Vote for Jessica Haller and John Sanchez in Bronx Special City Council Elections

Polls open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Early Voting concludes today at 4 p.m.

Voters in the Bronx's 11th and 15th City Council Districts will have the opportunity to fill vacant Council seats on Tuesday, and we urge you to vote for Jessica Haller in the 11th District and John Sanchez in the 15th District.

Haller, a climate activist and entrepreneur, will bring fresh thinking to the City Council about how to help get residents of her northwest Bronx district out of their cars. She supports installing bus-only lanes on Broadway, believes the City Council should consider rebates for e-bike purchases, and wants to see the city implement traffic-calming street designs in the Bronx. Haller will advocate for creation of a micro-transit incubator that would partner the city with tech companies to develop new concepts for enhancing mobility.

You can volunteer here to help Jessica get out the vote between now and Tuesday.

Sanchez, who serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. He's been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and 3rd Avenue, and protected bike lanes throughout the 15th District. He will advocate for universally daylighting street corners to increase safety, and plans to introduce legislation to create parking benefit districts, which would return extended parking-meter revenue to communities to fund streetscape improvements.

Sign up here to help John's campaign down the home stretch.

We were also impressed by Elisa Crespo, a progressive candidate who shares Sanchez's commitment to safer streets and better public transit in the 11th District. Ultimately, we believe Sanchez will be the most vocal champion for those issues, but Crespo is a strong second choice, all the more relevant given the advent of ranked choice voting.

You can find information about voting hours and locations here, and check your registration status at nycvotersearch.com. Learn more about how ranked choice voting works at rankthevotenyc.org.

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Mayoral Forum on Transportation; Endorsements in Bronx City Council Races

Safe, Equitable, and Accessible Streets: A Mayoral Forum on the Future of Transportation in NYC

Please join us on Zoom one week from tonight – March 25th at 6:30 p.m. – for an important forum on the future of safe streets and transportation with the leading candidates to be New York City's next mayor.

Moderated by New York Times Metro reporter Dana Rubinstein, and jointly hosted by Families for Safe Streets, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, New York League of Conservation Voters, Regional Plan Association, Riders Alliance, StreetsPAC, Transportation Alternatives, TransitCenter, and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, this is your chance to hear straight from the top mayoral contenders about their plans to reduce traffic violence, boost bicycling, prioritize public transit, and improve equity and accessibility for all.

Advance registration is required; please RSVP here.

ICYMI: StreetsPAC Endorses Jessica Haller and John Sanchez in March 23rd Bronx Special Elections

Early voting is well underway in the March 23rd special elections to fill two open City Council seats in the Bronx, in which we've endorsed Jessica Haller in the 11th Council District and John Sanchez in the 15th Council District.

Haller, a climate activist and entrepreneur, will bring fresh thinking to the City Council about how to help get residents of her northwest Bronx district out of their cars. She supports installing bus-only lanes on Broadway, believes the City Council should consider rebates for e-bike purchases, and wants to see the city implement traffic-calming street designs in the Bronx. Haller will advocate for creation of a micro-transit incubator that would partner the city with tech companies to develop new concepts for enhancing mobility.

You can volunteer here to help Jessica get elected.

Sanchez, who currently serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. He's been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and 3rd Avenue, and protected bike lanes throughout the 15th District. He will advocate for universally daylighting street corners to increase safety, and plans to introduce legislation to create parking benefit districts, which would return extended parking-meter revenue to communities to fund streetscape improvements.

Sign up here to help John's campaign down the home stretch.

We were also impressed by Elisa Crespo, a progressive candidate who shares Sanchez's commitment to safer streets and better public transit in the 11th District. Ultimately, we believe Sanchez will be the most vocal champion for those issues, but Crespo is a strong second choice, all the more relevant given the advent of ranked choice voting.

You can find information about voting hours and locations here, and check your registration status at nycvotersearch.com. Learn more about how ranked choice voting works at rankthevotenyc.org.

