Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle | Photo: Bergen Dispatch

New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle | Photo: Bergen Dispatch

WINNERS

Mayor Ralph Ekstrand – The Farmingdale mayor insists that the village will be Long Island’s next downtown destination, citing music events and the transit-oriented development project near the LIRR station that will include 154 apartments and 20,000 square feet of retail space.

City Representative David Kooris – In response to Tri-State’s Older Pedestrians at Risk analysis, the newly-elected City of Stamford representative intends to “propose an ordinance next month to require city engineers to include pedestrian-friendly design components” into road projects as a way to improve safety for older citizens.

Bill Lindmeier - Terminal Velocity, a newly-launched app created by Mr. Lindmeier, augments any subway map with interactive data about that subway station and the surrounding neighborhood.

Sunnyside, Queens - After the number of businesses awarded a “bike-friendly” label by Transportation Alternatives topped 70, the advocacy group declared the entire neighborhood to be a bike-friendly business district.

New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle - In addition to being the sponsor for a Port Authority transparency bill, the assemblywoman is now working with other state and local electeds to find a long-term solution to protect bicyclists riding along route 9W.
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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy | Photo: Lindsay Perry of the Stamford Advocate

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy | Photo: Lindsay Perry of the Stamford Advocate

WINNERS

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy - The Connecticut senator is proposing new methods for funding rail infrastructure.

MTA and New York City Department of Transportation - The two agencies teamed up to improve way-finding in the city’s subways with the creation and installation of new unique maps detailing the area surrounding each subway station.

Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli -  The first county in the state to adopt a Complete Streets policy is now on the way to becoming the first county in the state to create a county-wide bike lane network.

New Haven Board of Alders - The Board unanimously accepted a $760,000 grant, which will allow the City to conduct a two-year study to investigate means of improving transit options for residents and visitors.

Keegan Stephan - Upon learning of a two-week bicycle safety crackdown by the NYPD, the respected bike advocate responded, in a brilliant piece of guerrilla advocacy, by catching not one, not two, but 32 vehicles - including NYPD-owned vehicles - blocking bike lanes on his way to work today.

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Governor Cuomo Signs Historic 25 MPH Speed Limit Bill

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the 25 mph Vision Zero bill at the Javits Center in Manhattan Saturday. | Photo: Joseph Cutrufo/TSTC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill at the Javits Center in Manhattan Saturday. | Photo: Joseph Cutrufo/TSTC

This morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an historic piece of legislation: a bill that gives New York City the authority to lower its default speed limit from 30 miles per hour, to 25 miles per hour. Statement from TSTC Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool below:

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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

Lisa & Jacqueline Sheriff | Photo: Carmine Galasso, The Record Staff Photographer

Lisa & Jacqueline Sheriff | Photo: Carmine Galasso, The Record Staff Photographer

WINNERS

Branford, CT - Branford is adding a second platform to the town’s Shore Line East station to allow for more frequent trains.

Lisa & Jacqueline Sheriff of Waldwick, NJ - The mother-daughter team are hoping to increase traffic safety on local roadways not just by encouraging slower speeds, but by protecting traffic enforcement personnel as well.

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation – The Dodge Foundation is supporting “creative placemaking” efforts in communities throughout New Jersey, which not only helps these communities to grow and thrive by inspiring innovation and expression, but also by catalyzing economic growth in distressed neighborhoods.

Perth, Australia rail commuters - Dozens of riders worked together to tilt a commuter train in order to free a rider trapped between the platform and train.
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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

Englewood, NJ Mayor Frank Huttle III | Photo: City of Englewood

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

WINNERS

New Haven, CT — New Haven Transportation, Traffic & Parking Director Doug Hausladen and other local leaders are coming up with some low-cost traffic calming solutions.

Flushing [...]

An Open Letter to the People of Nassau County

TSTC recently received an email with the attached letter from Westbury, Long Island resident Kevin Lucas, along with a note informing us that it had been sent to “a number of public officials, interest groups, and media organizations” with the hope of creating an opportunity for dialogue on the subject.

Though local leaders are pursuing policies to increase road safety across Nassau County, the true challenge is how to bring about cultural change. While Complete Streets policies are a politically visible means of demonstrating commitment to the cause, they are not as visible to motorists as the installation of dedicated infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians, which serve to convey to drivers the message that the roadway is for sharing. It’s time for the state and local governments to hit the pavement and start walking their Complete Streets talk.

A couple of weeks ago my wife began joining me on my daily runs, except she follows along on her bicycle. And even though the run is only a mile, and is over in less than ten minutes, it has been a fulfilling and fun bonding experience for us. The runs instantly stopped feeling like a daily chore, and I looked forward to them. The way she encouraged me every day made me feel like we were Rocky and Mickey. This was going to be our daily routine. That is until July 12, 2014, at 8AM, when a man pulled up beside my wife in his car to tell her she was stupid for riding her bike in the street.

