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Posts from the Dick Gottfried Category

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13 State and City Elected Officials Sign On to Move NY Toll Reform

The trickle of elected officials endorsing toll reform is starting to become more of a steady stream, and a look at who belongs to the coalition suggests that the politics of the Move NY plan are indeed different than the politics of congestion pricing.

More than a dozen state and city elected officials announced today that they support the Move NY toll reform plan, which establishes consistent tolls to drive into the Manhattan core while lowering tolls on outlying bridges. The signatories include some lawmakers who either sat on the sidelines during the 2008 congestion pricing debate or replaced representatives who actively opposed that proposal. Five of them represent areas of Brooklyn or Queens.

Is he listening? Photo: MTA/Flickr

Is he listening? Photo: MTA/Flickr

In a letter sent yesterday to Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders in Albany, the 13 electeds back a “full-line review” of the A and C trains and enactment of the Move NY toll reform plan to pay for needed fixes [PDF].

The letter is signed by state senators Adriano Espaillat, Brad Hoylman, and Daniel Squadron; assembly members Richard Gottfried, Walter T. Mosley, Linda Rosenthal, and Jo Anne Simon; council members Margaret Chin, Laurie Cumbo, Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, and Donovan Richards; and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

One name that especially stands out is Mosley, who represents the Brooklyn district formerly spoken for by Hakeem Jeffries, a congestion pricing opponent. Also of note: Simon and Squadron replaced Joan Millman and Martin Connor, who only came out as congestion pricing “supporters” after the proposal was defeated in Albany.

The letter urges the MTA to expand full-line reviews so each subway line is reviewed every five years. But without funding, the officials point out, those reports won’t do any good for riders:

[W]hile reviews have led to major service improvements, some of the strongest recommendations from each review are often not feasible to implement because the MTA lacks critical resources…

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Eight Electeds Back Protected Bike Lanes for Manhattan’s West Side

amsterdam.jpgProtected bike lanes would enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians on Amsterdam Avenue.
Several representatives in the City Council and state legislature, as well as Borough President Scott Stringer, have signed on in support of protected bike lanes for Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

Last fall, Manhattan CB 7 passed a resolution asking DOT to prepare a proposal for protected lanes in the district, which stretches from 110th Street to 59th Street. In a letter addressed to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan earlier this week, eight electeds signaled their support for the resolution.

The letter [PDF] commends "DOT's ongoing effort to encourage safe, environmentally friendly and healthy modes of transportation" and offers to help the agency consult with local groups prior to implementing bike lanes on the West Side. In addition to Stringer, the signatories are State Senators Tom Duane, Bill Perkins, and Eric Schneiderman; Assembly members Linda Rosenthal and Dick Gottfried; and Council members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Gale Brewer.

DOT says it will work with West Side stakeholders as the agency develops proposals for the area.

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State Sen. Martin Connor Secretly “Supported” Pricing All Along

With state primary campaigns ramping up, Observer political reporter Azi Paybarah seems to be everywhere with his video camera. In this clip from a debate held by Democracy for New York City, he captures State Senator Martin Connor, who represents lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, in an unprompted admission of legislative cowardice.

While fielding a question about protecting marine life, Connor launches into a defense of his environmental record. Slightly after the four-minute mark, he serves up this gem: "Congestion pricing -- I supported it. I didn't tell anybody; I didn't take a position on it. I supported it." Ah, so that's how lawmakers "support" bills tailor-made to benefit the vast majority of their constituents -- by keeping their thoughts to themselves until it's too late to actually influence the course of events.

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Dick Gottfried Blames Bloomberg for Pricing Non-Vote

 
Care of the Politicker, here's 38-year incumbent Assembly Member Dick Gottfried explaining to the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, whose endorsement he wants for his re-election bid, how democratic Shelly Silver's house is in comparison to the state Senate. All things considered, it's a jaw-dropping spiel.

Then, at about the three-minute mark, an audience member asks why congestion pricing didn't come to a vote. Though he has just said that every member is guaranteed that his or her sponsored bill will be "considered" by committee, Gottfried -- a professed congestion pricing supporter -- replies that there was no need for pricing to be voted upon, as it would have been "resoundingly trounced." He then pins the blame for pricing's failure on Mayor Bloomberg's "astonishingly abominable" job in selling Assembly members on the plan.

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