Climate Change is a Joke -- For Too Many

  • Congestion Pricing

    As Gov. Cuomo correctly put it in August, congestion pricing is an “idea whose time has come.” Charging motorists to enter a large swath of traffic-clogged Manhattan will encourage more people to take mass transit, and generate the massive amounts of money needed to have a world-class system capable of moving more riders efficiently. Buses can be excruciatingly slow and they are getting slower. That’s not anecdotal. Whatever faults you want to largely assign to the MTA, this one shouldn’t be on your list. It’s certainly not the bus drivers’ fault. There are too many cars and too little space. There are benefits to converting traffic lanes to pedestrian plazas and safe routes for bicyclists. But that has to be a contributing factor to the 23% decline in the average driving speed in Manhattan since 2010. It is now just 5 m.p.h.

     Bus Rapid Transit and Select Bus Service

Real Bus Rapid Transit. The city has altered some street so the MTA can operate Select Bus Service. This has several positive features that have speeded-up bus travel, including off-board payment and all-door boarding, that have speeded-up bus travel. SBS should to be expanded at a much faster clip than the two routes a year outlined recently by Mayor de Blasio. And the city needs to implement real Bus Rapid Transit with bus-only lanes that aren’t just painted a different color but also physically separated from other traffic. Law enforcement won’t keep all cars and trucks out of bus-only lanes, and it only takes one or two incursions to clog up a busy artery.

  • Electric school buses.

Local 100 is seeking City Hall support for a pilot program in which public school students are taken to and from school in all-electric, non-polluting yellow school buses. Service on approximately 15 routes would be provided by a workers cooperative. Workers in a cooperative would own the new bus company, eliminating the need to allocate revenues to investors or a corporate owner. The top priorities would instead be providing quality service with environmentally friendly vehicles and sustaining solid middle-class jobs for bus operators and mechanics.

Rockway Beach Line and the BQX

  • Restoring rail service to the abandoned LIRR Rockaway Beach Line: 3.5 miles from Ozone Park to Rego Park. It would connect to the LIRR main line and provide a fast and direct link from into the heart of Manhattan. Creating the Brooklyn-Queens Connector, a streetcar along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront with connections to 10 ferry stops, more than 30 bus routes, 15 subway lines and dozens of CitiBike stations.

    On Saturday, a coalition of groups will mark the 5th anniversary of SuperStorm with a march over the Brooklyn Bridge from Cadman Plaza to the Smith New York Housing Authority Houses. Under the banner “we remember, we resist, we rise,” they will rally against President Trump’s rolling back of climate protections - and demand our city, state and federal elected officials advance bold climate policies. Make your voice heard.

    Remember. Resist. Rise.