Special Report: Endorsement
Transportation Alternatives, can I help you?"
T.A.: "We support
the mayor who will do the most for cycling, walking, public transit and
sensible transportation. The person who will make Central and Prospect Parks
car-free and who will reclaim community streets from traffic and speeding. We
would stand shoulder to shoulder with a mayor who will reclaim street space
for pedestrians and public transit, and has the vision to understand how
seemingly mundane things like NYC parking policies, moving freight, and 'big
box' shopping stores mold everyday life in the city."
announced candidates have said good things expressing strong support for
improvements in transit service and opposing token booth closures. All the
candidates have taken aggressive positions in support of more pedestrian and
traffic safety engineering and enforcement. There is also support for a roster
of much needed transportation mega-projects including: the Second Avenue
subway, LIE Connection, cross-harbor rail freight tunnel, a Gowanus Expressway
tunnel, and westward extension of the number 7 train. Not surprisingly, none
have said how they would pay for them, or talked about the necessity of
tolling East River Bridges."
T.A.: "Hang on. Let's look at the candidates alphabetically."
"Michael 'Mike' Bloomberg,
media mogul and sole Republican, has a detailed position paper on
transportation. It's good work and includes installing a 'Surface Subway' (a
high speed, express bus service) on First and Second Avenues, appointing a
transportation czar, and a long list of pedestrian and street safety
improvements. Bloomberg is also a big booster of the "Unclogging New
York" plan which T.A. helped formulate. Bloomberg got lots of press for
his admirable pledge to take public transit once a day. Unfortunately, he
modified his pledge to include taxis."
T.A.: "Yep, it would be good if all the candidates presented one."
"Fernando Ferrer, The Bronx
Borough President, is strongly in favor of car-free Central and Prospect
Parks. He's hugely supportive of The Bronx Safe Routes to School program (he
co-sponsors it with T.A.), and traffic calming efforts in The Bronx. He is the
only candidate to cycle in public, riding in Bike Week events five years in a
row, and sponsoring and cycling in the annual Tour de Bronx bike tour. Also,
his Bronx Greenway Plan is excellent. But, nobody is perfect. Ferrer talked
about eliminating tolls entering NYC, and has a mixed record on "big
box" stores. He also resisted a plan to replace the Sheridan Expressway
with a park. Overall, he's very strong on issues T.A. works on and has a
sophisticated understanding of the role of transportation."
T.A.: "So do we. It's cutting edge."
"Mark Green, the Public
Advocate, has worked with T.A. for more than a decade. As Consumer Affairs
Commissioner, Green opened commercial parking garages to bicycles. Green
forthrightly supports car-free Central and Prospect Parks and was an early
champion of red light cameras. Green is the only candidate to hold a
transportation round table with local experts and advocates. His
recommendations for improved transit service are excellent, and he clearly
revels in the policy aspects of transportation, especially mega-projects and
rail freight. Green was the first candidate to embrace the "Unclogging
New York" transportation blueprint (except for its tolling study)."
T.A.: "It sure is."
"Alan Hevesi, the Comptroller,
just released a study showing NYC motorists run more than a million red lights
a day. He makes the case for NYC to expand it red light camera program from 35
to 300 cameras. Hevesi took the lead in fighting the state's proposed
expansion of Route 122 at the Kensico Reservoir and fought the widening of the
Long Island Expressway in Queens. He also issued a report detailing the city's
need for $92 billion in infrastructure improvements. Hevesi has a long time
interest in rail freight and reducing truck use."
T.A.: "Peter Vallone,
City Council Speaker, has shown a strong interest in pedestrian safety. He is
strongly supported red light and speed cameras and T.A.'s NYC Traffic Calming
law. He also passed laws cracking down on scofflaw drivers. Vallone has led
the fight to keep token booths open and supports the roster of mega-projects.
Vallone has pledged as mayor to increase city operating assistance to the MTA
capital budget if elected. However, as Speaker, Vallone acquiesced to
reductions in city transit aid, which helped weaken the city's case for more
state support. Also, during his tenure, the City Council Transportation
Committee was largely ineffectual."
T.A.: "I can't. T.A. is non-partisan, we don't endorse candidates."
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