members of our board, he announced his commitment to creating 300 miles of new protected bike lanes within his first four years in office, including bike "superhighways" running under elevated roadways and rail lines.

He intends to expand Citi Bike, and has cited development of a citywide network of electric bike- and scooter-share, especially in underserved areas, as a priority. Mr. Adams has also called for significantly increasing safe and secure bike-parking options for New Yorkers. He's a champion of the Harbor Ring, and will advocate for improved bike access on state-managed bridges like the Verrazzano-Narrows. He has a vision of a city in which it's safe for kids to bike to school.

Borough President Adams has also spoken frequently on the campaign trail about inequity in the city's built environment, and he plans to expand the Open Streets program, especially in lower-income communities of color. He's embraced Transportation Alternatives' 25x25 Challenge for reallocating the city's public space from cars to people, again with an eye to underserved corners of the city.

Mr. Adams has also talked often about his experience in European cities, and the creative ways in which they allocate street space and promote alternatives to driving. New York City has fallen behind a number of its peers when it comes to smart street design, but as Mayor, Eric Adams will have the opportunity to lead our transformation into a pedestrian-, bike-, and transit-friendly city that is the envy of the world.

 

BradLanderCropped.jpgBrad Lander, Comptroller (Open Seat) – Brad Lander has dedicated himself to making streets safer since first winning elective office in 2009. He was an early supporter of the Prospect Park West redesign, and his refusal to waver in the face of some very politically connected opposition to the bike path was instrumental in facing down the years-long legal effort to remove it. In 2016, he patiently listened to constituents complaining about Citi Bike's expansion into his Brooklyn district, while firmly letting them know that the bike-share system was here to stay in a statement that Streetsblog called "pitch-perfect."

Mr. Lander was a vocal proponent of Fourth Avenue's road diet, pushing the Department of Transportation to speed up completion of the protected bike lanes that now span the four miles from Atlantic Avenue to 64th Street. He's fought for better accessibility at subway stations, and to restore the B71 bus.

Most notably, Mr. Lander's biggest safe-streets legislative accomplishment grew from a terrible tragedy that occurred just a block from his district office in 2018. Following the devastating crash that killed two young children at Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street, Mr. Lander, in partnership with advocates, developed the Reckless Driver Accountability Act, working deftly and relentlessly to steer the bill through the City Council, overcoming a number of legal and procedural hurdles. What became the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program will, once fully implemented, require the city's most persistent dangerous drivers to take a safe-driving class or have their vehicles impounded.

For good measure, Mr. Lander also made sure that DOT quickly redesigned Ninth Street following that deadly crash, adding protected bike lanes and pedestrian refuges.

Mr. Lander has put forth a number of detailed plans for how he would manage the Comptroller's office. He'll oversee the city's capital-projects tracker, which he legislated in the City Council, and is intended to bring transparency and accountability to the billions of dollars the city spends each year on infrastructure. He plans to use the Comptroller's powers to make the financial case for street redesigns, and to create an audit unit dedicated to transit and transportation. He will use audit and contract-registration powers to push for fleet reductions, and track implementation of the Better Bus Action Plan.

For both his track record, and his commitment to promoting progressive transportation policies as the city's next fiscal steward, we enthusiastically endorse Brad Lander to be New York City's next Comptroller.

 

Manhattan


MarkLevineCropped.jpgMark Levine, Manhattan Borough President (Open Seat) – Mark Levine, who currently represents Upper Manhattan's 7th Council District and chairs the Council's Health Committee, is our pick for Manhattan Borough President.

Mr. Levine, whom we endorsed when he won his current seat in 2013, and again four years later, has been a leading voice for better bus service and safer streets. He championed 125th Street Select Bus Service when he ran for office, bucking opposition from other elected officials, and introduced a bill in 2017 to speed up the city's implementation of transit-signal priority. He supported expansion of the Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane into Harlem, a road diet for Riverside Drive, and pedestrian-safety improvements on Morningside Avenue, all in the face of Community Board intransigence. And he backed the replacement of three city-owned parking garages on West 108th Street with a 200-plus-unit affordable senior-housing project that included a shelter.

