Summer 2001, p.3

Special Report: Endorsement

T.A.: "Hello, Transportation Alternatives, can I help you?"
Caller: "Umm, yes, ah, h'mm, ah, who should I vote for? I mean, ahh, which
candidate does T.A. support for Mayor?"

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."
Caller: "U'mm. OK, great. That helps a lot. Now which candidate is that?"

T.A.: "The 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."
Caller: "Is there anyone else there I can talk to about this?"

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."
Caller: "I like the idea of a detailed transportation plan."

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."
Caller: "I really like his work on Safe Routes to School."

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)."
Caller: "The expert roundtable is a cool idea."

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."
Caller: "A million red lights a day. Wow!"

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."
Caller: "Now I know too much. Just tell me who to vote for."

T.A.: "I can't. T.A. is non-partisan, we don't endorse candidates."


Register to Vote

Call 212-VOTE-NYC
Be sure to vote in the Democratic primary September 11.
The general election is November 6, 2001.