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.
» Continue reading…

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.
» Continue reading…

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…

Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

alicia-glen-crains

New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen | Photo: Buck Ennis/Crains

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

WINNERS

New Jersey State Assembly — By a vote of 49-21-6, the Assembly passed a bill that would require drivers to give four feet of space when passing pedestrians or people on bikes.

New Haven Parking Authority -- The authority unveiled several new bicycle-friendly amenities at Union Station this week, including a bike repair station equipped with tools as well as 10 secure bike storage lockers.

New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen – Crains reported that the Deputy Mayor is “working with an investor team to infuse more capital into [Citi Bike],” saying that she and Mayor de Blasio are “fully committed to seeing the program expand.”

» 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 York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer | Photo: comptroller.nyc.gov

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer | Photo: comptroller.nyc.gov

WINNERS

Anker West, Ada Caro, Nell Painter and other Ironbound residents - A group of neighborhood activists of the Ironbound district of Newark, New Jersey are fighting the unchecked approval of unnecessary parking lots in their neighborhood, saying that even though the town’s master plan promotes a walkable city, Newark’s  Zoning Board of Adjustment is all too eager to approve the development of “dead space.”

AAA - The organization has endorsed a 12-cent hike in the federal gas tax following its release of a poll that found that 67 percent of Americans support a gas tax increase to fund federal infrastructure projects.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer - Comptroller Stringer laid out a five-point sustainable business plan for the Citi Bike program. Though it fails to address the program’s need for a sustainable funding plan, he calls for the adoption of Senator Schumer’s commuter tax benefit legislation to help New Yorkers subsidize their memberships and for integrating the bike-share program into the DOT and MTA’s capital planning processes.

» Continue reading…

Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy | Photo: Washington Post

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy | Photo: Washington Post

WINNERS

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco and Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory – Under the leadership of Legislators Calarco and Gregory, the Suffolk County Legislature this week voted 17-1 in support of the creation of a Complete Streets Implementation Fund by way of an amendment to the County’s 2015-2017 Capital Program. Starting in 2016, the fund will annually allocate $250,000 to projects that carry out the County’s Complete Streets Policy, which was adopted in 2012. 

Jersey City Councilwoman Candice Osborne – Jersey City Councilwoman Candice Osborne introduced an ordinance for a one-year pilot program that would make a section of Newark Avenue vehicle free for most of the day and during the evening seven days a week.

Senator Chris Murphy – Last week, Connecticut’s junior Senator called on the federal government to raise the federal gas tax in order to pay for national infrastructure projects. Federal funds make up more than half of Connecticut’s transportation spending, and with 406 “structurally deficient” bridges in the state alone, the looming bankruptcy of the Highway Trust Fund should be of particular importance to Connecticut residents.

Township of Edison, NJ – Edison Township has again been awarded the New Jersey Smart Workplaces Award by Keep Middlesex Moving, an award that honors organizations, employers and individuals who provide commuter benefits to their employees. Edison has gone above and beyond by maintaining a fleet of hybrid vehicles, among other transit and commuter-friendly services.

» Continue reading…

Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

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

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro | Photo: politico.com

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro | Photo: politico.com

WINNERS

East Harlem Bus Riders – Thanks to efforts by local legislators to restart the project, the M60 Select Bus Service launched this week along 125th street, bringing faster commutes to tens of thousands of bus riders in East Harlem.

NYPD – Dangerous driving tickets are up for the third month in a row as the NYPD is enthusiastically continuing its crackdown on dangerous drivers in New York City. More than 4,800 tickets were issued citywide in a 48-hour period this past week.

Little Egg Harbor, NJ resident Art Mooney – Mooney has been working hard to speak up for the neglected roadways in his community, writing to Assemblymembers to remind them that “Route 9 does not end at affluent Long Beach Island”. Mooney wrote: “With the millions of dollars spent on upgrading the Garden State Parkway so that tourists can vacation at the Jersey Shore, maybe the state could find a few dollars to improve road conditions for the seniors and working-class taxpayers of southern Ocean County.”

Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro The Connecticut Democrat’s National Infrastructure Development Bank Act accumulated 101 cosponsors as of last night —  a strong milestone for her efforts to create a sustainable funding structure for infrastructure projects.
» Continue reading…

Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

NJ Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer | Photo: assemblydems.com

New Jersey Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer | Photo: assemblydems.com

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

WINNERS

Stamford Mayor David Martin – The Mayor testified before the US Senate this week to emphasize “the importance of rail to the economic vitality of the region and the critical need for federal investment in our rail infrastructure,” asking for financial support for the Metro North New Haven Line, which is seeing increased ridership alongside increased service disruptions and delays.

New Jersey Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer – The Garden State is the only state in the Northeast without a safe passing law, but hopefully not for long. A bill (A1577/A1600), introduced by Assemblymember Spencer, that would require drivers to allow four feet of clearance from cyclists or pedestrians when passing, was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee this past week.

Manhattan Plaza pedestrians – Nearly seven years after an initial request for updated pedestrian improvements to the intersection was made by Manhattan Plaza senior citizens and families, a new pedestrian signal system was installed at Ninth Avenue and 43rd Street to protect pedestrians from cars making left turns.

Albany Common Council – The Council voted 10-5 this week in support of a home rule message to add red light cameras to 20 intersections throughout the city. The resolution was passed quickly in the hopes of securing state approval of the measure before the end of the legislative session.

» Continue reading…