As Borough President, Mr. Levine will diversify Manhattan's Community Boards, and he's committed to working to pedestrianize sections of Broadway and implement safe crosstown bike paths through Central Park. He will advocate for replicating the highly successful 14th Street busway on other major east-west streets, and has put forth a plan to rezone parking garages to allow them to serve as local package-delivery hubs, which could facilitate a major increase in e-cargo bike deliveries.

AlvinBraggCropped.jpgAlvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney (Open Seat) – Alvin Bragg rose to the top among an impressive group of contenders in the Democratic primary, both among the voters and in our endorsement process.

Mr. Bragg most recently served as New York State's Chief Deputy Attorney General, and is now Co-Director of New York Law School's Racial Justice Project. He's expressed a commitment to treating vehicular violence as serious crime while also seeking alternatives to incarceration, has important experience managing a large prosecutorial and investigative staff, and has shown a willingness to innovate.

Mr. Bragg has pledged to put a greater focus on traffic violence as Manhattan's top prosecutor, and plans to staff a robust vehicular-crimes unit to investigate any fatal, and many serious-injury, crashes, independent of NYPD investigations. He intends to create a Manhattan version of the Center for Court Innovation's Brooklyn Driver Accountability Program, which has proven effective in changing driver behavior without incarceration.

Additionally, Mr. Bragg has vowed to challenge the "Rule of Two" that allows too many dangerous motorists to escape meaningful consequences for the harm they cause, and as Manhattan DA, will routinely seek technological evidence, like cell phone records and information from vehicles' event data recorders, in performing crash investigations.

We believe that Mr. Bragg will bring a new, serious focus on vehicular crime to the Manhattan DA's office, which will have a direct and positive effect on the safety of the borough's streets.

ChristopherMarteCropped.jpgChristopher Marte, Council District 1, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Christopher Marte, who nearly beat current Council Member Margaret Chin in the 2017 primary for this seat, is a Lower East Side native who most recently has served as New York State Director for Arena. He supports pedestrianizing the Seaport District, as well as a substantial part of the Financial District, and wants to see a protected crosstown bike lane on Chambers Street, among other routes. Mr. Marte will advocate to allow delivery cyclists to use the Hudson River Greenway, and has pledged to introduce legislation that will require that "protected" bike lanes actually provide physical protection for cyclists.

CarlinaRiveraLarge.jpgCarlina Rivera, Council District 2, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Carlina Rivera, a 2017 StreetsPAC endorsee who is running for re-election in her Lower East Side district, has championed multiple transportation issues during her first term in the Council. Her support for implementation of the 14th Street busway was crucial, and she was prime sponsor of the bill that requires the creation of a temporary bike lane when construction interferes with existing bike infrastructure. Earlier this year, the city enacted into law her bill making the Open Streets program permanent, more equitable, and more robust, and her bill requiring a restaurant to provide restroom access to delivery workers who are making deliveries on their behalf recently passed the Council. Ms. Rivera has called for the widening of the Second Avenue bike lane, and if re-elected, she'll work to expand loading zones and implement more curb extensions and daylighting.

ErikBottcherCropped.jpgErik Bottcher, Council District 3, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Erik Bottcher, who was Corey Johnson's Chief of Staff for six years, is running to succeed his former boss. He’s committed to bringing street-safety improvements to 10th Avenue, including a protected bike lane, and has pledged to work to extend the Sixth Avenue protected bike lane south of 9th Street. Mr. Bottcher will seek to make the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program more stringent, and to push Albany to remove restrictions on the operation of speed cameras, and his sanitation plan calls for getting trash off crowded city sidewalks and into containerized waste corrals. He's also committed to timely and complete implementation of the Streets Master Plan.

KeithPowersCropped.jpgKeith Powers, Council District 4, Manhattan (Incumbent) – Keith Powers, who won his East Side Council seat in 2017 with StreetsPAC's backing, has delivered on many of his campaign promises, including extension of Sixth Avenue's protected bike lane to Central Park, the closing of the gap in the Second Avenue bike lane, and the creation of the busway on 14th Street. In his second term, he's committed to advocating for more protected bike lanes and safer intersection treatments in his district. He's a supporter of creating a busway on Fifth Avenue, and also wants the city to replicate the successful 14th Street model on 34th and 96th Streets.

