Find Out Where They Stand: 73 Candidates Reply to TA Transpo Survey

If you’re wondering where the Post picked up the news that Mayor Bloomberg is on the record supporting bike-share for New York, head over to the Transportation Alternatives Candidate Survey. You’ll find much more about where the people running for Mayor, Manhattan DA, City Council, Comptroller, Public Advocate, and the borough presidencies stand on transportation issues.

All told, TA has collected responses from 73 candidates. With Bus Rapid Transit routes taking shape, congestion plaguing city streets as much as ever, Robert Morgenthau stepping down after decades as Manhattan’s top prosecutor, and advances in ped-bike safety provoking a vocal backlash from certain quarters, there’s a lot at stake in this election. Thanks to the candidate survey, New Yorkers will be able to remind electeds of their promises on livable streets issues for the next four years. And the companion web site gives voters a handy reference as primary day approaches (September 15, don’t forget).

One of the really useful functions of the survey site is that you can compare competitors’ responses to the same question. Say you want to know how the mayoral candidates pledged to reduce traffic — here are their answers. Bill Thompson, the likely Democratic nominee, supports time-based tolls on the MTA crossings but, true to form as a Ravitch Plan foe, says nothing about putting a price on free bridges. Bloomberg, meanwhile, gives no indication that he’ll renew the push for pricing if he wins a third term.

For some unambiguous statements in support of pricing, check out the Public Advocate candidate responses to a similar question — especially former Public Advocate Mark Green and, rather surprisingly, current Council Member Eric Gioia.

So, now we have many candidates on the record regarding pedestrian safety, bike infrastructure, transit investment, and traffic enforcement, all in one place — it’s a lot of information to digest. Streetsblog will be sifting through it in the weeks before primary day, highlighting the citywide races, the Manhattan DA contest, and the key showdowns for City Council seats.

  • JK

    This is very cool as are the candidate forums. These excellent innovations do a number of very important things. First, they raise the overall level of the transportation discussion, which is to everyone’s benefit. It’s not enough anymore for candidates to just demand more traffic lights and more parking and oppose congestion pricing or fare hikes. Second, they greatly expand the influence of TA and the livable streets movement — and this is just the beginning of the beginning. Exciting stuff.

  • J

    This also puts candidates on the record in a way that is easy for most citizens to access, which allows citizens to hold elected officials accountable to what they said during the campaign. This is democracy at work. TA is doing its part to create an informed electorate, at least regarding about transportation issues, that is.

  • J

    I also find it interesting that neither Alan Gerson nor Peter Gleason responded to the survey. As mentioned before, District 1 has some pretty poor choices for city council.

    John Liu and David Yassky both go on record saying that they support congestion pricing. Liu reiterates support for BRT and car-sharing programs, and Yassky describes his previous support for biking legislation and telecommuting options.

    It would probably be a good idea to go through each race, and list out the candidate positions and specifically call out those who fail to respond to the survey. If their is a candidate with clearly better policies, maybe the streetsblog editorial board or TA could even endorse candidates. Just a thought.

  • mike

    “TA could even endorse candidates”.

    J- Transportation Alternatives is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, and thus cannot endorse, or oppose, candidates or parties.

  • Great work by TA (what else is new).

    I did get around to emailng the DA candidates a personal question about traffic justice, motivated by the “legal” death of Axel Pablo Reyes.

    I still haven’t made up my mind on whom to support, and this is not me trying to sway anyone else (I know a lot of people here are for Aborn and with good reasons); but just to share, Vance’s campaign is the only one that’s yet replied to my admittedly not-very-scholarly inquiry:

    Can you prosecute drivers for failing to exercise legally required “due care?” (Incidentally, in a crowded city, doesn’t speeding alone obviously constitute a dereliction of due care?)

    I believe your question pertains to the “Rule of 2” by which a single violation is not considered enough to constitute reckless driving. On this, Cy’s plan states: “There is no reason why two traffic violations are necessary in order to support a conviction of criminally negligent homicide. I view the “Rule of Two” as the result of case law which should be modified to reflect the reality that one vehicular crime is fully capable of killing. Although in recent years this notion has been applied by the courts in a less strict manner – it is indisputable that it does not take two violations to kill someone. Many violations — speeding, running a red light, or failing to stop at a stop sign are more than dangerous enough to take a life.”

    Can you require every such incident to be examined by accident reconstruction experts?

    Cy has discussed the need to appropriately train DA’s and investigators in accident reconstruction, amongst other elements of criminal traffic law in his proposal for a Vehicular Crimes Unit: “In addition, the members of this Unit will receive substantial training in the forensics of automobile investigation and crash-site reconstruction, as well as comprehensive legal instruction and in-depth training in the complex laws of New York vehicular crime.”

    Can you direct how aggressively NYPD detectives or other investigators examine such incidents?

    The influence of a DA is a little more indirect in this case, as the NYPD and District Attorney’s office are independent bodies, but Cy has emphasized reorienting the office into community zones that will allow ADA’s to have greater familiarity with police, community members, and problem areas within their zones. They will also be accountable for long term crime reduction in these zones, including vehicular crime in problem areas.

    You can read Cy’s full plan for Vehicular and Pedestrian Safety here: http://cyvanceforda.com/planforthefuture/vehicularcrime

    Apologies if my crude html attempt makes this comment illegible…

  • Yep, I messed up blockquoting. But I think it’s decipherable anyway.

  • Glenn

    I keep hitting dead-ends after I do a search of candidates in my district…I click a name, it says they didn’t respond and then I click back and it gives me the Expired Information Warning

    Can someone make a “back” button that works for this? Mike Infranco, please help.

  • Glenn,

    Fixed!

  • Thanks TACS!

  • In my opinion, Klein would be well advised to use her tremendous energy to work on helping turn the country local and addressing concrete problems such as food, energy and transportation. ,

  • Spray a large round or rectangular baking sheet with non-stick spray. ,

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