StreetsPAC's Testimony to City Council on Curbs, Curb Extensions & the George Washington Bridge

StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure presented the following testimony today to the New York City Council's Committee on Transportation, at its oversight hearing on curbs and sidewalks:

Thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts on oversight of curbs and sidewalks. StreetsPAC would like to express its support for several of the measures under consideration today by the Committee.

Intro 0131-2018 & Intro 0953-2018 – Support

We support Intros 0131-2018 and 0953-2018, which together would place greater restrictions on the creation of curb cuts, and compel the restoration of illegally removed curbs.

There are likely thousands of illegal curb cuts citywide, many of which undoubtedly create unsafe conditions for pedestrians. We support requiring property owners to restore curbs where they’ve been illegally removed, as well as mandating community notification for planned curb cuts. Personally, as someone who tried in vain to oppose a neighbor’s curb cut – implemented on a block that already had two existing curb cuts, and for no other reason than the owner’s desire to have a private parking space – I urge the committee to lend its support to this legislation.

Intro 0237-2018 – Support

We also support Intro 0237-2018, which would require the city to implement curb extensions at certain dangerous intersections.

Curb extensions have been shown to significantly improve pedestrian safety, both by shortening the distance pedestrians must travel across an intersection, and by providing increased visibility through daylighting. Curb extensions are the type of treatment that should be a high priority under Vision Zero.

Requiring the implementation of curb extensions at a minimum of five intersections in each borough annually would set the city on a path to having a robust program for creating these important aspects of safety infrastructure.

Intro T2018-1956 – Support

We also support Intro T2018-1956, which would require the city to paint curbs adjacent to fire hydrants and bus stops to alert motorists that they can’t park, stand or stop there.

While drivers in New York City should be aware of the rules governing parking near hydrants and bus stops, it’s clear from their behavior that many are ignorant, or dismissive, of the law. As much as the additional delineation of curbs will help drivers avoid parking illegally, it will also help police and traffic enforcement agents identify illegal parking, and issue summonses accordingly. Too often, police and TEAs give motorists the benefit of the doubt, and since illegal parking creates safety hazards around hydrants and bus stops, we support any effort at more rigorous enforcement.

One caution, however – we would vigorously oppose allowing drivers to cite absence of paint or the wearing of painted curbs as an affirmative defense in contesting a summons. We would urge that such language be included in an amended bill. This legislation should in no way be construed as a way of alleviating driver responsibility for illegal parking.

Resolution 0103-2018 – Support

Lastly, we strongly support Resolution 0103-2018, which calls upon the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to widen the multi-use paths across the George Washington Bridge.

The planned renovations to the George Washington Bridge present a generational opportunity to increase access for pedestrians, runners, and cyclists, who are using the bridge in ever-increasing numbers. The GWB is the only walkable and bike-able connection between northern New Jersey and New York City, and now carries nearly 4,000 cyclists on weekends, on a path that is among the narrowest bridge crossings in New York City.

A widened path would also have tourism and resiliency benefits. Let’s not miss this crucial opportunity to bring George Washington Bridge access into the 21st century. We urge the committee, and the full Council, to pass this resolution without hesitation.


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StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates Sweep Election Day!

StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates All Won Their Races on Tuesday; Ballot Proposals Win Big, Too

Proving that safe streets and pro-transit positions aren't just good policy, but good politics as well, all 10 State Senate and Assembly candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC won their races in Tuesday's election, including Andrew Gounardes, who upset eight-term Republican State Senator Marty Golden in Brooklyn's 22nd Senate District. While that outcome has not been certified as of this morning, Andrew has claimed victory, and it's virtually certain that his winning margin will hold once all remaining ballots are counted.

In addition to our 10 candidate endorsements, we officially backed New York City Ballot Proposals 1 and 3, both of which passed overwhelmingly. Ballot Prop 1 will lead to some significant campaign-finance reforms, while Ballot Prop 3 will implement a number of positive changes for the city's Community Boards, including term limits.

Tuesday's outcome was by far StreetsPAC's best result in State Legislative races since we launched in 2013. To go 10-0 with candidate endorsements and 2-0 on the ballot proposals was unprecedented, but the most important development was our work to help elect Andrew Gounardes.

Andrew is currently ahead by a bit more than 1,000 votes, and some 70 StreetsPAC volunteers knocked on about 5,000 doors over the past two months. In addition, street safety was a central issue in the race – perhaps the most important issue – and the candidates' positions couldn't have been more divergent. It's not a stretch to think that our efforts, and our issues, made the difference in a close election.

