Wednesday Winners (and Losers)

Your weekly guide to heroic and villainous actions in tri-state transportation and development.

Winners

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. will work to get more funding for Suffolk County Transit in the coming legislative session | Photo: newsday.com

City of New BritainEarlier this month, New Britain Mayor Tim O’Brien and a crowd of hundreds broke ground on a streetscaping project in New Britain that is poised to help the city’s downtown thrive, especially with the arrival of CTfastrak.

New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer—When Council Member Van Bramer was celebrating a new stop sign in Long Island City with area residents, he pushed for further street safety improvements: “Today is the beginning of what I hope to be the introduction of numerous traffic calming measures in Long Island City.”

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.—Recognizing popular demand for year-round Sunday bus service and other improvements to Suffolk County Transit, Assemblyman Thiele wrote Tri-State to say that he will work for increased state assistance for the county’s transit system when the legislature returns to session.

NJ Transit—The transit agency has just voted to add Plexiglass safety partitions to 820 buses, which will help to protect the workers that get New Jersey citizens where they need to go. Legislation requiring similar upgrades in New York was announced last week.

Losers

New York City and State taxpayers—Years after New York City and State agreed to subsidize parking garages at Yankee Stadium (over local opposition), the organization behind the facilities has defaulted on its bonds.

West Milford, New Jersey cyclists—Although the Township of West Milford has posted no parking signs on some of its streets with bike lanes, it has yet to pass an ordinance that actually prohibits the practice. In an article about that issue, West Milford Councilman Joseph Smolinski said of the lanes that: “There’s rocks, there’s branches, there’s everything else. The streets are not swept to provide a safe bike path.”

Governor Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama, and presidential debate moderators—As other commentators have noted, this month’s presidential debates have involved no real discussion of urban issues whatsoever. Considering that some House members were pushing to end dedicated funding for public transit earlier this year, it’s important to get firm positions from presidential candidates on cities and infrastructure.

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