Will the Real Transit Advocates Please Stand Up?

30_04hakeemjeffries_i.jpgThis Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Hakeem Jeffries, staunch opponent of congestion pricing, will stand on the steps of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Fort Greene and call for increased service on the G train. As Streetsblog noted last week, this move reeks of cynical pandering from someone who had ample opportunity to stand up for transit riders mere weeks ago, but chose to obstruct $4.5 billion in MTA funding instead.

Judging from the response to that post, a counter-protest could be brewing. Might the Brooklyn Assemblyman regret grandstanding on this particular issue? If anyone is planning to go to the event to challenge Jeffries, hand out flyers, ask tough questions, hold up signs, or otherwise call attention to the hypocrisy of his speech, shoot us an email.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Save The G is far more focused on winning free street transfers, which would accomplish the same goal in a much shorter timeframe, and for negligible implementation cost.)

    That makes a lot more sense than the tunnel. Why not?

    By the way, blame politicians for the fact that the IND lines don’t connect to the Atlantic/Flatbush complex already.

    Mayor John Francis (Red Mike) Hylan, an opponent of privately run subways who had been fired by the BMT, hoped his IND would eventually destroy and replace the IRT and BMT, and didn’t want his lines deliverng passengers to theirs. Yet less than a decade after the IND was built all the lines were merged under city ownership, making that decision foolish.

    The Fulton Street line replaced a BMT Fulton Street elevated that did stop at Atlantic and Flatbush. There were tunnels built to connect to the DeKalb Avenue interlocking to eventually connect the El into the BMT subways to Manhattan, before Hylan took the route for the IND.

  • Davis

    rhubarb,

    Get a clue.

    Jeffries isn’t an ally.

    Hosting a public relations event for himself doesn’t make him an ally.

    He’s not going to win more train service for anyone, in part, because he turned up his nose at the best opportunity he’ll likely ever see to bring in the funds to pay for more train service.

    Jeffries is doing this event and trying to position himself as a transit advocate, in part, because of the pressure and criticism he got from congestion pricing advocates during that debate.

    This may sound like a “bizarre reason” to you but elected officials respond to pressure. It will only help Save the G to have a bunch of angry transit advocates on hand, breathing down Jeffries neck, holding his feet to the fire, making sure that after his little rally he does the work that needs to happen to actually win changes.

  • Dave

    I bet the hypocritical Jeffries drives to the rally and uses a parking permit ti park illegally during the rally. Pathetic politician.

    And yes, the issue of his hypocrisy over CP far outweighs the limited benefit the G-train riders would gain (they are fewer in number than the millions that will be impacted by the inevitable higher transit fares)

    So we need to call him to the table over his resistance to CP and call him out for the pandering pathetic politician that he appears to be. Who’s the Paul Newell in his district?

  • Faceless Bureaucrat

    unfortunately I don’t have the original letter (email) from Jeffries’ office – gmail deletes trashed messages after 30 days. the gist of it was, paraphrasing, “if you were a REAL constituent you’d know that affordable housing is the top priority of the majority of Jeffries’ constituents”. which, of course, i don’t disagree with, but just because something isn’t top priority doesn’t mean it isn’t an important priority.

  • rhubarbpie

    Re Davis’s comment:

    Of course, he’s not an ally. I never said he was. The G line folks are, though. That is my point.

    And of course elected officials respond to pressure. Pressure wisely delivered. This wouldn’t be. But hey, if you want to bike over there and hand out leaflets, be my guest. I wish you luck.

    Finally, I think we should realize that there are other ways to get funding for transit besides congestion pricing. (There’s been $40 billion or so in funding over the past few decades without one dollar collected from congestion pricing.)

    I supported, and support, congestion pricing. It would have been a tremendous flow of money to bond against for the transit system.

    But I hope to see some rational discussion of this next battle, where those who lost this round will need to fight for transit money or the whole system will go down the tubes. It’s happened before, as you know.

  • rhubarbpie

    Rongonz writes (#40): “Sad that all this brouhaha is over an Assembly member who’s pretty small potatoes, politically speaking. We should be going after Silver, Brodsky, and the county leaders.”

    Maybe. Or maybe we should actually be building a grassroots movement with some real on-the-ground work. Haven’t seen it yet, except in a couple of the “usual suspect” neighborhoods…and even then.

  • With all this controversy over how to approach Jeffries at tonight’s rally, I’ll certainly be interested to hear how it turns out!

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