L Train Testimony; Congestion Pricing Petition; Get Marty Golden Off the Road!

StreetsPAC Weighs in on Plans for the L Train Shutdown

This past Thursday, the City Council's Committee on Transportation held an oversight hearing on the planned April 2019 shutdown of the L train, and StreetsPAC was at City Hall to testify.

The proposal for accommodating the 225,000 daily riders of the L who will be displaced by the 15-month project to repair the Canarsie Tubes mark a significant step forward by the MTA and New York City Department of Transportation, but in our opinion, the plans need to go farther. In particular, we believe that "peak hours" bus-only and HOV3+ restrictions proposed for 14th Street and the Williamsburg Bridge need to be significantly extended, if not to 24/7, at least to something much closer to that.

In addition, we have concerns about how passenger egress from the more than one bus per minute slated to carry erstwhile L train riders across the bridge will be facilitated, and we harbor doubts about an already-struggling subway system's ability to accommodate 160,000 additional daily passengers on the G, J, M and Z lines.

Of course, the burden on surface transportation would be greatly eased if a robust congestion-pricing plan were in effect by the time that the L is shut down, a point we highlighted in our testimony, which you can read in full here.

There's more about the hearing and the MTA/NYCDOT plans in The New York Times, on Streetsblog, and at Second Avenue Sagas.

Sign This Petition Supporting the Move NY Fair Plan!

Governor Cuomo's Fix NYC panel, charged with crafting a solution to the double-whammy of an underfunded transit system and crushing traffic congestion, meets for the final time today.

The Governor has committed to including a "real" congestion-pricing plan in next year's executive budget, and it's widely expected that he will reveal some details of the plan in his January State-of-the-State address. The best bet for an effective plan, of course, is Move NY, which would raise more than $1 billion annually for transit, substantially reduce congestion on New York City's streets, and expand transit access for many New Yorkers.

However, State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie are not yet on board with Move NY, or any full-fledged congestion plan. This petition asks them to get serious about solving New York City's twin MTA-funding and traffic crises by embracing a robust congestion-pricing plan.

Please add your name today!

The Golden Rule?

This past Monday evening, Brooklyn Community Board 2 member and safe-streets advocate Brian Howald was on his way to a meeting in Sunset Park when he encountered an SUV driving in the bike lane on Brooklyn's Third Avenue. Howald refused to move out of the bike lane to allow the driver to pass, which prompted the vehicle's passenger to wave a parking placard, claim he was a police officer, and threaten to take Howald to a police precinct, according to Howald's account, which he documented soon after on Twitter.

That passenger, as you may have heard by now, was none other than State Senator Martin J. "Marty" Golden, who represents Bay Ridge and, as Streetsblog reported, has been "one of the chief obstructionists of expanding New York City’s speed camera program." Golden's driver proceeded to drive against traffic and run multiple red lights in an attempt to avoid Howald's camera, all to no avail.

Subsequent sleuthing by people outraged by Golden's actions found that such dangerous and illegal driving is nothing new for Golden or his chauffeur. In fact, the vehicle in which Golden was riding, which is registered in his name, had racked up some three dozen violations in the past three years, including 10 speed-camera infractions for speeding in school zones, and multiple red-light and parking tickets.

There's a MoveOn.org petition circulating asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Golden's misconduct (impersonating a police officer is a Class E felony), as well as calls for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to rescind Golden's parking placard.

Golden clearly poses a greater threat on our streets than do ebikes, so taking away his placard would be a start. And ultimately, New Yorkers will all be safer if Golden is voted out of office. He's up for re-election next fall, and has two very credible challengers in Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes – both of whom have spoken out against Golden's actions.


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