Our field organizer, Blythe Austin, did a remarkable job of recruiting, organizing and training our dedicated and talented volunteers. More than 70 people came out to help over the course of the campaign, many of you among them. Quite a few people showed up to canvass on multiple occasions. For all of you who took part, and for Blythe, we are immensely and eternally grateful. This victory is your victory, and shows the power of this movement. Thank you!

Soon, we'll begin looking toward the special election for Public Advocate early next year, and elections for District Attorney in the Bronx, Queens and on Staten Island next fall, as well as to fundraising, in order to replenish and expand our resources for future efforts (you can help kickstart that effort by donating now).

For today, though, we can congratulate ourselves and be proud of what we’ve accomplished this election cycle. Thanks for being a part of it.

And one last time, here are the candidates whom we endorsed in Tuesday's general election. Our heartfelt congratulations to all!

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StreetsPAC General Election Voter Guide

Good morning! Today is Election Day! The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and anyone registered to vote in New York State may cast a ballot. So long as you are in line to vote by 9 p.m., you cannot be turned away from the polls.

In the culmination of a process that began in the spring, and included a detailed questionnaire and in-depth, personal candidate interviews, StreetsPAC has endorsed 10 candidates in this general election, five running for the State Senate, and five for the Assembly. You can learn more below about each of the candidates whom we've endorsed, and the projects and issues they've committed to advancing as members of the Legislature, as well as why we support New York City Ballot Proposals 1 and 3 (remember to #FlipYourBallot!).

Your vote for safe, complete and livable streets, and reliable, efficient and affordable mass transit, may very well make the difference in deciding the outcome of your local Senate or Assembly race – and in helping to shape the future of progressive transportation policies in New York.

To check your voter-registration status, confirm your polling location, and to see a sample ballot, please visit Your trip to the polls should take only a few minutes, and there is so much riding on this crucial mid-term election. Please vote. And if you have the opportunity, please vote for one of the outstanding candidates endorsed by StreetsPAC.

Meet the Candidates: State Senate | State Assembly | Ballot Proposals

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Six Days Until the Election – Vote the StreetsPAC Slate!

The Election is Six Days Away – Make Your Voting Plan and Pull the Lever for StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates!

We're just six days away from the 2018 general election, on Tuesday, November 6th. You can confirm your voter-registration status, find your polling location, and see a sample ballot at Most importantly, please make a plan to vote – there's a lot riding on the outcome, especially as it pertains to making our streets safer and improving our public transit system.

And if you are registered in one of the districts in which we've made an endorsement, please be sure to vote for the StreetsPAC candidate! Meet our 10 endorsees below – five for State Senate, and five for the Assembly.

AlessandraBiaggi.jpgAlessandra Biaggi, 34th Senate District, Bronx (Democratic Primary Winner) – Biaggi, a Bronx native who was Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential run, upset Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein in September's primary. She's pledged support for a comprehensive congestion-pricing plan consistent with the Move NY and FixNYC proposals, and wants to see Albany pass legislation that would increase penalties for hit-and-run drivers. She will also advocate for reinstatement and an increase in the number of speed cameras authorized for New York City, as well as the elimination of restrictions governing their operation.

AndrewGounardesLarge.jpgAndrew Gounardes, 22nd Senate District, Brooklyn (Democratic Primary Winner) – Gounardes, a native of Bay Ridge and Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, is facing Republican State Senator Marty Golden in the general election. Gounardes has made street safety a core element of his campaign – he supports placing speed cameras in all of New York City's school zones, wants the city to accelerate street redesigns to prioritize safety, and backs requiring defensive-driving courses or driving refreshers with every license renewal. He also supports congestion pricing, and is adamant that every subway station should be accessible.

JuliaSalazar.jpgJulia Salazar, 18th Senate District, Brooklyn (Democratic Primary Winner) – Salazar, a community organizer, won the September primary against incumbent Senator Martin Malavé Dilan in North Brooklyn's 18th District. She's committed to improving the transit system, including upgrading bus service in the district, accelerating the MTA's station-accessibility efforts, and ensuring that every resident of North Brooklyn has ready access to public transit during the L train shutdown. She'll also vote to reinstate and expand the city's speed camera program, and will support a congestion-pricing plan that funds a better transit system while protecting low-income drivers who have no other means of getting to work.

