The 2012 New York State Legislature Candidate Transportation Survey

The capitol building in Albany

On Tuesday, November 6th, New York voters will decide who goes to Albany in 2013. Every seat in the New York State Senate and Assembly is being contested, which means that—no matter where you live in the state—your ballot will influence transportation policy.

This year, four organizations—NY Bicycling Coalition, NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, and Tri-State Transportation Campaign—teamed up to coordinate a survey to find out more about the candidates’ transportation priorities. Every candidate for a New York State Senate or Assembly seat was invited to respond. Their responses provide voters with a unique opportunity to evaluate where their candidates stand on the transportation policy issues that affect New York State’s road, bridge, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure. Below is a sampling of questions and responses. At the bottom of this post, you can find each respondent’s answers.

Few projects symbolize the state’s funding challenges better than the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge, the development of the I-287 corridor, and the struggle over whether or not to include transit in the project. Do you support finding ways to improve bus service in the corridor?

  • 41 responded yes
  • 1 responded no
  • 2 gave no response

There have been three MTA fare hikes since 2007, and another is slated for 2013. During this period, many subway and bus lines were reduced. The State contributes about 40% of the MTA’s revenue through dedicated taxes, but those taxes will not generate enough revenue for the agency in 2013. Would you support a proposal for new transit funding to relieve strain on the farebox or do you think fares should be raised?

  • 29 support a proposal for new transit funding
  • 9 support a mix of new revenues and higher fares and tolls
  • 2 support a fare hike
  • 3 gave no response

The new federal transportation law, MAP-21, consolidated a number of programs that pay for projects to make biking and walking safer into the new Transportation Alternatives fund. The law also gives states the authority to transfer up to 50% of this funding to other transportation projects, such as roads and bridges. Do you think the state should transfer 50% of the money in this fund to pay for roads and bridges, or keep it in the fund to pay for biking and walking infrastructure?

  • 29 responded the state should keep the funds for biking and walking infrastructure
  • 11 responded the state should transfer 50% of the fund to pay for roads and bridges
  • 3 gave no response

Across the country, red light and speeding camera enforcement technologies have been used to help police control driver behavior. Authorization for using these cameras in our communities is up to Albany legislators. Do you support the use of red light cameras? Do you support the use of speed cameras?

  • 29 responded that they supported one or the other, or both
  • 14 responded that they did not support either

The FYE 2013 New York State budget distributed the “long lines tax” according to population which helped support operations for over 130 transit providers across the state and provided an additional $29.6 million for non-MTA transit systems. Do you believe this tax should be permanently redistributed across the state?

  • 32 responded yes
  • 11 gave no response
  • 0 responded no

Roads, bridges, and transit systems are in a state of disrepair across the state. Would you support finding new revenues to help maintain and repair our existing road and bridge infrastructure and invest in our transit systems? If so, please suggest ideas.

Do you support the repeal of the Payroll Mobility Tax, which generates $1.3 billion in revenues for the MTA? If you support repealing the tax, how would you address the ensuing budget gap?

The responses to the last two questions were extensive, so make sure to check them out below. You can find candidates’ responses by clicking on their names:

New York State Assembly

Candidate District Party
Chad A. Lupinacci NYS Assembly, 10th District R, C, I
Jeffery J. Peress NYS Assembly, 13th District G
David Weprin NYS Assembly, 24th District D, WF, I
Abraham Fuchs NYS Assembly, 25th District R
Barbara Clark NYS Assembly, 33rd District D, WF
Julia Haich NYS Assembly, 36th District R
Catherine Fox NYS Assembly, 44th District R, C
James F. Brennan NYS Assembly, 44th District D, WF
Steven H. Cymbrowitz NYS Assembly, 45th District D, WF
Russell C. Gallo NYS Assembly, 45th District R, C
Thomas McCarthy NYS Assembly, 46th District R, C
Joseph R. Lentol NYS Assembly, 50th District D
Joan L. Millman NYS Assembly, 52th District D, WF
Julia Willebrand NYS Assembly, 67th District G
Richard N. Gottfried NYS Assembly, 75th District D, WF
William Edstrom NYS Assembly, 80th District G
Jeffrey Dinowitz NYS Assembly, 81st District D, WF
Janelle King NYS Assembly, 85th District R
J. Gary Pretlow NYS Assembly, 89th District D WF, I
David Buchwald NYS Assembly, 93rd District D, WF, I
Kim Izzarelli NYS Assembly, 95th District R, C
Sandra R. Galef NYS Assembly, 95th District D, I
Ellen C. Jaffee NYS Assembly, 97th District D, WF
Kevin A. Cahill NYS Assembly, 103rd District D, WF, I
John McDonald NYS Assembly, 108th District D, I
Joseph Chilelli NYS Assembly, 118th District D
Dennis Gabryszak NYS Assembly, 143rd District D, C, I
Frank DeCarlo NYS Assembly, 143rd District R
Joseph A. Mascia NYS Assembly, 149th District C

New York State Senate

Candidate District Party
David Wright NYS Senate, 5th District D
Carol A. Gordon NYS Senate, 8th District D
Tony Avella NYS Senate, 11th District D, WF, I
Tony A. Arcabascio NYS Senate, 12th District R, C
Andrew Gounardes NYS Senate, 22th District D, WF
Brad Hoylman NYS Senate, 27th District D, WF
Robert Goodman NYS Senate, 29th District C
Gustavo Rivera NYS Senate, 33rd District D, WF
Carl Lundgren NYS Senate, 34th District G
Andrea Stewart-Cousins NYS Senate, 35th District D, WF, I
George S. Latimer NYS Senate, 37th District D, WF
Peter A. LaVenia NYS Senate, 44th District G
Cecilia Tkaczyk NYS Senate, 46th District D, WF, G
Howard Leib NYS Senate, 51st District D, WF

NY Bicycling Coalition, NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, and Tri-State Transportation Campaign are nonpartisan entities and do not support or oppose candidates or political parties.

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