JulieMeninCropped.jpgJulie Menin, Council District 5, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Julie Menin has an impressive resumé of public service, including stints as Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, and most recently, as Director of the city's highly successful census effort. Ms. Menin has released a detailed and progressive transportation agenda, which includes a call to reimagine the FDR Drive in order to reconnect Eastsiders with the waterfront. She would expand sidewalks, advocate for more busways, and for integrating Citi Bike into the transit system, and supports expanding the city's network of protected bike lanes.

GaleBrewerCropped.jpgGale Brewer, Council District 6, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Gale Brewer, who represented this Upper West Side district currently held by Helen Rosenthal from 2002 to 2013, and who's been Manhattan Borough President for the eight years hence, feels like she still has a lot to contribute to public service. She plans to fight for more funding for Open Streets, particularly for programming, and for improved and expanded bus service, especially an increase in dedicated bus lanes. She's a strong supporter of creating an office of the public realm in order to end siloing in City Hall, and plans to introduce legislation to that effect once she's (back) in the City Council.

ShaunAbreu.jpgShaun Abreu, Council District 7, Manhattan (Open Seat) – Shaun Abreu, who’s running for the open seat in upper Manhattan now held by Mark Levine, won a hotly contested Democratic primary in June. He's committed to making sure that the city implements the Streets Master Plan fully and on time, and will advocate to remake the city's curbsides in order to facilitate deliveries, trash collection, and car sharing – and to put a dent in double-parking. He wants to extend the Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane uptown, and supports a wide range of improvements to bus service.

 

Bronx


PierinaSanchezLarge.pngPierina Sanchez, Council District 14, Bronx (Open Seat) – Pierina Sanchez, who's a native of the district she's running to represent, served as New York Director at the Regional Plan Association before working on housing, land use, economic development and labor issues at City Hall. At RPA, she played a key role in drafting the 2017 Transportation and Equity Agenda issued by StreetsPAC and other advocacy groups. She'll continue to focus on those issues in the City Council, especially faster and more reliable bus service, an expanded Fair Fares program, and adoption of the Freedom Ticket for intra-city trips on Metro North and the LIRR. Ms. Sanchez will also advocate for redesigning streets for people, with more protected bike lanes and traffic-calming features, and she wants to eliminate parking placards for all but the most essential uses.

AmandaFariasCropped.jpgAmanda Farias, Council District 18, Bronx (Open Seat) – Amanda Farias was born and raised in the community in which she's seeking election. She ran for the seat in 2017, finishing second to Ruben Diaz, Sr., who is not running for a second term. Ms. Farias, a board member at the Riders Alliance, will prioritize improving transit access for residents of her East Bronx district. She'll advocate to expand the Fair Fares program to serve more low-income straphangers, and to bring Citi Bike across the Bronx River. She also wants to see a network of protected bike lanes connecting the district's neighborhoods, new busways, and a big increase in the number of Open Streets.

 

Queens


DonovanRichardsCropped.jpgDonovan Richards, Queens Borough President (Incumbent) – Mr. Richards, who represented Southeast Queens's 31st District in the City Council, frequently played against type in a district that in many places is more suburban than urban. He supported congestion pricing and speed cameras, and in championing the Downtown Far Rockaway rezoning in 2016, called for improved transit service, new bike lanes, and reduced parking requirements in the face of Community Board demands for more parking spaces.

In his State of the Borough address in March, and again in responding to our questionnaire and in his interview, Mr. Richards laid out an ambitious agenda for safer streets and better transit service. He will advocate for a network of protected bike lanes across Queens, expanded access to bike share, and bike parking at subway stations. He's pushing for busways around Jamaica to speed up commutes, and wants to expand Open Streets across the borough. And he's allocated about $3 million to build the security fencing that will allow for the opening of the Queensboro Bridge south outer roadway to bikes.

He's also begun reforming Queens's Community Boards, appointing more women, people of color, persons under 35 – and people who ride bikes.

TiffanyCabanCropped.jpgTiffany Cabán, Council District 22, Queens (Open Seat) – Tiffany Cabán, whom we endorsed in 2019 when she ran for Queens DA, handily won the June primary against a formidable field. Ms. Cabán supports redesigning streets, creating car-free superblocks, and lowering speed limits as ways to get Vision Zero back on track. She'll advocate for a 21st Street busway, and a Queens bus-network redesign that adds more service. She's also called for greatly expanding the Open Streets program, and for adding 500 miles of dedicated bus lanes and 500 miles of protected bike paths citywide. 

