Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez join other City electeds in breaking ground on the Plaza de Las Americas. | Photo: NYC DOT Flickr

The groundbreaking of the Plaza de Las Americas. | Photo: NYC DOT Flickr

WINNERS

Washington Heights residents After seven years of planning, the City has finally broken ground on the Plaza de Las Americas, a big win for local vendors and businesses as well as for pedestrians, who will enjoy increased traffic safety once the project is complete.

Queens residents —  In addition to the great news of permanent Q103 weekend service, the City DOT unveiled its design for a ‘super’ bus route along Woodhaven Boulevard, where buses would run in their own lane separated from local traffic with a concrete median.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Cities of Opportunities Task Force, de Blasio called on fellow mayors across the country to raise the call for greater federal investment in mass transit and infrastructure, saying “the failure to invest in transportation, the failure to invest in infrastructure is holding us back.” Does this mean there will be an increase in city funding to the MTA’s capital plan to match the call for increased federal funding?

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal & acting Federal Railway Administrator Sarah Feinberg — The Northeast Corridor high speed rail study that has been irking Connecticut officials for weeks has been declared “dead on arrival,” with the Connecticut Senator vowing to fight the bill until the study includes a stop in Connecticut.

Connecticut commuters and residents — In an effort to woo residents of the Land of Steady Habits, there are several promotional offers for passengers who try CTfastrak, launching this Saturday, March 28, including local business discounts and nine full days of free rides for all passengers statewide.

LOSERS

MTA riders — This week has been a real doozy for the agency. Sunday marked the fifth fare hike in eight years, followed by widespread press coverage of the MTA’s declining service standardsyet another delay of the long-awaited 7 train extension and a new report speculating that the MTA’s budget gap may be larger than we thought.

NYPD — A Vision Zero initiative to track city-owned vehicle crash data is already proving to be helpful in identifying trends that could be used to prevent future collisions, yet the NYPD is not contributing data about its own agency and won’t say why.

Connecticut State Senator Toni Boucher — Senator Boucher warned her fellow legislators that voting for tolls could jeopardize their chances of winning future elections.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — Attempting to raise New Jersey’s gas tax, the second lowest in the nation, would be a “fool’s errand,” as Governor Christie has shown no support.

1 Comment on "Wednesday Winners (& Losers)"

  1. Clark Morris | March 25, 2015 at 9:30 pm |

    Would transit be better off without any federal aid and any federal oversight? Is the cost of grant application and meeting all of the ever changing federal regulations out weighing the value? Why should the well off commuters from Connecticut, the more affluent suburbs of New York and the more well off communities of New Jersey get any subsidy of their trip? The cost per mile is less than that of the urban commuter but because there are so many more miles, the total cost is greater. Are we subsidizing sprawl and energy consumption?

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