Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

Congresswoman Grace Meng | Photo: Facebook

Congresswoman Grace Meng | Photo: Facebook

WINNERS

New Jersey Assembly – There was not a single vote cast against either of the two Port Authority transparency bills that were passed during last Thursday’s Assembly hearing.

Congresswoman Grace Meng The Congresswoman is supporting the Liao family in their efforts to obtain justice against the driver who killed three year-old Allison Liao.

Central Park users  The City has announced a speed limit reduction to 20 mph for the park, among other safety improvements. Banning cars, unfortunately, is not one of them.

Traffic safety advocates The NYC DOT introduced its new comprehensive, interactive Vision Zero View tool the same day that the NYC Department of Health announced that it has begun making traffic-related bicycle and pedestrian injury data available on its website. Here’s hoping other departments pick up the pace with tracking crashes!

Queens Boulevard users  The speed limit for one of NYC’s most notorious speedways will be dropped to 25mph.

New Haven businesses Some companies in the New Haven area are providing shuttles for employees and staggering work schedules in an effort to alleviate congestion and ease commutes.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal – The Connecticut Senator has renewed his call for a full restoration of the federal commuter tax benefit.

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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 Charles Schumer | Photo: schumer.senate.gov

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer | Photo: schumer.senate.gov

WINNERS

New York City Health Department — The department’s Center for Health Equity released its first report, which recommends ways to increase “active transportation” for students in areas with high obesity rates, such as adding bike racks and creating and expanding bike lane networks.

New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin — The councilwoman is calling for enforcement of traffic safety laws to protect pedestrians and cyclists, and has also announced legislation calling on the Department of Transportation to perform a study of the safety impacts of major truck routes through the city.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer — In his continued effort to “restore parity between commuters and drivers,” the Senator is again pushing to expand the commuter tax benefit to those who use mass transit.

Connecticut commuters — Metro-North’s new train schedule went into effect this week, which means more trains more often for those traveling between New Haven and Grand Central.

Port Authority Bus Terminal commuters — There have been some dramatic improvements to bus service operations at the facility, resulting in a 23 percent increase in the number of buses during rush hour and a 50 percent decrease in customer complaints. Still have issues you’d like to discuss with officials? Make sure to attend tomorrow evening’s PABT Commuter Chat session.

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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announcing the installation of Queens slow zones. | Photo: Twitter @JimmyVanBramer

NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announcing the installation of Queens slow zones. | Photo: Twitter

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

WINNERS

New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer – Sunnyside Gardens, Woodside and Sunnyside will be included in two new slow zones coming to Queens.

Linden, NJ – Linden’s City Council passed a unanimous resolution in support of “the renewal of the red light camera program in the interest of public safety” – a powerful statement in the face of increasingly vocal opposition.

Connecticut – ConnDOT adopted a departmental Complete Streets policy which “enables the alignment of transportation funds to encourage improvements for non-motorized users,” such as the road diet planned for East Hartford and the addition of bike racks to 50 train cars.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals – New Haven, CT’s Gateway Community College has received a $250,000 subsidy from the company to halve bus fares for college students over the next five years.

Retirees – Americans are outliving their ability to drive safely, and nonprofits are stepping in to connect housing choice and transportation options for the aging.

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Reforming the Port Authority, Part I: Transparency

The next six to twelve months will tell us whether the Port Authority is taking transparency seriously. Many encouraging promises have been made, now they need to be kept. The Port has some work to do to increase fiscal transparency.

John Kaehny, Reinvent Albany

If there’s one good thing that came out of Bridgegate, it was the fact that the public spotlight illuminated the inner workings of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), and revealed the need for a little more “sunshine” to enable the public to keep watch.

Mobilizing the Region asked John Kaehny, Executive Director of Reinvent Albany, what was on his “transparency wish list” for the agency, and we got quite a hefty to-do list in response. One of Kaehny’s biggest wishes is for an improvement to the accessibility of public documents, including Freedom of Information Law requests. He strongly asserted that all documents must be made available online in a downloadable, machine-readable format — including proposed budgets, committee briefing packets, contracts and property transactions. Making these documents easily available would not only increase transparency, but would potentially reduce the number of incoming FOIL requests by making frequently FOIL’ed information easily available to interested parties.

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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

Albany Councilwoman Leah Golby | Photo: albanyny.gov

Albany Councilwoman Leah Golby | Photo: albanyny.gov

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

WINNERS

Councilwoman Leah Golby and the Albany Common Council  – Councilwoman Leah Golby was successful in securing Common Council approval of a red light camera ordinance which stipulates that “All funds in excess of the budgeted revenue… shall be transferred to a Traffic Safety Fund.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – The mayor signed off on a transit tax benefit bill this week, which will save employers and employees beaucoup bucks each year while also encouraging greater use of public transit.

Hoboken, NJ Mayor Dawn Zimmer – In a move to ease the issues associated with free parking, the City is moving to add more parking meters, the revenue from which would contribute to transportation infrastructure funding.