 

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StreetsPAC Endorses Jessica Haller and John Sanchez in Bronx Special Elections

Early Voting Begins Today for March 23rd Election for Vacant Council Seats

StreetsPAC today endorsed Jessica Haller in the special election for the open seat in the Bronx's 11th Council District, and John Sanchez for the open seat in the Bronx's 15th Council District.

JessicaHaller.jpgHaller, a climate activist and entrepreneur, will bring fresh thinking to the City Council about how to help get residents of her northwest Bronx district out of their cars. She supports installing bus-only lanes on Broadway, believes the City Council should consider rebates for e-bike purchases, and wants to see the city eliminate parking minimums in the Bronx. Haller will advocate for creation of a micro-transit incubator that would partner the city with tech companies to develop new concepts for enhancing mobility.

JohnSanchez.jpgSanchez, who currently serves as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, has made safer streets a centerpiece of his campaign. He's been vocal about the need to reduce automobile use, and would accomplish that in part by supporting new busways on Fordham Road and 3rd Avenue, and protected bike lanes throughout the 15th District. He will advocate for universally daylighting street corners to increase safety, and plans to introduce legislation to create parking benefit districts, which would return extended parking-meter revenue to communities to fund streetscape improvements.

We were also impressed by Elisa Crespo, a progressive candidate who shares Sanchez's commitment to safer streets and better public transit in the 11th District. Ultimately, we believe Sanchez will be the most vocal champion for those issues, but Crespo is a strong second choice, all the more relevant given the advent of ranked choice voting.

You can find information about voting hours and locations here, and check your registration status at nycvotersearch.com. You can learn more about how ranked choice voting works at rankthevotenyc.org.

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Crash Investigations

We submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Transportation's contentious hearing yesterday on Intro 2224-2021, a bill that would transfer responsibility for crash investigations from NYPD to the Department of Transportation, among other reforms. Our testimony follows below.

StreetsPAC strongly supports Intro 2224-2021, which would transfer responsibility for investigating serious vehicular crashes from the NYPD to the Department of Transportation.

As currently constituted, the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad investigates only a small fraction of the crashes that result in death or serious injuries, which number in the thousands annually. And when they do investigate, the work of CIS too often fails to result in charges for drivers, and almost never leads to roadway engineering changes that could potentially prevent future crashes.

Just as bad, as StreetsPAC board member Steve Vaccaro can attest, CIS investigators too often fail to show up for what are already deeply flawed State Department of Motor Vehicle hearings, leaving killer drivers free to get back behind the wheel, and denying the families of the victims any semblance of justice.

Beyond the failure to investigate a greater number of serious crashes, CIS investigations are cloaked in secrecy, and don’t appear to result in any larger analysis of the systemic causes behind serious collisions. CIS reports don’t seem to regularly inform design changes, or to be aggregated in any meaningful way.

Intro 2224 will have multiple significant benefits. Transferring crash investigations to DOT will remove the institutional bias for drivers that has built up over years in the NYPD. The reporting requirements will greatly improve the transparency of investigations, and will lead to greater insight into the factors that cause the worst crashes. And perhaps most importantly, by linking those causes to street design, Intro 2224 will inform the types of engineering changes that can prevent future crashes, potentially saving lives and helping to advance the city’s Vision Zero efforts.

Crash investigations should be a path to justice for victims and their loved ones, and a key component of achieving Vision Zero. As currently constituted within the NYPD’s Transportation Bureau, they fail badly on both counts. In far too many cases, like those of Robyn Hightman and Mario Valenzuela, shoddy detective work has led to victim-blaming and failed to hold drivers accountable.

We have an opportunity, and indeed, a responsibility, to do better. Passing Intro 2224 is an important step in making that happen.

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Restoration of 24/7 Subway Service

We testified today during the New York City Council Committee on Transportation's remote oversight hearing on the MTA in the era of COVID-19, in support of the restoration of 24/7 subway service. Our testimony follows below.

