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Wednesday’s Headlines: State of the State 2024 Edition

Gov. Hochul delivered her "State of the State" speech on Tuesday, showcasing her agenda for the 2024 legislative session. Plus more news.

Gov. Hochul delivered her "State of the State" speech on Tuesday, presaging her agenda for the upcoming state legislative session.

Here are the transportation-related highlights:

  • Hochul renewed her commitment to pass "Sammy's Law," which would allow New York City to set its own speed limits below the current standard 25 mph. Read Streetsblog's coverage here.
  • The Governor also announced a feasibility study for a potential third phase of the Second Avenue subway into Harlem along 125th Street. Gothamist broke the news of the proposal, which the Daily News, amNY and Bloomberg also wrote on.
  • A statewide ban on the sale of uncertified lithiuim-ion batteries, commonly used to power e-bikes, also made it into Hochul's list of proposals. New York City's own such ban has been in effect since September.
  • The MTA will begin "engineering work" for the proposed Interborough Express, or IBX, Hochul said.
  • Hochul also plans to roll out new policies to crack down on toll and fare evasion: increased fines for fare evasion and license plate defacement, a ban on "vanish plates" that allow drivers to conceal their license plates, a law to allow cops to seize license plate covers "covers designed to make plates unreadable" and designating toll evasion as a misdemeanor. (Note: The governor promised to do much of this last year and failed to deliver.)
  • As part of the new transit fare and toll evasion effort, Hochul wants to let cops issue warnings instead of summonses to first time farebeaters — and to let the MTA waive fines for fist-time offenders who enroll in the Fair Fares program, refund up to 50 percent of fines paid on time in the form of a customer fare card, and expand fare evasion enforcement to commuter railroads.

Stay tuned to Streetsblog for more coverage all of these issues in the coming weeks and months.

In other news:

  • The judge in New Jersey's lawsuit against congestion pricing recused himself Tuesday after Manhattan State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal called out his close personal ties to Gov. Phil Murphy and his wife Tammy. (NY1)
  • Not mentioned in pro-car, subway-hating Gov. Murphy's "State of the State" — his own failing transit system. (Gothamist, Colleen Wilson via Twitter)
  • Bus ridership up 7 to 20 percent on routes that went fare-free this fall. (Daily News)
  • Also in the State of the State: A plan to build 500,000 new housing units in NYC. (NY Post)
  • And finally — Streetfilms' own Clarence Eckerson tore apart claims congestion pricing will kill Broadway with some simple math:

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