Rally for Mayor’s Groundbreaking Green Transportation Plan

Stand with Transportation Alternatives and a coalition of environmental, labor, business and community groups who all support the Mayor’s proposal for congestion pricing, less driving and more biking, walking and transit.

Transportation Alternatives needs hundreds of people in attendance to show the strength and rightness of our cause!

On Sunday, the Mayor made an historic announcement. After years of flirtation, he finally came out with a plan to green our streets. Transit improvements (including dedicated bus HOV lanes on the East River Bridges and more express bus service in neighborhoods that need it), congestion pricing and the creating new pedestrian plazas in every neighborhood around the city were among the initiatives the mayor announced that will reduce private car use in New York City and set the stage to rebalance our streets in favor of the majority of New Yorkers who are transit takers, pedestrians and cyclists.

The Mayor’s speech was a promising start, but the future is far from clear. There is a small but incredibly vocal minority that is opposed to congestion pricing despite its benefits to our health and environment.

We need to make sure that City Hall knows that the majority of New Yorkers supports this bold plan. In reducing car use and giving more space and priority to bus riders, pedestrians and bicycles, the Mayor’s plan will help New York City meet the dual challenges of growth and global warming. Reducing car use and promoting cleaner, greener forms of transportation will also improve local air quality and reduce rates of asthma and cancers proven to be caused by pollution from cars. This plan serves the majority of New Yorkers and will help create a fairer transportation system.

Today we have an enormous opportunity. Tomorrow the opposition will try to take it away.

  • momos

    Every Streetsblog reader should write a letter to the editor in support of congestion pricing.

    Full name, address and phone number are required for publication.

    NY Times: letters@nytimes.com or fax 212-556-3622
    Daily News: voicers@edit.nydailynews.com
    NY Post: letters@nypost.com
    NY Sun: editor@nysun.com or fax 212-608-7348

    Then write to Albany and convince them they won’t lose if they back the plan.

    Sheldon Silver: speaker@assembly.state.ny.us
    Joe Bruno: http://www.senatorbruno.com/send_email.asp (email form required)
    Eliot Spitzer: http://161.11.121.121/govemail
    (email form required)

    Don’t forget the City Council…
    John Liu: liu@council.nyc.ny.us
    Christine Quinn: http://www.nyccouncil.info/rightnow/contactspkr.cfm
    (email form required)

    Come on Streetsblog, help build momentum!

  • What a stunning speech today. I’ll see you all on City Hall steps in the morning.

    And yes, I’ll be calling my city councilperson – the speaker – tomorrow morning. The line will be busy because you’ll be calling too, right? Thought so…

  • anonymous

    Pedicabs to bloomberg, “THANKS FOR THE VETO”

  • BrianD

    *Call* your council member and state representatives – e-mailing is just not effective in this day and age. Take the 5 minutes to call – it is 10 times more effective, for real.

  • davel

    Bloomberg’s embrace of congestion pricing is great news, but don’t think for a minute it’s gonna be easy to make it happen. Why? Because the “incredibly vocal” opponents mentioned in the post are NOT a minority. C’mon guys, all the polling shows most New Yorkers are against this. This was the case in London, where most people opposed the idea until it was implemented and then they changed their minds. It’s gonna be an uphill battle. Contacting your elected representatives is a great first step.

  • garsh

    a useful tool for nyc residents looking to contact their elected representatives:
    http://www.cmap.nypirg.org/netmaps/MyGovernment/NYC/MyGovernmentNYC.asp

    or get to it by simply googling “who represents me nyc”

    i’ve worked for a politician and so i can second the above suggestion and say from personal experience that a phone call is certainly more effective than email.

  • momos

    How about this: call AND write.

    Sheldon Silver: District office 212-312-1420; Albany office 518-455-3791

    Joe Bruno: District office 518-583-1001; Albany office 518-455-3191

    Eliot Spitzer: Albany office 518-474-8390

    Christine Quinn: District office 212-564-7757; City Hall office 212-788-7210

    John Liu: District office 718-888-8747; Legislative office 212-788-7022

    And call your state reps. Albany is unfortunately in the equation.

  • momos

    One more thing. Pay attention to who bashes the plan in the press and call their office to set them straight. To begin with:

    Adolfo Carrión Jr to the Times: “I wonder if it is another hidden tax on working people. I worry about people who need to use their cars to get to work.”
    WHAT? Not a word about environmental justice? Asthma rates? Insane Manhattan-bound truck traffic on the highways?
    Call him: 718-590-3500

    State Sen (D-Queens) John Sabini to the Daily News: “It’s dead on arrival. It will unite the outer boroughs and the suburbs” in opposition.
    Sabini represents Jackson Heights. Congestion’s not an issue in Jackson Heights? Come on.
    Call him:718-639-8469

    Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) to the Daily News: the mayor’s proposal has little to no chance of winning support from either chamber in the Legislature.
    Call her: 718-784-3194

  • momos

    I had a very interesting phone conversation with an aide to Adolfo Carrión this morning. Carrion is avoiding taking a clear stand on congestion pricing but he’s leaning against it. The lady I spoke with repeatedly raised concerns about how congestion pricing would hurt poor people who already struggle to afford driving. I called the office in the first place because I strongly feel congestion pricing in a progressive move that benefits poor people for three reasons: 1).drivers in NYC have higher household incomes than non-drivers 2).poor people live in neighborhoods with severe air pollution and extremely high asthma rates. 3).congestion pricing provides new money for mass transit investments. In other words, the poor pay a public health penalty for wealthier drivers. This line of reasoning intrigued the lady and we had a long and substantive discussion about it. She seemed willing to engage and unaware of the many studies done on drivers in New York City (by Bruce Schaller especially).

    I’d urge Streetsblog readers who are passionate about congestion pricing to call Carrion’s office. Tell them that any intervention to reduce NYC traffic disproportionately benefits the Bronx, since traffic disproportionately hurts the Bronx, and tell them that the political leadership of the Bronx should be out there campaigning hard for congestion pricing as a policy of environmental justice. Carrion’s office sounds willing to entertain this idea but is broadly uninformed about it and leaning against it.

    The number to call is 718-590-3500. I spoke to Ronnie.

  • Dave

    How are we going to cover the story if you clowns take pictures of our legally parked-by order-of-the-mayor’s-office press vehicles on Park Row and post them on some silly website?
    Boycott!

  • mike

    Dave, haha, nice one.

  • JF

    Hey Dave, when the mayor’s office first told you to park in the bike lane, how come you didn’t do a story about this inconsistent policy?

  • TK

    Probably the last thing the mayor’s office thought of.

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