ShekarKrishnanCropped.jpgShekar Krishnan, Council District 25, Queens (Open Seat) – Shekar Krishnan, a civil rights attorney and activist, won a close primary to succeed term-limited Council Member Danny Dromm. Mr. Krishnan will prioritize building more transit corridors in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and more busways and dedicated bus lanes on streets like Northern Boulevard, where he supports a comprehensive redesign. He'll also advocate for a network of connected and protected bike lanes, and more space for pedestrians throughout the district.

JulieWonCropped.jpgJulie Won, Council District 26, Queens (Open Seat) – Julie Won, who works in tech and has a community-service resumé that fills a page, will bring an advocate's passion to the fight for better street design. While commuting on her bike last November, she was struck by a hit-and-run driver who left her in the street. She'll prioritize bike lanes that are protected by concrete, and supports comprehensive curb reform, including an end to the city's Stipulated Fine program. Ms. Won will also work to improve transit service, to expand the city's Fair Fares program, and to ensure that sidewalks and intersections are safe and accessible.

NantashaWilliamsCropped.jpgNantasha Williams, Council District 27, Queens (Open Seat) – Nantasha Williams, who nearly won the primary for the local Assembly seat in 2016, has 10 years of experience in government. She's a champion of the Freedom Ticket, and will advocate for bringing bike-, scooter-, and car-sharing programs to this eastern Queens district. Ms. Williams believes many wide local streets could be redesigned to help reduce speeding. She'd also like to see Open Streets efforts in places with high concentrations of restaurants, and a redesign of local bus routes to reflect the evolution in ridership patterns and community input.

FeliciaSinghHeadshot.jpgFelicia Singh, Council District 32, Queens (Open Seat) – Felicia Singh, an educator, Peace Corps veteran, and lifelong resident of Ozone Park, is running to succeed three-term Council Member Eric Ulrich. Her priorities are to improve mass-transit options for district residents, including better bus service from the Rockaway peninsula to the mainland, and more reliable subway service along the A line. She wants to expand Citi Bike service into southern Queens, with a corresponding expansion of a network of protected bike lanes to keep riders safe. Ms. Singh will also center accessibility by pushing for more elevators and a better state of repair at subway stations, and more bus shelters with benches to accommodate straphangers.

 

Brooklyn


AntonioReynosoCropped.jpgAntonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Borough President (Open Seat) – Mr. Reynoso, who had just sold his car to fund his initial run for office when we first encountered him in 2013, also happened to be making that run against the still-formidable former Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez. Seven-and-a-half years later, he's still riding a bike instead of driving, and has distinguished himself as perhaps the most outspoken member of the City Council on the need to move New York City away from its automobile-dominated status quo.

As Chair of the Council's Sanitation Committee, Mr. Reynoso led the effort to pass the Commercial Waste Zone effort that will eliminate millions of miles of dangerous truck trips every year. He pushed the Department of Transportation to move ahead with the Myrtle-Wyckoff pedestrian plaza in 2016, advocated for the physically protected bike lanes on Brooklyn's Grand Street, and last year, called on NYC DOT to build a busway on Berry Street.

Mr. Reynoso has an expansive progressive vision for the Borough Presidency. He wants to remake Atlantic Avenue, which he thinks should be a modern complete street of which Brooklynites can be proud, rather than the dangerous "embarrassment" it is today. He'll push the city to create a borough-wide network of protected bike lanes, and to expand Open Streets widely and equitably. He'll prioritize completion of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which has lagged for years, and is more than willing to commit capital dollars to expand bike- and scooter-share.

Like Mr. Richards in Queens, Mr. Reynoso has also pledged to overhaul Community Boards to make them much more representative of the neighborhoods they serve.

LincolnRestler.jpgLincoln Restler, Council District 33, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Lincoln Restler, a founding member of the progressive New Kings Democrats who spent several years working in City Hall, is our choice to succeed term-limited Steve Levin. He's laid out a progressive vision for safer streets and better public transit, and believes the 33rd Council District should be a model in that regard for the entire city. He'll advocate for a network of concrete-protected bike lanes, safer intersections, improved bus service, and seamless integration of fares for all transit, including Citi Bike.

