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.
» Continue reading…

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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AARP Long Island Seeks Grant Applicants

TSTC’s partners at AARP Long Island are seeking Long Island-based applicants for two grants of $5,000 each. AARP has been a strong advocate for safer streets and livable communities on Long Island. The organization was instrumental in the recent adoption of a complete streets implementation fund in Suffolk County.

Grant proposals should explain in 500 words or less:

• Alignment with AARP’s mission and [...]

Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs | Photo: nassaucountyny,gov

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs | Photo: nassaucountyny,gov

WINNERS

Brookhaven, NY Town Board - The Board gave the go-ahead to the Ronkonkoma Hub transit-oriented development project.

Bill Lipton and Jen Hensley – The New York state director of the Working Families Party and the executive director of the Association for a Better New York co-authored an op-ed in Crain’s calling for full-fledged bus rapid transit  service in New York City.

New York City Transit and MTA Bus Company -  The two agencies have come together to improve and expand bus service across 10 lines, including the restoration of the B37 line, which connects Bay Ridge to the Barclays Center.

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs - In response to recent traffic fatalities, Legislator Jacobs is calling for safety improvements on the area’s deadly roadway.

Moms in Metuchen, NJ - In response to a recent spate of pedestrian injuries in the notoriously pedestrian-unfriendly town, a group of concerned mothers has come together to urge their local leaders to improve traffic safety. » Continue reading…

Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

New Amtrak baggage cars feature roll-on bike storage. | Photo: blog.amtrak.com

New Amtrak baggage cars feature roll-on bike storage. | Photo: blog.amtrak.com

WINNERS

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo – This morning Governor Cuomo signed into law a piece of legislation that authorizes the expansion of speed camera use on Long Island, saying that “By empowering Nassau and Suffolk Counties to install dozens of speed cameras in school zones, we are helping to protect our students and ultimately save lives. This should send a message to all drivers – slow down and obey the speed limit, especially when passing by a school.”

Hopewell Township, NJ – The township became the 100th municipality in the Garden State to embrace Complete Streets and the first municipality to do so by way of a Complete Streets ordinance. According to the Township Administrator/Engineer Paul Pogorzelski, “we decided that this policy should be in the form of an ordinance and have the weight of law rather than simply be part of a resolution which does not transcend governing body changes. “

Amtrak - Amtrak announced that they have begun testing new bike-friendly baggage cars to alleviate passengers of the hassle of boxing and checking their bikes as luggage. These baggage cars, which are manufactured in New York state, are expected to be put into service on all 15 long-distance routes by the end of this year.

New Jersey Transit – The agency has unofficially launched its first-ever one seat ride summer shore rail service from Penn Station to Bay Head using new energy-efficient dual-powered locomotives. Riders will save 25 minutes by not having to change trains at Long Branch, which will likely boost ridership to the shore and alleviate summer parking in shore towns. » Continue reading…

Next Week: Connecticut Complete Streets Roundtable

Save the date for Bike Walk Connecticut‘s first-ever Complete Streets Leadership Roundtable!

On Monday, June 30,  planners, engineers, advocates and public safety officials from communities across the state will gather to exchange ideas and learn about how to make Connecticut’s cities and towns better places for all users of the road.

When:   Monday, June 30 [...]