The Harbor Ring – The advocacy organization’s rally for a bike/ped path across the Verrazano Bridge saw an impressive turn-out of elected officials, local organizations, advocates and residents.

Berlin, CT - After a long wait, the completion of the Depot Crossing transit oriented development project was celebrated this week.

Hudson/Bergen Light Rail Commission – The coalition of 12 mayors from Hudson and eastern Bergen counties came together to support an extension of the HBLR to Englewood.

Montclair, NJ bicyclists – The city has unveiled its first bike depot with 24 protected spaces for bikes at the Bay Street train station.

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Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

Bridgeport, CT Mayor Bill Finch | Photo: bridgeportct.gov

Bridgeport, CT Mayor Bill Finch | Photo: bridgeportct.gov

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

WINNERS

Bridgeport, CT Mayor Bill Finch – The mayor unveiled a comprehensive safe streets campaign in the city which include short and long-term infrastructure improvements and increased enforcement.

NYPD 78th Precinct – The Park Slope precinct replaced a parking spot in front of the building’s entrance with a bike corral.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams – After seven years with Tri-State, our Associate Director Ryan Lynch will now serve as Policy Director to Borough President Adams.

New York City Department of City Planning – After three years with Tri-State, our Staff Analyst Kathi Ko will now serve as a planner for the Queens Department of Planning.

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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.

Hoboken, NJ Mayor Dawn Zimmer | Photo: http://www.dawnzimmer.com/

Hoboken, NJ Mayor Dawn Zimmer | Photo: dawnzimmer.com

WINNERS

New York City Council – The Council passed two important bills yesterday: one instituting a commuter tax benefit and another setting the city’s default speed limit to 25 mph.

The Business Council of Fairfield County vice president of public policy and programs Joseph J. McGee – McGee pulled together five mayors from Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County, NY to discuss how improving their transportation systems is vital to their cities’ growth.

Hoboken, NJ Mayor Dawn Zimmer – The mayor’s big thinking includes Complete Streets redesigns of Washington Street and Sinatra Drive and a joint-city bike share program with Weehawken.

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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.

Jersey City, NJ Mayor Steven Fulop | Photo: Wikipedia

Jersey City, NJ Mayor Steven Fulop | Photo: Wikipedia

WINNERS

Metropolitan Transportation Authority – The MTA has taken a giant step forward by designing its proposed 2015-2019 Capital Program as an image-rich, stat laden, user-friendly update to its unappealing 2010-2014 Program.

New Hyde Park, NY Village Trustee Donald Barbieri – Barbieri led a successful effort to finally complete Operation Main Street, a project to redesign Jericho Turnpike with safety upgrades, after 12 years.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop – The mayor is seeking to attract New Yorkers to visit Jersey City by bringing Citi Bike to the town.

Connecticut vulnerable users - The state’s Vulnerable Users Law, which mandates a fine of up to $1,000 for any motorist “who fails to exercise reasonable care” and severely injures or kills a bicyclist, pedestrian or other vulnerable user, goes into effect today.

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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.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman | Photo: nysenate.gov

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman | Photo: nysenate.gov

WINNERS

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman – In response to Senator Hoylman’s letter challenging improper fines issued to cyclists, New York State’s DMV’s Commissioner conducted an internal audit and stated that she is pursuing an overhaul of the agency’s practices with regard to bicycle violations.

North Hempstead, NY Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio – To help alleviate parking woes at LIRR train stations, the councilwoman has proposed a ride-sharing app for Port Washington commuters.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy – For the first time ever, off-peak and weekend Metro-North trains will soon run every 30 minutes between New Haven and New York City, with additional scheduling improvements to prevent crowding on trains.

Green Brook, NJ – Somerset County is the recipient of a NJTPA grant to redesign a dangerous stretch of Washington Avenue in Green Brook with road safety improvements, including bicycle-friendly infrastructure.

AAA – AAA New York has joined Tri-State’s call to dedicate revenue generated from Albany’s proposed red light camera enforcement program to traffic calming projects.

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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.

New York City Councilman Donovan Richards Jr. | Photo: council.nyc.gov

New York City Councilman Donovan Richards Jr. | Photo: council.nyc.gov

WINNERS

Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 - Regional Administrator Judith Enck’s office was the only government office brave enough to stand up to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to raid Environmental Facilities Corporation water and sewer funding for the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction project.

R Train riders - The Montague Street Tunnel storm recovery project has been completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

New York City Councilman Donovan Richards Jr. – Queens commuters are applauding the stellar service provided by the new Q114 route, and the Councilman has plans to further expand service in the borough.

Metro-North Railroad - The agency launched a pilot program for bike racks on Connecticut’s New Haven line trains, and also received an award from the 2014 BuildSmart NY Awards for its Grand Central terminal energy conservation projects.

New Jersey Transit –While only a partial solution to addressing capacity concerns, the agency will be replacing all current train cars with double decker designs and all buses with a fleet of longer designs with more seats.

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