JenniferGutierrezCroppedJennifer Gutiérrez, Council District 34, Brooklyn/Queens (Open Seat) – Jennifer Gutiérrez is running to succeed soon-to-be Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, for whom she served as Chief of Staff for several years. Gutiérrez is committed to getting Vision Zero back on track, and will prioritize safety improvements along Bushwick and Myrtle Avenues, and Broadway. She'll advocate for expanding the city's protected bike lanes into a true network, and for implementing 14th Street-style busways in the 34th District. Ms. Gutiérrez will also lobby for a comprehensive automated-enforcement system that adds failure-to-yield and blocking-the-box cameras to the city's toolkit.

CrystalHudsonCropped.jpgCrystal Hudson, Council District 35, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Crystal Hudson, a former marketing executive who spent the past few years working in city government, won a convincing primary victory in June, and plans to make public transportation and safe streets a priority. She's laid out an expansive and progressive vision for improving transportation in New York City, from increased investment in Vision Zero, Bus Rapid Transit, and Open Streets, to transitioning the NYPD out of traffic enforcement, to expanding protected bike lanes and secure bike parking – all of it centered around equity for Black and brown New Yorkers.

SandyNurseCropped.jpgSandy Nurse, Council District 37, Brooklyn (Open Seat, Defeated Incumbent in Primary) – Sandy Nurse is a community organizer and carpenter who defeated the incumbent Council Member, Darma Diaz, in June's primary. She is determined to improve transit service for the district, in which two-thirds of residents don't have access to a car. She'll advocate for more Select Bus Service, accessibility upgrades – especially at the Broadway Junction transit hub – and expansion and connection of the bike network. Ms. Nurse also welcomes more Open Streets, as well as the creation of new pedestrian plazas.

Alexa Avilés, Council District 38, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Alexa Avilés, who won a competitive primary to succeed term-limited Council Member Carlos Menchaca, is a foundation executive and activist. An advocate for making public transit free, she'll also push for more dedicated busways, and for widening and physically protecting bike lanes with concrete barriers. Ms. Avilés believes that Citi Bike should be integrated into the transit system, and expanded to include cargo bikes and adaptive bicycles. She also supports creation of superblocks, and equitable expansion of a better-funded Open Streets effort.

ShahanaHanif.jpgShahana HanifCouncil District 39, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Shahana Hanif, who spent time working for term-limited Council Member Brad Lander, won the highly competitive primary to succeed him. She'll be a champion for safe streets and public transit, and will continue and enhance Brad Lander's legacy in the 39th District. Ms. Hanif supports building out a safe, connected bike-lane network, improving transit service and making the system more accessible, and dedicating more public space to people rather than cars. 

RitaJosephCropped.jpgRita Joseph, Council District 40, Brooklyn (Open Seat) – Rita Joseph, an educator who won a very competitive Democratic primary in June, will advocate for better public transit, including 14th Street-style busways and more-accessible stations. She'll push for faster expansion of Citi Bike and the protected lanes necessary to keep riders safe, as well as secure parking solutions for personal bikes. She'll also go to bat for the rapid implementation of congestion pricing, while making sure that her district gets its fair share of transit funding.

JustinBrannan2020.jpgJustin Brannan, Council District 43, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Justin Brannan, who won his seat in 2017 with StreetsPAC's endorsement, has teamed up with State Senator Andrew Gounardes to begin changing the transportation culture in southern Brooklyn. Mr. Brannan, who has a love/hate relationship with the R train, will continue to advocate for improvements to subway and bus service as a key means of getting his constituents out of their cars. He plans to keep pushing for Citi Bike's expansion throughout his district – the first stations were deployed earlier this year – and supports subsidizing bike share to speed up the process. Mr. Brannan is also an advocate for delivery cyclists, and introduced recently passed legislation that will limit the distances of app-based deliveries as part of a package of bills intended to improve working conditions for Deliveristas.


StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Rethinking Vision Zero, Stopping Illegal Parking, Reducing Reliance on Vehicles and Improving Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

We testified today at the New York City Council Committee on Transportation's oversight hearing today regarding the shortcomings of the city's Vision Zero efforts, the epidemic of illegal parking, and related topics, and also voiced our support for bills that would prohibit the sale of illegal license plate covers and decriminalize jaywalking. Our full testimony follows below.


published StreetsPAC's General Election Voter Guide in News 2021-10-23 07:52:30 -0400

StreetsPAC's General Election Voter Guide

New York City's 2021 general election is here!