New York City’s transit system is the engine that has driven our economy for more than 100 years. And it’s never been more important than it will be in rebuilding our economy as we recover from COVID-19.

As the pandemic gripped New York last spring, subway ridership plummeted by 90%, and it remains lower by 70%. Buses, which actually ran on time with fewer cars on the streets and no fare collection, are at just 50% of normal ridership.

Yet automobile traffic is back to nearly pre-pandemic levels. A car-led recovery, however, is completely unsustainable, and anathema to the cleaner, greener future New York can only achieve with robust transit ridership.

To get New Yorkers back on transit, the MTA must restore 24/7 subway service. There is scant evidence that subways and buses have been a vector for the spread of COVID-19, nor that surface transmission is a significant factor. But shutting down the subways for overnight cleaning sends the public a message that they’re somehow unsafe.

Sufficient cleaning can be accomplished while running subways around the clock, which is what’s happening anyway, since trains continue to run without passengers between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Yet tens of thousands of New Yorkers, overwhelmingly frontline workers, people of color and residents of lower-income communities, are severely inconvenienced by the overnight shutdown.

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StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Bike Lane Obstruction and Intro 2159

We testified today during the New York City Council Committee on Transportation's remote oversight hearing on illegal parking and bike lanes, in support of legislation introduced by Council Member Stephen Levin and Speaker Corey Johnson that seeks to address the city's epidemic of dangerous illegal parking. Our testimony follows below.

StreetsPAC strongly supports Intro 2159, which would create a new violation and civil penalty for hazardous obstruction by a vehicle of a bike lane, bus lane (when bus-only restrictions are in effect), sidewalk, crosswalk, or fire hydrant, when the violation occurs with one quarter mile of a school building, entrance, or exit, imposing a fine of $175 for each such violation, judicable by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).

Intro 2159 would also require the Department of Transportation to create a civilian-reporting mechanism by which members of the public could report alleged violations and submit supporting evidence. If such violations were substantiated and DOT were to bring a case, the civilian complainant would be entitled to 25% of the penalty collected as a reward.

The reporting mechanism is modeled on the Department of Environmental Protection’s Citizens Air Complaint Program, which works the same way for idling violations, and a bit like the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s complaint system, which does not pay a reward. Both existing programs are considered successful, and allow the city to increase enforcement of harmful behavior without burdening law-enforcement personnel.

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StreetsPAC Joins Fellow Advocacy Organizations in Releasing 2021 Transportation Equity Agenda

Yesterday, we joined the New York League of Conservation Voters, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, New York Lawyers in the Public Interest, Regional Plan Association, Riders Alliance, Transportation Alternatives and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign in releasing a transportation agenda outlining our shared priorities for 2021 and beyond.

"We’re proud to partner once again with these vital advocacy organizations to outline a vision for the future of transportation in New York City," said StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure. "We’re at an inflection point, and can either take a big step toward a more walkable, bikeable, transit-rich and humane city, or slide back into a 1970’s-style decline. The city’s future leaders must facilitate the former, and this is the road map by which we can get there."

The full agenda follows below.

Equity On Our Streets: A Transportation-Led Recovery Agenda for Candidates

COVID has transformed how New Yorkers move. At the pandemic’s height, many people rarely left home. Others rode less frequent and less crowded public transit. Bicycling boomed. Driving nearly stopped, only to roar back alarmingly though most offices remain closed.

Equitable recovery starts on the ground. Improving public space on our streets and sidewalks can boost mobility, access, safety, and resiliency. Local transportation fixes can arc toward just and sustainable growth.

The hurdles are real. Cars release the overwhelming share of our stubbornly high transportation carbon emissions. COVID cases were worsened by air pollution. Drivers and motorcyclists have recklessly used empty streets to set modern crash fatality records.

Still, subway ridership more than tripled since April. The City set records for bus lane installation and reduced more speed limits. Lockdowns revealed organic 15-minute cities, with most essentials in walking distance. Open Streets and Restaurants took traffic lanes and curbs back for people.

