Rodriguez expressed vision for NYC Council Transportation Committee and NYC Transportation more broadly for the next year
NYC Council Transportation Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez and the NYU Rudin Center hosted a summit with leading transportation advocates where he outlined his vision for the future of transportation in New York City. Entitled "Next Stop: Making New York City's Transportation Safer and More Efficient", the summit announced a two-pronged focus for the Transportation Committee, highlighting existing problems and detailing legislative solutions to make New York's transportation systems safer and more efficient.
Reducing Vehicle Usage
According to the NYC Economic Development Corporation, as of 2012, 1.4 million New Yorkers owned at least one car. As a car owner myself, I know the burden this places on one's time and pocket. Single occupancy vehicles, constantly flooding our streets, put a strain on both individuals and our city as a whole. This is one of the most inefficient means of travel available to New Yorkers, yet many in our outer boroughs are forced to rely upon it due to a lack of options.
Chair Rodriguez announced his dedication to reducing the rate of car ownership to 1 million by 2030. In order to achieve those goals the Chair spoke about the need to embrace ideas like carpooling all the while incentivizing alternative means of transit. In addition to improving our subway system and increasing capacity along lines, the Chair stressed the need to expand and improve our bike lane infrastructure. Chair Rodriguez set a goal of doubling the current 1,000 miles of bike lanes by 2030 with 20% installed qualifying as protected.
According to study conducted by the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management the average income for the top 59 transit rich neighborhoods is just south of $80,000. This directly contrasts with the next 60 neighborhoods whose average income is just $46,000 with an unemployment rate of 11.7%. Further, 879,000 New Yorkers commute more than 1 hour each way to work to jobs that make less than $35,000 a year. Transportation is a public good and should be enjoyed as equitably as possible. In order to truly combat income inequality in our city we must evaluate the various factors, like transit access, that are creating it. In order to connect these communities. Chair Rodriguez announced his support for various initiatives including CityTicket, targetted CitiBike expansion, better regulation of the commuter van industry, the expansion of Bus Rapid Transit and a study related to the development of a light rail system.
Making Transportation Environmentally Friendly
According to the most recent City-wide Emission Inventory in 2014 New York City's transportation sector contributes 18.4% or 11.4 million tons of carbon annually.Chair Rodriguez set forth a vision for reducing Transportation's contribution 2% by 2022. Further, the Councilman stressed the need to target and improve our worst actors and set the goal of a 50% environmentally friendly taxi industry by 2030. Chair Rodriguez also spoke about streamlining our roadways to reduce congestion and the resulting emissions. The main centerpiece of that plan was the Councilman's dedication to passing congestion pricing, specifically the Move NY Plan.
"One of the strongest aspects of our nation is our dedication to developing a comprehensive vision for the future. Today I am proud to paint the picture of what I deem as the best path forward for our city. By reducing emissions, car use, expanding the use of bike and connecting isolated communities we have the opportunity to revolutionize transportation in New York City," said Council member Ydanis Rodriguez. "I am proud to have gathered with leading
transportation advocates to describe my plan and engage about the path forward. I look forwardto creating coalitions with these advocates to effectuate change for the benefit of our city."
"Our streets are safer for pedestrians and cyclists because of Councilman Rodriguez's leadership as Chairman of the Transportation Committee," said Alex Matthiessen, President of Blue Marble Project and Move NY Campaign Director. "His all out endorsement of Move New York today reflects his strong commitment to delivering better transit and safer, less congested streets to all New Yorkers. We applaud his efforts and look forward to working with him and other leaders to make Move NY a reality."
"As the Chair of Transportation, Council Member Rodriguez's endorsement for Move New York sends a loud and clear message: the City is ready to fund the MTA. The Next Stop report put out by the Chair today is one of the most thoughtful and innovative plans I have seen by a city official; I applaud him!", said"Gridlock Sam Schwartz. "We look forward to working with him and the rest of the City Council to ensure the City gets moving again."