A weekly roundup of good deeds, missteps, heroic feats and epic failures in the tri-state region and beyond.
New Jersey Senator Bob Gordon and Assemblymember John McKeon — Senator Gordon and Assemblymember McKeon questioned claims that NJ Transit’s safety issues were independent of the agency’s $22.5 million budget deficit.
Rockland County bus riders — Early next year, Rockland County will provide bus service on Sundays (for the first time ever) and increased Saturday service thanks to funding from the MTA.
M23 riders — The NYC Department of Transportation rolled out Select Bus Service for the M23 route last week.
New Jersey — Voters narrowly approved ballot question Question 2 last week, which will constitutionally dedicate gas tax funds to roads, rails and bridges.
Montgomery County, MD — The county approved a plan to tax developers who build in sprawling, transit-inaccessible areas and to require them to contribute to building out sidewalks, bike lanes and transit.
Streetsblog and Streetfilms — Happy anniversary to Streetsblog and Streetfilms, who celebrated a decade of advocating for more accessible, convenient transit and safer, more just streets!
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — It’s only Wednesday, and already this week the Garden State is facing its 10th credit rating downgrade under Governor Christie’s watch, and Bridgegate legal bills from the governor keep piling up. Meanwhile, that cabinet appointment is looking less and less likely.
New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Richard Hammer — In a Senate Oversight Committee hearing, Commissioner Hammer claimed that New Jersey Transit was not experiencing safety problems due to its $22.5 million budget deficit, and that increased safety violations were instead due to differences in reporting practices–despite the fact that NJT was already under federal investigation for safety violations.
New York State Department of Transportation — Over the past three years, the agency installed 514 highway signs promoting tourism that violate federal and state laws, threatening a portion of the $1.7 billion the state receives annually in federal highway funding.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation — The agency recently awarded the Yankees, which once threatened to leave the Bronx if the city didn’t grant it $237 million in tax-free bonds to build parking garages that are now hardly used, an Environmental Excellence Award.
The planet — A climate change denier with coal industry ties will lead the transition at the EPA.