WHY IS TRANSIT and INFRASTRUCTURE IMPORTANT?
By Wright for NYC 2020 Campaign Team
The state and city have just over a year to prepare for the implementation of congestion pricing, the controversial traffic mitigation (and MTA revenue-raising) strategy that was approved by the state Legislature and Governor Cuomo last year.
The plan cedes much authority over city streets to the state-run and Cuomo-controlled MTA. However, the new mayor will probably have to undertake several measures to make the program a success, including expanding and improving bus service.
There is also Vision Zero – which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities – while the number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities jumped in 2019 and advocates asked for more aggressive implementation of street and intersection redesigns and protected bike lanes. The aims of City Council Member Brad Lander’s “Reckless Driver Accountability Act,” which aims to take dangerous drivers off the road for repeated violations, has not yet been fully endorsed by the current mayor or reached agreement with the Council on language so it can pass. This task may also fall in the hands of the new mayor to achieve.
The current mayor may also have to decide whether he is willing to increase the fare on the heavily-subsidized ferry system, where he has initially pegged each ride to the same price as a Metrocard swipe for the bus or subway, currently $2.75, and whether his plan for the BQX, or Brooklyn-Queens Connector streetcar, will truly advance. If these issues are not resolved by the end of 2021, it will become the responsibility of the new mayor.