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Election 2013

Advocates Outline a Progressive Transportation Platform for the Next Mayor

9:46 AM EDT on June 19, 2013

Ahead of this morning's mayoral debate on transportation, sustainability, and livability, a coalition of transportation advocates, community groups and environmental organizations released a set of priorities for the next mayor yesterday afternoon.

Key components of the plan include:

    • Expanding Select Bus Service: Noting that SBS routes have seen ridership and bus speeds increase while other lines stagnate, the report reminds the mayoral candidates that bus lanes are an affordable transit option that also help the city meet its storm resiliency goals.
    • Building on recent street safety gains: The platform calls on the next mayor to "lead a public health revolution... [by] implementing a multi-year plan to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries." The groups ask the next mayor to use street design, as well as enforcement by cameras and officers, to crack down on the leading cause of death for the city's children.
    • More bike-share and bike lanes: The plan, noting that bicycling was reliable in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and that bike lanes have the support of two-thirds of New Yorkers, calls for a citywide expansion of bike-share, as well as more protected bike lanes and greenways.
    • Progress reports from DOT: The coalition says that DOT should continue to provide annual Sustainable Streets Index updates, Pedestrian Safety Action Plan reports, and evaluations of progress on bus rapid transit projects.
    • Doubling the city's contribution to the MTA capital program: The city contributes $100 million each year to the MTA's capital program for repair and maintenance, an amount that has not changed for two decades. The organizations call for the city to double its contribution to the capital program  but when it comes to generating revenue, the plan does not mention congestion pricing or the "fair toll" plan advocated by "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz.

The platform also supports a bill in City Council that would require all employers with 50 or more employees to offer pre-tax transit benefits to their workers, calls for the expansion of 20 mph zones and play streets, says the next mayor should support the redesign and reuse of the Sheridan Expressway, and calls for reform of the zoning code's parking requirements.

The coalition members are: Empire State Future, Mothers on the Move, New York League of Conservation Voters, New York State Transportation Equity Alliance, Nos Quedamos/We Stay, Pratt Center for Community Development, Riders Alliance, Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance, Straphangers Campaign/NYPIRG, Sustainable South Bronx, Transportation Alternatives, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, UPROSE, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice.

Streetsblog will be covering today's mayoral forum, which starts at 10. Follow @StreetsblogNYC on Twitter for the latest from the event.

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