Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

WINNERS

New York Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas — In a letter to the NYC Department of Transportation, Simotas advocated for a car-free Shore Boulevard in Astoria Park.

Penn Station's Plaza33. | TSTC

Penn Station’s Plaza33. Image: TSTC

Midtown pedestrians — Penn Station’s temporary pedestrian plaza on 33rd Street opened this week. The space will host free events daily until its trial period is up on October 11–at which point, officials will decide whether to make it permanent.

Port Authority — Starting in September, the agency will shift pickup gates for NJ Transit and Coach USA buses, speeding up travel times for 30,000 riders.

Davis, California — The city debuted the nation’s first protected intersection for bicyclists, and its opening day went smoothly.

Portland, Oregon — Another first for the US: a car-free, “people’s bridge.” This past Sunday, Portlanders previewed the Tilikum Crossing, which will officially open in next month.

LOSERS

New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak — Senator Van Drew and Assemblyman Andrzejczak are attempting to rekindle plans to expand an expressway from Philadelphia to Cape May. The project was originally suspended due to environmental and engineering concerns.

Connecticut lawmakers — CT lawmakers already ditched the proposed mileage tax that could have paid for Governor Malloy’s $100 billion transportation overhaul.

New Jersey commuters — Amtrak Vice President Stephen Gardner warned that horrific delays “will become the norm” if Gateway doesn’t happen soon.

United States pedestrians — Nationwide traffic fatalities involving pedestrians in 2013, the most recent full year of available data, increased 15 percent compared to 2009.

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