Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

Photo: Jimmy Van Bramer/Twitter

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of a Vision Zero Task Force in Queens on Wednesday. | Photo: @JimmyVanBramer/Twitter

A weekly roundup of good deeds, missteps, heroic feats and epic failures in the tri-state region and beyond.

Winners

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio  Mayor de Blasio announced the formation of a working group, comprised of the New York City Police Department, Department of Transportation, Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Taxi & Limousine Commission, which will be tasked with developing a Vision Zero plan by February 15. He also said that New York City ”should not have to constantly go to Albany,” and will pursue home rule over speed enforcement cameras.

Hackensack, NJ  Mayor John Labrosse and the Hackensack City Council are aggressively seeking to be New Jersey’s next Transit Village.

Senator Chris Murphy (CT)  Senator Murphy will lobby for a federal TIGER VI grant to help fund improvements to New Haven’s Orange Street, a critical component of the Elm City’s Downtown Crossing project.

NYC Councilmembers Mark Levine and Adriano Espaillat  Levine — who is just two weeks into his tenure on the City Council — and Espaillat showed strong leadership, despite resistance from Community Board 10, by urging the City to move forward with a 10-block traffic calming plan for Morningside Avenue in Harlem, where more than three-quarters of households do not own cars.

MTA transit riders  New York’s highest court upheld the payroll mobility tax, which generates $1.5 billion annually, or more than 10 percent of the MTA’s total revenues.

Losers

U.S. Representative Richard Hanna (NY)  Congressman Hanna questioned the validity of using fuel taxes to fund transit, invoking the myth that “The federal government subsidizes [transit riders], but…people who use the rest of the transportation system have historically paid directly unsubsidized.”

Long Island Rail Road riders  The East Side Access project, which will give Long Island commuters a one-seat ride to Grand Central Terminal, is once again behind schedule and over budget.

NY State Senator David Carlucci  Senator Carlucci proposed a tax break  for motorists who pay tolls in New York — the last thing elected leaders should be focused on, as it will increase congestion and further favor driving over transit.

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