Paco Abraham

There are many important topics that come up each election cycle from jobs to education to housing to crime. However, I personally find none more critical than our streets. The best house in the city, job in the city, school in the city.... they are all worthless if you don't feel safe to cross the street to get there. Streets are are too often thought of as unchangeable strips of asphalt only meant for cars where pedestrians and bicyclists simply don't belong. Well, they may not belong to the streets as we have them now but when space is properly allocated to prioritize people and their safe passage rather than car speeds, then we see a more active, vibrant richer city unfold. 

Though less than half of New Yorkers own one, we dedicate nearly 80& of our street space to motor vehicle use alone. Sadly, you don't have to look far to meet someone who has seen firsthand the damage caused by this illogical balance. So many lives are lost and bodies injured that most of us shrug it off as the status quo; But every time I read the news of a crash I put myself in the victims shoes. When a car is up on the curb, a driver is not penalized for blocking the crosswalk, or a police officer immediately declares 'no criminal is suspected' I ask myself what would I do if that were me, or my family, or my friends. Would I simply say 'It Happens?' Would you? 

These are OUR streets and we demand OUR safety. The next turn needed to get us off this endless crash course is to elect politicians who will stand up for safety and vocalize the need for improved engineering, education, and enforcement on our roads. 

NYC Needs a Comprehensive Snow-Removal Policy

Yesterday's snowfall – while thankfully not the blizzard that many outlets predicted – served as yet another reminder that New York City lacks a comprehensive system for clearing snow from intersections, crosswalks and catch basins.

SlushPuddleNYT.jpgWhile the Department of Sanitation did its usual yeoman's job of plowing and salting the city's streets, too much of that plowed snow ends up creating headaches for pedestrians, and for less able-bodied New Yorkers, dangerous and impassable obstacles.

As LTV Squad's Joseph Anastasio pointed out a year ago, snow removal at intersections falls into a responsibility black hole, and too many property owners skip shoveling their sidewalks because fines are low and enforcement is almost nil. He offers up a plan that largely puts the onus on the citizenry, which may or may not be the best plan – but at least it's a plan! And here are three suggestions from Streetsblog's Ben Fried for improving upon the current situation.

Given its role in creating laws, the City Council needs to tackle this nagging problem head-on. Sign the petition to ask the Council to initiate a comprehensive plan for improving snow removal in New York City.

247 signatures


To the New York City Council:

New York City needs a comprehensive snow-removal policy!

While the Department of Sanitation does an excellent job of plowing streets, the city has no equivalent process for clearing intersections, crosswalks and catch basins. We've all encountered mountains of snow and ponds of slush when simply trying to cross a street, but what's annoying for the nimble and able-bodied can be dangerous and impossible for the elderly, the disabled, young children or parents pushing strollers. Clear streets are not enough if they can't be crossed by pedestrians!

We, the undersigned, urge the Council's Transportation and Sanitation Committees to craft an overhaul to the laws governing snow removal.

Photo: Joshua Bright for The New York Times

answered 2016-05-25 11:21:56 -0400
Q: Which aspect of the recently announced Citi Bike expansion are you most excited about?
A: Rollout to Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus & Red Hook

StreetsPoll: May 25, 2016

Last week, Mayor de Blasio and Motivate announced that not only will Citi Bike expand this summer in Manhattan northward to 110th Street, and into all of Brooklyn Community District 6 (Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Red Hook), it will do so with added density. What's more, existing Citi Bike zones on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side will get additional bikes and docks, bringing the total Citi Bike network to 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations by the end of 2016.

answered 2016-05-11 16:48:52 -0400
Q: Which Community Board-obstructed safe-streets project should the de Blasio Administration move forward with next?
A: Empire Boulevard Safety Fixes

StreetsPoll: May 11, 2016

To his great credit, Mayor Bill de Blasio today instructed the New York City Department of Transportation to move forward with the complete-streets redesign of Queens Boulevard, over the opposition of Community Board 4 to protected bike lanes. Community Boards are also obstacles to a number of other projects that would improve street safety, including the redesign of 111th Street in Corona, Empire Boulevard safety upgrades in Crown Heights, creation of Bradhurst Plaza in Sugar Hill, a network of bike lanes in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Lenox Avenue traffic calming in Harlem.

@subtle116 tweeted link to StreetsPoll: April 27, 2016. 2016-04-27 12:21:16 -0400

StreetsPoll: April 27, 2016

Last Friday, New York City celebrated it's first car-free Earth Day, pedestrianizing some Manhattan streets and encouraging New Yorkers who typically commute by car to opt for subways, buses, biking, walking, or other alternate transportation modes. City officials vowed that next year's car-free Earth Day would build on the original. Tell us which option would do the most to accomplish that, and if you sign up to receive email updates (you can unsubscribe any time), you'll earn a chance to win a StreetsPAC t-shirt!

Paco Abraham
i work in TV, and i bike a lot.