New Yorkers rely on public transportation every day, but our current transit system does not work well for millions of working-class people. New York has the infrastructure to be a leader in creating a truly great transit system and I will continue to support, introduce, and fight for legislation that will make transportation in our district—and across the state—more accessible, safer, and equitable for all.
New York State and New York City are far behind where they need to be when it comes to public transportation. We must commit to improving our transit system for all New Yorkers, including taking further measures to protect pedestrians and cyclists, and make subway and buses accessible to all.
As State Senator, I will continue to fight for:
- Funding public transportation infrastructure for all, rather than just projects that extend the subway into wealthy neighborhoods. Every New Yorker knows that our subway system needs help. Yet, while subways in the outer boroughs languish, wealthy neighborhoods are getting brand new subway lines. I won’t support new lines into wealthy neighborhoods until basic upgrades are made throughout the system.
- Making New York City safer for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists are less safe than ever and are increasingly battling for space with automobiles––often with deadly results. Subway riders and bus riders feel powerless at the hands of the MTA hundreds of miles away in Albany. And drivers are tired of being punished, rather than incentivized, to switch to other modes of transportation. Our roads, bike lanes, subways, and buses should be safe, efficient, and work for the people who operate and use them. I will fight to:
- Pass the Right to Safe Passage legislation (S4529), which would increase the amount of clearance an operator of a vehicle needs to leave when passing cyclists from behind;
- Introduce traffic-calming measures via infrastructure (e.g., physical barriers, curb extensions, greenery, speed bumps) to protect pedestrians and bikers, and to encourage drivers to slow down;
- Identify streets in the district and throughout the city to pilot a “busway” akin to 14th Street in Manhattan;
- Increase safe, secure, bike parking and protected bike lanes and busways;
- Ensure that NYCHA housing has bike corrals and secure bike parking
- Create safe and complete streets. There are two bills that would reform state law in order to make streets safer for all who use them:
- S8394 expands upon a 2011 law that established a street design policy intended to provide for a safe and cost-effective way to improve mobility for pedestrians, cyclists, mass transportation riders, and motorists. However, the current law only requires these street design principles on transportation projects undertaken by the DOT or that receive both federal and state funding. Its limited scope has allowed for transportation projects that don’t meet this criteria to go forward without this holistic planning and construction approach. The effect is that many communities don’t include non-motorized transportation options, such as walking or cycling, in their transportation projects, because they are left out the planning and construction process.
- We must also pass S5130 to reform New York State’s ‘Complete Streets law’ and make dangerous intersections and roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists. This legislation will further ensure our children have safer routes to school and provide local families with more opportunities to walk and bike safely in their neighborhoods.
- Additional rights for survivors of traffic crashes. Over 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured in a traffic crash every year in New York. Survivors of traffic crashes and their next of kin deserve additional rights in the aftermath of a crash to help them begin recovering from the traumatic ordeal. S8152A would increase transparency in the proceedings by making sure that all crash victims and next of kin are given free and timely copies of all crash reports, afforded the ability to provide an impact statement at DMV adjudications, and provided with a leave of absence from their employer for the purposes of providing an impact statement at DMV adjudications.
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