RobertJackson.jpgRobert Jackson, 31st Senate District, Manhattan (Democratic Primary Winner) – Jackson, who served for 12 years in the City Council, defeated first-term State Senator Marisol Alcantera in the September primary. Jackson is a backer of congestion pricing, and supports residential parking permits as a means of combatting the influx of park-and-ride drivers who routinely flood upper Manhattan. He also wants to see the city's lapsed speed camera program renewed and expanded, and is committed to pursuing improvements to the Hudson River Greenway.

ZellnorMyrie.jpgZellnor Myrie, 20th Senate District, Brooklyn (Democratic Primary Winner) – Myrie, a lawyer and activist, won his September primary race against incumbent Jesse Hamilton. Myrie supports congestion pricing, and plans to advocate for implementation of Select Bus Service in East Flatbush and Brownsville. He will also back legislation that would limit the ability of consistently dangerous drivers to remain behind the wheel, with an emphasis on restorative justice. He wants to see Linden Boulevard redesigned with pedestrian safety upgrades and protected bike lanes, and supports a Vision Zero makeover for the irregular triangles at the confluence of Howard, Pitkin and East New York Avenues in Brownsville.

BrianBarnwell.jpgBrian Barnwell, 30th Assembly District, Queens (Incumbent/Democratic Primary Winner) – Barnwell, one of the younger members of the Assembly, won his central Queens seat in 2016 by upsetting a long-term incumbent, and handily won a competitive primary in September. He supports implementation of Select Bus Service on major avenues in Maspeth and Middle Village, and wants to see the city's school speed safety camera program renewed and expanded. He's also been working with the MTA to implement transit improvements in his district using state multi-modal transportation funds.

CatalinaCruz.jpgCatalina Cruz, 39th Assembly District, Queens (Democratic Primary Winner) – Cruz, the first DREAMer to run for office in New York State, is an attorney who served as Chief of Staff to former City Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferraras-Copeland. She bested incumbent Assemblymember Ari Espinal in September. Cruz supports congestion pricing, and reinstatement and expansion of the city's speed camera program. She wants to see Select Bus Service implemented along Junction Boulevard, and supports passage of legislation that would increase penalties for drivers who flee crashes. She also believes that New York City should have control of the subways and city buses.

HarveyEpstein.jpgHarvey Epstein, 74th Assembly District, Manhattan (Incumbent/Democratic Primary Winner) – Epstein, who won a special election in April to succeed Brian Kavanagh in this east side district, is now running for a full term. Prior to winning office, he built a distinguished career as a public-interest lawyer and community organizer. Epstein has already made his mark in Albany by introducing a bill that would remove caps on the number of bus-lane and red-light cameras in New York City, and he supports congestion pricing and the renewal and expansion of the city's speed-camera program. He's also an advocate for a robust plan for dealing with the impending L train shutdown.

JoAnneSimon.jpgJo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Simon is running for election to a third term in the Assembly, where she serves on the Transportation Committee, and she's been an advocate for safe streets and better transit for decades. She's an original co-sponsor of the bill supporting the Move New York congestion-pricing plan, and is adamant about the need to reinstate and expand New York City's speed-camera program. In addition, Simon is the lead sponsor of a bill that would authorize the city of New York to establish a residential parking-permit system.

RobertCarrollLarge2.pngRobert Carroll, 44th Assembly District, Brooklyn (Incumbent) – Carroll, who won his Assembly seat in 2016 with StreetsPAC's backing, has quickly established himself as a transit and safe-streets champion. He's pledged to continue to lead the fight for passage of a comprehensive congestion-pricing plan, and is committed to working to bring runaway MTA capital costs in line with those of other major transit systems. He supports reinstatement and expansion of the city's speed camera effort, and will continue to advocate for legislation aimed at getting dangerous drivers off the road.

#FlipYourBallot! We Encourage You to Vote Yes on Ballot Proposal 3 for Community Board Term Limits.

Please remember to flip over your ballot when you're voting, as there are three ballot proposals on the reverse side. We encourage you to vote yes on Ballot Proposal 3, which, among other reforms, would establish term limits for Community Board members.

Our friends at Reinvent Albany provided the following statement to the New York City Campaign Finance Board summarizing the benefits of a yes vote on Proposal 3:

A yes vote on Question 3 generally establishes term limits for community board members of four consecutive two-year terms. It will require borough presidents, who appoint community board members, to create a standardized application for appointment and to document their marketing of vacant community board positions.

