Testimony to City Council on Congestion; Bike to Work for Earth Week; Fair Fares; Car Free Day

StreetsPAC Testifies at City Council Hearing on Traffic Congestion

This past Tuesday, the City Council's Committee on Transportation held an oversight hearing on ways to address traffic congestion, and StreetsPAC was at City Hall to testify.

The increasing burden of congestion has been well documented; the Partnership for New York City estimates that traffic backups cost the city some $20 billion every year. And yet, despite Governor Cuomo calling congestion pricing "an idea whose time has come" last summer, the common-sense fixes recommended by his own Fix NYC panel were largely ignored by the Governor and Legislature in their recently concluded budget negotiations.

In addition, Mayor de Blasio's own Congestion Action Plan, released in October, appears to be little more than tinkering around the edges. While some aspects of it are useful, the plan mostly amounts to "inconsequential suggestions to a problem that is so grave," in the words of City Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

While it's clear that what is needed is for Albany to pass a full-blown congestion-pricing plan for New York City, there are more constructive steps that the city can take on its own, and we highlighted a half-dozen of them in our testimony, which you can read in full here.

Kick Off Earth Week by Biking to Work with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

BikeToWork.jpgOn Monday, April 23, we'll be joining Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams again for his annual Earth Week Bike to Work event, and we hope you'll join us, too.

The ride will commence at the Willink Entrance to Brooklyn's Prospect Park, on Flatbush Avenue just north of the intersection of Empire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. After remarks from the Borough President, we'll ride up Flatbush Avenue to Grand Army Plaza, take the Prospect Park West bike path to 9th Street, proceed down 9th Street to Clinton Street (stopping at 5th Avenue to remember Abigail Blumenstein and Joshua Lew), and will take Clinton to Remsen Street and Brooklyn Borough Hall.

With spring finally sprung today, we're hoping for ideal riding conditions on April 23rd, and look forward to having a crowd. Join us!

City Council Calls for Inclusion of Fair Fares Funding in Next Budget

On Wednesday, we joined the Riders Alliance, Community Service Society, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and many other elected officials and advocates on the steps of City Hall to urge Mayor de Blasio to include $212 million in the next city budget to fund half-priced Metro Cards for low-income New Yorkers.


Access to transit equals access to economic opportunity, especially for those city residents struggling to make ends meet. Half-priced Metro Cards would save the average recipient about $700 a year, according to the Community Service Society's estimate, and the City Council's proposed funding would provide relief to approximately 360,000 New Yorkers.

The New York Times's editorial page embraced the effort yesterday. If the Mayor truly wants to eliminate the tale of two cities, he'll get on board with Fair Fares, too, and include this badly needed program in his final budget.

Car Free Earth Day, Saturday, April 21st

We joined City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez and NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Monday for the official announcement of Car Free Earth Day 2018, which will open 30 blocks of Broadway from Times Square to Union Square on Saturday, April 21st, for people to explore on foot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be programming at several rest stops along the route, and the city will measure carbon emissions before and during Car Free Earth Day to dramatize the deeply beneficial environmental effects of getting cars off our streets.


For more information, including details on satellite events in Washington Heights and Downtown Brooklyn, please visit NYC DOT's official Car Free Earth Day web page.

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