Early voting begins this Saturday, October 23rd, and continues every day through the following Sunday, October 31st, in advance of Election Day, November 2nd. Polls will be open this weekend from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and times will vary by day during the remainder of early voting. You can locate your polling site, check early-voting hours, confirm your registration status, and view a sample ballot at www.vote.nyc.

Our board has spent the past several months evaluating responses to our detailed candidate questionnaires, analyzing policy platforms, and conducting in-depth personal interviews with more than 100 candidates. We've made dozens of general-election endorsements: for Mayor; Comptroller; Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn Borough President; Manhattan District Attorney; and City Council seats in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. You can learn more about each of our endorsees below, as well as the safe-streets and transportation issues they'll champion in office.

We urge you to get out and vote for all the StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates on your ballot! Read on for our full voter guide; you can click the links at the top to jump to our endorsements in a particular borough. Council races are listed in numerical order by district.


published Brad Lander for Comptroller in News 2021-10-21 13:43:43 -0400

Brad Lander for Comptroller

BradLanderCropped.jpgBrad Lander, Comptroller (Open Seat) – Brad Lander has dedicated himself to making streets safer since first winning elective office in 2009. He was an early supporter of the Prospect Park West redesign, and his refusal to waver in the face of some very politically connected opposition to the bike path was instrumental in facing down the years-long legal effort to remove it. In 2016, he patiently listened to constituents complaining about Citi Bike's expansion into his Brooklyn district, while firmly letting them know that the bike-share system was here to stay in a statement that Streetsblog called "pitch-perfect."

Mr. Lander was a vocal proponent of Fourth Avenue's road diet, pushing the Department of Transportation to speed up completion of the protected bike lanes that now span the four miles from Atlantic Avenue to 64th Street. He's fought for better accessibility at subway stations, and to restore the B71 bus.

Most notably, Mr. Lander's biggest safe-streets legislative accomplishment grew from a terrible tragedy that occurred just a block from his district office in 2018. Following the devastating crash that killed two young children at Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street, Mr. Lander, in partnership with advocates, developed the Reckless Driver Accountability Act, working deftly and relentlessly to steer the bill through the City Council, overcoming a number of legal and procedural hurdles. What became the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program will, once fully implemented, require the city's most persistent dangerous drivers to take a safe-driving class or have their vehicles impounded.

For good measure, Mr. Lander also made sure that DOT quickly redesigned Ninth Street following that deadly crash, adding protected bike lanes and pedestrian refuges.

Mr. Lander has put forth a number of detailed plans for how he would manage the Comptroller's office. He'll oversee the city's capital-projects tracker, which he legislated in the City Council, and is intended to bring transparency and accountability to the billions of dollars the city spends each year on infrastructure. He plans to use the Comptroller's powers to make the financial case for street redesigns, and to create an audit unit dedicated to transit and transportation. He will use audit and contract-registration powers to push for fleet reductions, and track implementation of the Better Bus Action Plan.

For both his track record, and his commitment to promoting progressive transportation policies as the city's next fiscal steward, we enthusiastically endorse Brad Lander to be New York City's next Comptroller.


published Eric Adams for Mayor in News 2021-10-19 11:41:50 -0400

Eric Adams for Mayor

EricAdams.jpg

Eric Adams, Mayor (Open Seat) – Eric Adams, who emerged victorious from a crowded and competitive Democratic mayoral primary in June, has been a reliable ally to advocates of safe and complete streets for more than a decade.

Mr. Adams, who was elected Brooklyn Borough President in 2013 after serving in the State Senate for seven years, has often credited a 2010 walk he took in Park Slope with "20's Plenty" founder Rod King for solidifying his views about the importance of traffic-safety issues.

As New York City's next Mayor, he is determined to revitalize the city's Vision Zero initiative. No elected official has shown up more often for victims of traffic crashes than Mr. Adams since he assumed the Borough President's role, and he clearly takes traffic violence personally. Come January, he'll be in a position to get Vision Zero back on track – with a focus on equity that has at times been missing from the program to date.

He introduced legislation while a State Senator calling for better education of drivers, has supported Neighborhood Slow Zones, and, with an eye to promoting equity in the city's cycling infrastructure, championed the Flatbush Avenue bike path, which now connects Grand Army Plaza and Ocean Avenue.