A yes vote on this question will result in community boards that are more diverse and representative of the communities they serve. This will help ensure a robust discussion of land use matters before the board, and that voices in the community are heard. All residents will experience a fairer application process and have a better opportunity to serve the community on the board.

Please note that several StreetsPAC board members also serve on their respective Community Boards.

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Tonight! Join Us for Our Andrew Gounardes Fundraiser!

One last reminder that tonight, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., we're hosting a critically important fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes.

We've been making the case – repeatedly, we know – about how important this race is, not only for life-saving safe-streets programs like school-based speed cameras, but for better public transit and a host of other progressive policies, both in New York City and throughout New York State.

Andrew's run for the State Senate is a "Golden" opportunity to win the seat that would lead to a long list of positive changes, but he needs our help to overcome Marty Golden's three-to-one advantage in campaign cash. And tonight is a great chance for you to help make a difference.

We can't let this opportunity to elect a safe-streets and transit champion slip away for want of a few dollars. Please join us tonight and give generously. If you can't be there in person, you can be there in spirit by contributing via the link below.

To RSVP for the fundraiser (more details below), you can send an email to Koren Frankfort at [email protected].

To contribute right now, please visit

Let's send Andrew to the State Senate. Thank you.


Canvassing for Andrew's Campaign with StreetsPAC

You can also help Andrew's chances by signing up with StreetsPAC to canvass voters between now and November 6th. We're sending teams out to the 22nd State Senate District multiple times each week. We'll give you a StreetsPAC t-shirt, and if you join us this coming Sunday afternoon, we'll even spring for pizza. Sign up here!

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Reminders: Andrew Gounardes Fundraiser Monday; Register to Vote Today!

Join Us Monday to Support Andrew Gounardes!

Just a quick reminder that this coming Monday, October 15, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., we're hosting a critically important fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes.

No race in New York State has more riding on it than Andrew's campaign to oust long-entrenched State Senator Marty Golden. The outcome has major ramifications for the future of the city's speed safety cameras, for a host of other street-safety issues, for public transit, and for many other concerns facing New Yorkers.

Andrew has an excellent chance of winning this race, but he faces one daunting hurdle: Marty Golden holds a three-to-one fundraising advantage.

That's where we, together, can make an important difference. Don't let this opportunity to elect a safe-streets and transit champion come up short. Please join us on Monday and give generously. We can win this race.

To RSVP for the fundraiser (more details below), please send an email to Koren Frankfort at [email protected].

To make a contribution online, please visit today.

So much is riding on the outcome of this race. Please help us turn the tide in Andrew's favor. Thank you.


You can also help Andrew's campaign by signing up with StreetsPAC to canvass voters between now and November 6th. We're sending teams out to the 22nd State Senate District multiple times each week. Sign up here!

Voter Registration Deadline Today!

If you're not already registered to vote in New York State, today is the last day for you to submit a voter-registration form that will allow you to vote in the November 6th general election.

For all the information you need to register, including downloadable forms that must be mailed today, please visit NYC Votes: Don't delay, register today!

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Please Join Us Monday for a Critically Important Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes!

Please join us on Monday, October 15, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., for a fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes.

No race in New York State has more riding on it than Andrew's campaign to oust long-entrenched State Senator Marty Golden.

We have the opportunity to elect a leader who will push to expand the life-saving speed camera program to every school in New York City, a program that his opponent has undermined and obstructed at every turn.

We have the chance to elect a leader who has put pedestrian safety and improved public transit at the top of his campaign agenda, while his opponent has demonstrated contempt for vehicular laws in racking up a series of dangerous-driving violations.

And finally, we have a duty to elect a State Senate majority that will prioritize the safer streets and better transit that all New York City residents deserve, instead of the obstructionists pushing a suburbs-first agenda.

Andrew has an excellent chance of winning this race and accomplishing all of those things, but it won't be easy. It's very possible that the outcome will hinge on the issue of safe streets.

But Andrew's many advantages could be undone by one simple, and glaring, disadvantage: Marty Golden holds a three-to-one fundraising advantage.

That's why Monday's fundraiser is so critical, and it's an easy way for you to make an important and immediate difference. Please don't let this opportunity to send a safe-streets and transit champion to Albany come up short. Please join us on Monday and give generously. We can win this.

To RSVP, please send an email to Koren Frankfort at [email protected].

To contribute online, please visit today.

Let's not squander this "Golden" opportunity to improve New York City's streets and transit system.


