A weekly roundup of good deeds, missteps, heroic feats and epic failures in the tri-state region and beyond.
New Jersey Acting Transportation Commissioner Richard Hammer — Hammer said the days of highway expansion in New Jersey were over, emphasizing the state’s focus on rehabilitating existing roads, bridges and transit infrastructure.
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James — James introduced a bill expanding a pedestrian’s right of way in a crosswalk to include when a countdown clock appears and a red hand signal flashes.
Upper West Side bicyclists and pedestrians — The NYC Department of Transportation unveiled its redesign of Amsterdam Avenue–where five pedestrians were killed between 2011 and 2013–complete with pedestrian islands and a protected bike lane.
New Haven, CT — The city plans to convert the currently three-lane, one-way Church Street into a two-lane, two-way street with bike lanes.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — AG Schneiderman issued a subpoena to ExxonMobil Corporation regarding allegations that the company misled investors and the public about the risks of climate change.
New York State Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz, Assemblyman Ron Kim, City Councilmember Peter Koo, U.S. Representative Grace Meng (NY) and 109th Precinct Deputy Inspector Thomas Conforti — Instead of calling for safety redesigns, Queens leaders announced a crackdown on jaywalking to increase pedestrian safety in the same precinct where an SUV driver killed Allison Laio and several motorists ran over the body of Aglaia Gounaris after she was fatally struck by a casino bus driver.
Staten Island bus riders — Staten Island riders on the X10, X11, X12 and X42 routes endure an extra 20 minutes on their rush hour commutes into Manhattan due to limited access to the HOV lane.
Bernards Township, NJ Police Department — The Bernards Township police charged Elizabeth Jaeger with “reckless running” after a motorist backing out of a driveway hit her.
New Jersey and New York — Both states scored poorly on their anti-corruption laws: New Jersey earned a D, while New York received a D-. Meanwhile, Connecticut had the 3rd best anti-corruption laws nationwide, earning a modest C-.
U.S. House of Representatives — The House approved an amendment to the federal transportation bill eliminating funding for the High Density States Program, which would have distributed $1.6 billion to transit agencies in seven high-density, transit-dependent states (including Connecticut, New Jersey and New York) over the next six years. We hope none of the tri-state representatives voted for this amendment–but since it was a voice vote, no record of names exists.