Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

New York City Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Ydanis Rodriguez | Photo: council.nyc.gov

New York City Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Ydanis Rodriguez | Photo: council.nyc.gov

WINNERS

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer — The senator has secured a $25 million grant to enable the NYC DOT to implement 13 projects to improve roadway safety as well as access to schools and transit.

New York City Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez and Jimmy Van Bramer — Rodriguez and Van Bramer have introduced new legislation to increase penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a crash where another person is injured.

Stamford, CT Mayor David Martin — After three pedestrian deaths this year, the mayor has launched the Stamford Street Smart initiative.

NJ Transit riders — If approved as the first deputy director in 12 years, Neil S. Yellin, a well-respected transportation professional who has been a champion for riders during his tenures as Senior Vice President of the LIRR and President for MTA’s Long Island Bus, could help round out a solid leadership team at the agency.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx — Secretary Foxx announced today that the Department of Transportation is “putting together the most comprehensive, forward-leaning initiative USDOT has ever put forward on bike/ped issues.”

New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery — After three years with Tri-State, beloved senior staff analyst Renata Silberblatt will now aid in the state’s storm recovery efforts as a policy analyst.

LOSERS

NYPD 83rd Precinct — The Bushwick-area precinct hasn’t gotten around to interviewing the driver identified by witnesses who seriously injured a cyclist in a hit-and-run.

Westbury Village Trustees and Mayor Peter Cavallaro — The village’s board of trustees unanimously approved raising the “unreasonably low” school zone speed limit to 20mph in one area, increasing the likelihood that a pedestrian hit by a motorist will die by 15 percent.

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey — Attention has turned to the agency’s role in the building of the World Trade Center transit hub, now eight years behind schedule and more than $2 billion over budget.

New Haven area bus commuters — “It seems a 12-hour day is common when you commute from the Valley to New Haven on the bus.”

4 Comments on "Wednesday Winners (& Losers)"

  1. Of course all of the drivers here, especially those who are the officers and staff of the Tri-State Transportation campaign never exceed 20 mph in a school zone and normally if not always only do 15 mph. I hope every detects the sarcasm. Given that school children have to walk all of the streets, I suspect special school speed limits do little to enhance safety. I don’t recall special speed limits near schools in Evanston, Illinois in the 1940s where the speed limit was 30 mph and the city was very proud of their traffic safety record. I also don’t recall special speed limits in East Orange, New Jersey in the 1950’s where the regular speed limit was 25 mph even on busy streets like Central Avenue and Clinton Street.

  2. How is it again, that in an urbanized state like NJ, notorious for some of the highest pedestrian fatality rates (I believe the term used is “focus state”), a basic sidewalk inventory (showing the network, gaps, costs/constraints to closing the gaps) isn’t readily available? We worry about torts and suits if someone trips on a sidewalk, but nobody clammers when we have to force pedestrians into the streets to get to mutually attractive land uses and bus stops? We throw all sorts of public funding at weak programs such as safe routes to school and transportation enhancement projects, but do nothing about addressing the basics. Reduced speed limits without any enforcement won’t address the issue, but it makes everyone feel better to carry the pedestrian safety banner at the beginning of each federal fiscal year.

  3. Clark, the numbers are clear: Higher speeds lead to higher injury and death rates among pedestrians, especially children. You can present all the anecdotal stories from many decades ago that you want, but that doesn’t change the reality. The benefit of keeping school speed limits low is huge and the cost to drivers is, in fact, nominal. That you or anyone else is so concerned over saving 30 seconds of your time that you’d put children at greater risk is, frankly, disturbing.

  4. Here is a video of U.S. DOT Secretary Foxx speaking at ProWalk/ProBike/ProPlace in Pittsburgh on September 10, 2014.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cKMD6zKoMg

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