Wednesday Winners (and Losers)

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 City Mayor Bill de Blasio — The mayor’s proposed budget would increase funding for Vision Zero by $400 million over six years, which New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said is “an unprecedented commitment of resources for street reconstruction.”

New Haven DOT Director Doug Hausladen —  When a member of New Haven’s Board of Alders complained about bicyclists ignoring the rules of the road at a public meeting about the city’s forthcoming bike share program, “Hausladen, an alternative transportation advocate who has spent much of his three-year tenure as transit chief pushing to make New Haven a more bike-friendly city, was ready with a response.”

New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee — The committee reported favorably on a bill which would add two transit riders to the New Jersey Transit board.

Connecticut Sen. Steve Cassano and Rep. Tony GuerreraSenator Cassano and Representative Guerrera have each introduced bills aimed at establishing tolls on Connecticut highways.

Losers

President Donald Trump — On Tuesday, less than a week after NASA and NOAA reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, the president signed executive orders approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and, in a meeting with auto makers, claimed that environmental regulations are “out of control.”

Connecticut Sen. Toni Boucher — Even though voters overwhelmingly reelect candidates who approve raising transportation revenues, Senator Boucher thinks members of the state’s general assembly should be fearful of losing their seats if they support tolls.

NJ Assembly Members Chris Brown, R. Bruce Land and Bob Andrzejczak — The trio of South Jersey lawmakers have proposed legislation which would “walk back many of the pedestrian safety provisions which currently exist in New Jersey.”

North Dakota Rep. Keith Kempenich — Representative Kempenich has introduced a bill which would protect motorists who run over protesters.

3 Comments on "Wednesday Winners (and Losers)"

  1. Clark Morris | January 26, 2017 at 9:25 pm |

    How do you handle protestors who block roads and transit routes and physically threaten people who want to get through?I suspect the North Dakota Representative was highlighting a major frustration that authorities are willing to allow major transportation facilities to be blocked by protestors. Given legislative processes, this probably was a symbolic gesture.

  2. Rob Durchola | January 29, 2017 at 6:35 pm |

    On transit riders being added to the NJ Transit Board:

    While this comment is very late in the discussion, I believe it is still relevant.

    I have recently been watching Board meetings and Board Committee meetings of other transit agencies on YouTube or on agency sites. I have come to the conclusion that the Board at NJT simply does not have the level of interaction with the public that other Boards have. While putting two transit riders on the Board will provide some valuable input, such input will be limited. Can an interstate peak period bus commuter to the PABT reflect on the experience of an inner city bus rider commuting to and from a second shift job in Newark or Camden or Atlantic City? Can a light rail rider on the River Line know what a commuter on the North Jersey Coast Line, especially from south of Long Branch, experiences? In watching NJT Board meetings on line, most comments made by the public do not show a broad perspective in their comments.

    In reviewing other systems, I have come to the idea that a better approach would be to reinvigorate the existing, but poorly functioning, NJT North and South Jersey Advisory Committees. These groups, at fifteen members each, could accommodate a large number of transit rider members, as well as representatives from other groups such as Tri-State or Sierra Club that have an interest in transit. They should be required to post meeting schedules and agendas and be opened to the public. An NJT Board member should be required to attend each meeting. NJT should be required to present major issues before these Committees for comment (major service adjustments, fare increases, ridership, capital projects, etc.) before the Board acts on these items. This process appears to be effective in other systems where this approach is used. And there should be a requirement that if a member of the public does speak at these meetings and does ask a specific question, he or she gets an answer within a 60 day period.

  3. Winston Smith | February 3, 2017 at 9:55 am |

    While I agree protestors should be restricted from blocking public access, peaceful protest is a legitimate right enshrined in law and custom for hundreds of years. If a grandstanding right-wing politician believes it warrants a violent, possibly fatal response this country is farther down the slope to extremist rule than many of us already fear.

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