Bloomberg Admin Misses “Golden Opportunity” on Intro. 199
In the latest issue of Mobilizing the Region, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign questions how the Bloomberg Administration’s purported commitment to long-term planning and sustainability squares with the Department of Transportation’s opposition to Intro. 199, City Council legislation aimed at collecting better data on how New York City’s streets are managed and used:
Testifying before the City Council on Intro. 199, a bill to improve NYC transportation data collection and performance measures, outgoing NYCDOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall challenged the bill’s suggestion that New York City’s transportation-related data collection efforts don’t go far enough. Commissioner Weinshall told the Council, "the City Charter already requires the submittal of objectives and indicators as detailed in the Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) and, therefore, any legislation to require additional reporting seems redundant."
Press coverage of the hearing focused on Weinshall’s statements that traffic congestion is more a matter of perception owing to bigger vehicles rather than growing numbers of them. Leaving aside the obvious fact that vehicle size matters to congestion-the same number of people driving trucks take up a lot more room than if they were on bicycles – the absence of any real information about traffic or congestion trends in the city in the commissioner’s testimony seemed to argue for the Council’s proposal.
The Bloomberg administration missed a golden opportunity to build
support through Intro. 199 for new metrics of sustainable
transportation. The Council should pass Intro 199, explicitly charging
the city administration to come through with a way to measure progress
on sustainability goals.