We moved to Long Island, Westbury to be exact, in February and for the most part we’ve enjoyed it here. We do not drive, by choice, and we knew that the area was suburban in nature before arriving. And although this has proved somewhat difficult we enjoy walking and the increased distances between necessities has not deterred us from walking to them. In fact, we’ve found certain stretches to be enjoyable on foot, despite being poorly designed for pedestrians. Mostly, the only consistent issues we’ve faced are lawn sprinklers spraying directly onto the sidewalks, pushing us into the street; and inattentive drivers failing to yield, particularly when turning right.

With this in mind I thought it would be nice for us to get bikes. Neither of us are cyclists, and only I had ever even really used a bike to get around before at any point in my life. She was nervous, but I assured her that it would be fine, that in a way it was safer than walking because drivers can see you better in the road. After all, everyone who drives learned how to properly give way to bicycles and pedestrians, to properly and safely pass, and to share the road. Plus, we would keep to the neighborhood streets. There would be no braving the traffic on Old Country Road. We just wanted to get around a little quicker, not make a statement. The busiest road on which we would travel was Maple/Westbury Avenue. Anything more than that and we would get off and walk our bikes. Once we got our bikes the apprehension quickly gave way to excitement. This was going to be fun, or so we thought.
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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

U.S. Representative Joe Crowley | Photo: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880

U.S. Representative Joe Crowley | Photo: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880

WINNERS

Jersey City, NJ Mayor Steve Fulop - Testifying before Congress this week, Mayor Fulop used the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail as an example of a successful transportation investment that has revitalized Jersey City.

U.S. Representative Joe Crowley - Congressman Crowley, who represents Queens and the Bronx, announced his national “Bike to Work Act,” which would allow commuters to pay for bike share memberships with pre-tax income.

U.S. Representative Jim Himes - The Representative from Connecticut called on Congress to find a long-term solution to the nation’s infrastructure needs.

Douglaston, Queens - City agencies have come together to reverse the deteriorating conditions in the neighborhood surrounding the Douglaston LIRR station, initiating the creation of a new pedestrian plaza. The activity has already attracted several new businesses to the area.

Perth Amboy, NJ - NJ Transit has allocated $9.6 million for the renovation of Perth Amboy station, which will be the cornerstone project of plans to create a transit village in the city.
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Tappan Zee Bridge Financial Details Finally Released to the Public

Tappan Zee Bridge Project TIFIA-Eligible Costs, Sources and Uses of Funds, as provided to TSTC on July 17, 2014 by the Federal Highway Administration in response to appeal of Tappan Zee Bridge Financial Plan Freedom of Information Act request.

Thursday Winners (& Losers)

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

New York State Senator Bill Perkins | Photo: nysenate.gov

New York State Senator Bill Perkins Photo: nysenate.gov

WINNERS

New York State Senator and Public Authorities Control Board Member Bill Perkins – Senator Perkins penned a letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the Environmental Facilities Corporation loan that points to “an entire host of outstanding questions and legal concerns surrounding this project that have not been answered to the satisfaction of anyone.”

Amazon warehouse workers in Robbinsville, NJ – Amazon is now providing free shuttle service to employees at its Robbinsville warehouse - a promising example of a developer filling the funding gap in a state so strapped for transit funding.

NJ Transit riders - There is no fare increase in the agency’s approved budget for the fifth consecutive year.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer - In a new report, the Comptroller cites TSTC’s Complete Streets Liability Primer, which shows how Complete Streets can not only prevent injuries, but also protect governments from potential liabilities associated with traffic incidents.

Staten Island Mall owner General Growth Properties - General Growth Properties is filing a parking exemption request with the City so it can replace 281 “underutilized” parking spaces with expanded retail space.
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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck | Photo: wamc.org

EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck | Photo: wamc.org

WINNERS

EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck – The agency has not just rubberstamped the list of projects proposed to be funded with the $511 million loan from the EFC, but instead is ensuring that “every single dollar is spent in accordance with federal laws and rules,” including the $100,000 proposal to relocate one peregrine falcon nesting box.

New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin – Two months after Mayor de Blasio released his affordable housing plan, Chin is calling for a municipal parking lot in the lower east side to be redeveloped for affordable housing.

Norwalk and Waterbury, CT – The City of Norwalk, Connecticut was one of only four cities in the nation to receive a $30 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant from the federal government, to redevelop a housing complex near rail. The State of Connecticut is investing $19 million in Metro-North Waterbury branch signalization as well as street improvements in downtown Waterbury.

Hoboken, NJ Residents, Commuters and Pedestrians – After three years and $54 million, Hoboken’s 106 year-old 14th Street Viaduct has reopened. The eight-lane feeder for the Lincoln Tunnel was redesigned to incorporate pedestrian plazas, recreation areas and a dog park.

New Jersey State Senators Loretta Weinberg and Stephen Sweeney – Both legislators urged the NJ Transit board to fund improvements at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
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