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Please Join Us for a Fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes!

Please join us on Monday, October 15, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., for a fundraiser for Andrew Gounardes.

Andrew, whom we formally endorsed on September 20, is running against long-entrenched State Senator Marty Golden. A win for Andrew could not only lead to expansion of New York City's life-saving school speed camera program, but could also be instrumental in flipping control of the State Senate to the Democratic Party, which could have significant ramifications for a host of important street-safety and pro-transit initiatives.

The race may very well turn on the issue of safe streets – Andrew has made pedestrian safety and improved subway service centerpieces of his campaign, while Golden has compiled an abysmal personal driving record while failing to advocate for public transit improvements despite having sat for years on the MTA Capital Program Review Board.

Gounardes has an excellent chance of winning this race, but make no mistake: it's an uphill battle. Because the outcome may also turn on money – Golden holds a three-to-one fundraising advantage over Andrew. That's why our fundraiser is so critical, and why we need your help. In all of New York City, this is the key race between now and election day.

To RSVP, please send an email to Koren Frankfort at [email protected].

To make a contribution, please visit today!

Let's not miss this "Golden" opportunity to improve New York City's streets and transit system. Thank you.


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StreetsPAC Endorses Andrew Gounardes for State Senate

Democratic Primary Winner Will Face Off Against Marty Golden in November

StreetsPAC today endorsed Andrew Gounardes in Brooklyn's 22nd State Senate District. Gounardes, who defeated Ross Barkan in a hotly contested Democratic Primary a week ago, is aiming to unseat eight-term Republican incumbent Marty Golden, who has distinguished himself primarily as an obstacle to safe streets.

Gounardes, born and raised in Bay Ridge, has served as Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams since 2014. He has long been an advocate for street safety, both as a former member of Community Board 10's Pedestrian Safety subcommittee and as an active member of Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.). His pedestrian safety platform is a focal point of his campaign.

Contrast that with Golden, who has repeatedly stood in the way of New York City's life-saving speed camera program, and whose own driving record boasts numerous speeding violations and a fatal crash.

In addition to Gounardes' strong support for Vision Zero policies, he's deeply committed to improving New York City's ailing public transit system. He supports congestion pricing, and will work to make our subway stations accessible to all New Yorkers.

As we've said before, the events of the past few months have made it clear that the New York State Senate is badly broken. The Senate’s failure to renew the city’s speed camera program, which made the streets around city schools demonstrably safer, was a new low. While safe streets and better transit shouldn't be a partisan issue, Republicans in the State Senate have made it one, so it's imperative that we flip the Senate to Democrats who will make these issues a priority. Electing Andrew Gounardes to the Senate is key to making that happen, and StreetsPAC will devote significant resources to achieving that goal.

Please join us in supporting Andrew. You can start by coming out Saturday at noon for a rally and canvassing event in Bay Ridge (details below). To volunteer with us to help Andrew's campaign between now and November 6th, sign up here. And of course, your financial support is always crucial – please donate here.

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StreetsPAC-Endorsed Candidates Roll to Victory in Senate and Assembly Primaries!

Biaggi, Jackson, Myrie, Salazar Win Senate Races; Barnwell, Cruz & Epstein Victors in Assembly Primaries

Congratulations to the winners of last night's primary elections, and especially to Democratic State Senate Primary winners Alessandra Biaggi, Robert Jackson, Zellnor Myrie and Julia Salazar, and Democratic Assembly Primary victors Brian Barnwell, Catalina Cruz and Harvey Epstein, all of whom we were proud to endorse. Congratulations, too, to the two other endorsees who had primary races yesterday – Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, whose 46th Assembly District race is still too close to call, and Blake Morris, who ran a spirited though ultimately unsuccessful challenge – against long odds – to speed-camera villain Simcha Felder. Win or lose, they can all take pride in their efforts.

Overall, StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates won seven races last night, and lost one, with one yet to be decided. As we saw with last year's City Council contests, in which StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates won 16 of 23 primary races, voters clearly care about making streets safer and transit more reliable. And, if you'll forgive us for tooting our own horn, the results demonstrate that our in-depth questionnaire and interview process works, and leads us to support talented and viable candidates for public office.

None of this would be possible without your generous financial backing, and without your retweets, likes and shares of our social media content, as we continue to build a political movement for safer streets and better transit. Thank you for your faith in StreetsPAC!

One last time, here are the candidates whom we endorsed in yesterday's primary. Congratulations to all!

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