Some of the most contentious transportation discussions in the region are taking place on Long Island. For this reason, TSTC sent surveys to the incumbents and challengers in every state legislative district in Nassau and Suffolk counties. MTR is highlighting each district from which at least one candidate responded.
Republican John W. Bugler is challenging Democratic Assemblymember Ginny Fields (who is also running on the Independence Party ticket) in New York’s 5th Assembly District that encompasses the eastern part of the Town of Islip and the southwest corner of the Town of Brookhaven on the south coast of Long Island. TSTC received no response from the incumbent, Assm. Fields, but Mr. Bugler provided TSTC with a completed questionnaire highlighting his stances on particular transportation issues:
John W. Bugler
A former engineer at NYSDOT, Mr. Bugler recommends the use of CompStat (a management philosophy, primarily used by police departments, which emphasizes statistical and geographic analysis and frequent meetings between unit commanders and agency leadership) to identify accident information that would assist in analyzing traffic safety and road design.
In order to increase public transportation capacity and access on Long Island, Mr. Bugler proposes to issue green flashing lights to all bus passengers that would allow them to be picked up anywhere along a “safe travelway.” He argues that many riders are reluctant to seek out designated bus stops.
Mr. Bugler said that using satellites and cell phones to track when and where vehicles enter limited access highways, in addition to staggering work hours, could reduce congestion on Long Island’s roadways. He proposed a bond issue in response to a question about how to sustainably fund LI’s transportation needs, and said that bringing back trolley cars could mitigate transportation problems caused by poor land use decisions.
Mr. Bugler also indicated his support for the LIRR East Side Access project, the LIRR Third Track project, the widening of Route 347 and the Long Island Intermodal project at Pilgrim State, indicating that the latter project will do the most to benefit Long Island.
Assm. Ginny Fields
As a Suffolk County Legislator, Assm. Fields worked to adopt a master plan for smart growth, work she has continued to promote at the New York State Assembly. She has also sponsored legislation that would make increasing MTA fares subject to the State Comptroller. However, Assm. Fields was an opponent of congestion pricing, a policy that if implemented, would have ultimately reduced the need for fare increases.