Mr. Adams's "Moving Forward Together" transportation plan calls for building true Bus Rapid Transit corridors, especially outside Manhattan, focusing first on wide corridors with service roads like Brooklyn's Linden Boulevard, and for accelerating the rollout of electric buses. He's pledged to stripe 150 new miles of bus lanes and busways, citing the success of Manhattan's 14th Street busway as a blueprint.

He also intends to go to bat for improved transit accessibility, such as faster implementation of elevators and ramps in the city's subway stations, reopening of existing-but-closed subway entrances, expansion of the Fair Fares program, and broad implementation of the Freedom Ticket. He's called for the speedy rollout of the city's congestion-pricing program.

A strong proponent of active health and its many benefits, Borough President Adams can often be found riding his bicycle around Brooklyn, and he has for several years hosted a diverse Earth Day ride to call attention to the need for better street designs. In May, following a bike ride with members of our board, he announced his commitment to creating 300 miles of new protected bike lanes within his first four years in office, including bike "superhighways" running under elevated roadways and rail lines.

He intends to expand Citi Bike, and has cited development of a citywide network of electric bike- and scooter-share, especially in underserved areas, as a priority. Mr. Adams has also called for significantly increasing safe and secure bike-parking options for New Yorkers. He's a champion of the Harbor Ring, and will advocate for improved bike access on state-managed bridges beyond the Verrazzano-Narrows. He has a vision of a city in which it's safe for kids to bike to school.

Borough President Adams has also spoken frequently on the campaign trail about inequity in the city's built environment, and he plans to expand the Open Streets program, especially in lower-income communities of color. He's embraced Transportation Alternatives' 25x25 Challenge for reallocating the city's public space from cars to people, again with an eye to underserved corners of the city.

Mr. Adams has also talked often about his experience in European cities, and the creative ways in which they allocate street space and promote alternatives to driving. New York City has fallen behind a number of its peers when it comes to smart street design, but as Mayor, Eric Adams will have the opportunity to lead our transformation into a pedestrian-, bike-, and transit-friendly city that is the envy of the world.


published Fundraiser 2021-08-25 13:58:25 -0400

published A Quick Update on Election Results in News 2021-07-02 18:00:03 -0400

A Quick Update on Election Results

As we head into the holiday weekend, we wanted to provide a brief update on where things stand with the results of the June 22nd primary election.

As many of you surely know, the New York City Board of Elections released preliminary results of in-person ballots on Tuesday, only to rescind those results a few hours later when it was discovered that the tally included some 135,000 test ballots that it had failed to clear from its system.

The corrected tally, released on Wednesday, showed Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams with a lead of 14,755 votes over StreetsPAC's endorsee, Kathryn Garcia, with about 125,000 absentee ballots still to be counted. An initial tally of those absentee ballots, which had to be received by NYCBOE by June 29th, will most likely be reported on July 6th.

Garcia gained votes steadily as other candidates were eliminated in the ranked-choice process, edging Maya Wiley by just 347 votes in the eighth round of rankings.

So the race still appears to be a contest among Adams, Garcia, and Wiley, with a fair possibility that absentee ballots will alter the outcome. We'll know more next week.

In the other competitive citywide primary, City Council Member Brad Lander holds a lead of about 21,000 votes over Council Speaker Corey Johnson in the race for Comptroller (Public Advocate Jumaane Williams easily won his primary with about 70% of the vote).

Manhattan District Attorney's Race

With runner-up Tali Farhadian Weinstein having conceded, StreetsPAC-endorsed Alvin Bragg has won the Democratic primary for Manhattan District Attorney (as a state office, the primary for DA was not conducted with ranked-choice voting). Given the overwhelming registration advantage that Democrats have in the borough, Bragg is almost certain to be the next Manhattan DA. We're proud to support him, and congratulate him on his victory.

City Council Races

The Board of Elections has not released any tally of ranked-choice results in City Council races to this point, and a number of races in which we endorsed are very close after the preliminary count of in-person votes. So again, we'll have to wait until next week for clarity.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday. And no, we have not endorsed in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest.


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Eric McClure
2378pc
Eric McClure is StreetsPAC's Executive Director and Treasurer. He's a co-founder of Park Slope Neighbors, a grassroots community-advocacy organization based in Brooklyn.