Big opportunities stand within reach. Streetscape improvements are quick and cheap to install and adjust. To rebuild New York and achieve New Yorkers’ shared goal of a more just and inclusive city, the next mayor and City Council should adopt a bold transportation agenda.

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Statement on Polly Trottenberg’s Resignation as New York City Transportation Commissioner

We were sorry to learn today that New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will be leaving her post before the end of 2020. We’re grateful to her for her leadership and partnership in working to make New York City’s streets safer and our public transit system better.

The New York City Department of Transportation notched many important achievements under Commissioner Trottenberg’s leadership, including the lowering of the city’s speed limit to 25 mph, the vast expansion of the city’s speed-camera program, implementation of Manhattan’s 14th Street busway, significant growth of the city’s bike-lane network, and progress toward reducing deaths and injuries. And in just the past few months, her department has orchestrated the rollout of the city’s Open Restaurants and Open Streets efforts, while dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19 within its own ranks.

As advocates, our mantra is always “do more,” and there is of course much more we need to accomplish as a city, whether it’s revitalizing Vision Zero or building more dedicated bus lanes or completing a citywide network of truly protected bike paths. But whenever we’ve pushed Commissioner Trottenberg to do more, it’s with the knowledge that she cares deeply about New York City and the safety and health of its denizens. We know that she takes personally every death or serious injury on the city’s streets, and shares our goals for a better future.

Thank you, Polly, for your dedication as NYC DOT Commissioner, and good luck in your next endeavor. We’re confident that your role on President-elect Biden’s Transition Team will ensure that walking, biking and transit will be central to his administration’s transportation agenda.

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21 for 21! Gounardes Comeback Completes StreetsPAC Endorsees' Election Sweep

When Andrew Gounardes completed his comeback yesterday from a 6,000-vote Election Day deficit, it closed the door on a perfect 21-for-21 performance by StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates for State Senate and Assembly in the November 3rd general election.

When counting of absentee and mail-in ballots began Monday, Gounardes trailed by more than 5,200 votes. When counting was halted for the day on Wednesday, that deficit had become a lead of about 2,500 votes, with some 1,800 ballots still to be tallied.

Gounardes was one of eight State Senate candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC, a group that included newly elected Brooklyn Senator Jabari Brisport. We also endorsed 13 candidates for Assembly, with Khaleel Anderson, Jessica González-Rojas, Emily Gallagher, Chantel Jackson and Amanda Septimo all winning seats for the first time.

We're extremely proud of this slate and their collective commitment to safer streets and better public transit, and look forward to the work they'll be doing in Albany. Read on for a brief look at all 21 winning candidates, and some of the issues on which they'll focus in the next legislative term.

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It's Election Day! Vote for StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates for State Senate and Assembly!

Polls Are Open Today from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

It's Election Day. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. As long as you're in line to vote by 9 p.m., you can't be turned away. We strongly recommend that you use the New York City Board of Elections' Find My Poll Site tool to confirm your polling site, and to preview a sample ballot. If you're voting in person today, please be sure to wear a mask and adhere to safe social-distancing protocols, and do prepare yourself for a bit of a wait. If you're voting by absentee ballot, it must be postmarked today, but you can also drop it off at any polling site (go straight to the front of the line to turn it in).

For the past several months, we have evaluated responses to our detailed candidate questionnaire, conducted in-depth personal interviews with candidates, and deliberated at length over endorsement decisions. We've proudly endorsed a total of 21 candidates running for State Senate and Assembly in today's election. Below, you can learn more about each of our endorsees, and their plans for making our streets safer and our public transit better.

We urge you to get out and vote for the StreetsPAC candidate if you vote in a district in which we've endorsed. We're confident that the candidates who've earned StreetsPAC's endorsement will work diligently to promote safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable public transit.

Read on to meet our 2020 endorsees!

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