Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

State Rep. Patricia Dillon introduced a bill that would reinstate tolls in Connecticut. | Photo: New Haven Independent

A weekly roundup of good deeds, missteps, heroic feats and epic failures in Tri-State transportation news.

Winners

Rep. Patricia Dillon, Governor Dannel Malloy and ConnDOT — State Representative Patricia Dillon introduced a bill to re-establish tolls, a non-starter in Connecticut until recently, and Governor Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut Department of Transportation have mustered the political courage to study the prospect of tolls on I-84 West in the Hartford area and I-95 between New Haven and New York as a way to reduce congestion and raise revenues for the cash strapped transportation system.

New York City – In the last week, it was announced that NYCDOT will roll out new pedestrian wayfinding signs and convert 12,000 parking meters into bike parking spaces, while the Mayor’s Design Commission released a new plan for Times Square that prioritizes pedestrian safety. Bloomberg called bike share “the wave of the future” while defending the forthcoming Citibike program to a skeptical caller during his weekly radio show.

Bike & Walk Montclair – The North Jersey township’s 10-year-old cyclist and pedestrian advocacy group has grown to a point where it’s looking to hire its first paid executive director to lead the organization into a second decade of making Montclair a safe haven for walking and bicycling.

Losers

The MTA — New York City’s transit agency is looking into how safety barriers could be installed on subway platforms, which have long been considered prohibitively expensive. But it turns out that in 2007, the MTA turned down a deal to have them installed — for free.

Motorists who use the Pulaski Skyway — Because of the rehab of the Pulaski Skyway, drivers are going to be redirected onto a very congested highway network. With 34,000 vehicular crossings each day, NJ Transit and PATH need to increase rail and bus service, and maybe even create a Pulaski Busway, to mitigate what could be a transportation nightmare.

Suburban bus riders — The Bee-Line bus system in Westchester and the Nassau Inter-County Express have proposed raising fares to match the MTA fare increases (which will go into effect in March). But unlike MTA riders who are seeing $30 million in service restorations before the hike, Bee-Line and NICE riders will be paying more for the same or less service.

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