Issues: Transportation

Officials Demand Change After Third Bridge Accident

Senator Gianaris was interview by WCBS 880 on the latest accident at Queensborough Plaza.

Click here to listen to connect to the audio.

May 16, 2011
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DOT blames span drivers

New York Post followed up on the latest Queensborough Plaza accident.

In the wake of a third crash at the dangerous hairpin-curve offramp of the Queensboro Bridge, the city Department of Transportation continued yesterday to blame bad driving as the cause of the accidents -- two of which were fatal.

"NYPD reports suggest excessive speed appears to be the dominant factor," said DOT spokesman Montgomery Dean, adding that the city has already installed speed-limit signs, flashing lights and rumble strips in an effort to slow drivers as they exit onto Queens Plaza South.

But two politicians questioned the agency's commitment to safety in light of Saturday's crash, when a speeding Volkswagen Rabbit careered into scaffolding and a livery car.

May 16, 2011
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Bridge toll mounts

New York Post asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the recent accident that occured on the Queens side of the Ed Kick-Queensborough Bridge.

A treacherous Queensboro Bridge offramp that has already claimed two lives was the scene of another spectacular crash early yesterday.

A speeding Volkswagen lost control on a hairpin turn at the lower-level offramp at about 5:30 a.m on Queens Plaza South -- ping-ponging between barriers before it went airborne and landed on the roof of a parked livery cab.

The smashup took place at the exact location of two other Volkswagen crashes -- both fatal -- in the last two months.

THE QUEENSBORO BRIDGE'S TREACHEROUS OFFRAMP

May 16, 2011
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Valesky Legislation Promotes Shared Services

Legislation sponsored by State Senator David J. Valesky(D-Oneida) that encourages cooperative sharing of services betweenorganizations passed the Senate.

May 12, 2011
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LIRR trains idle too loudly: Sen. Gianaris

Queens Times Ledger wrote about my efforts to rid Long Island City of idle LIRR trains.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is incensed over the MTA idling its trains near Borden Avenue in Long Island City, but the Long Island Rail Road said that while the running motors may be loud, they are also a necessity.

The LIRR yard outside the tunnel to Manhattan has been used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and LIRR’s trains, many of which are now run by diesel fuel, for 100 years. Like most of Long Island City, the adjacent area has been seeing increased residential growth with condominium complexes like The Foundry, Murano Condo and One Hunters Point being built along Borden Avenue near the yard.

May 12, 2011
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LIRR trains idle too loudly: Sen. Gianaris

Queens Times Ledger wrote about my efforts to rid Long Island City of idle LIRR trains.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is incensed over the MTA idling its trains near Borden Avenue in Long Island City, but the Long Island Rail Road said that while the running motors may be loud, they are also a necessity.

The LIRR yard outside the tunnel to Manhattan has been used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and LIRR’s trains, many of which are now run by diesel fuel, for 100 years. Like most of Long Island City, the adjacent area has been seeing increased residential growth with condominium complexes like The Foundry, Murano Condo and One Hunters Point being built along Borden Avenue near the yard.

May 12, 2011
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Senator Calls for Investigation of I-287 Reconstruction Project

Senator Stewart-Cousins has called for an investigation into cost overruns of the I-287 Reconstruction Project which were reported by the Journal News on Sunday May 1. Shortly after the Journal News published its report, Senator Stewart-Cousins met with New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald to discuss concerns regarding the project. Later, she spoke with Transportation Committee Chairman Senator Charles Fuschillo and Senator Martin Dilan, ranking member of the Transportation Committee, to ensure that they were aware of the issues with regard to I-287 as reported by the Journal News.

May 9, 2011
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Investigations and Government Operations Committee Hearing Regarding MTA

Senator Stewart-Cousins took part in a hearing of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee in Long Island regarding the "Finance, Policies and Practices of the MTA." Testifying at the hearing was Jay Walder, Chairman and CEO of the MTA; Helena Williams, President of the Long Island Railroad; Kenneth B. Bleiwas, Director of Bureau of Agency Analysis, Office of the Comptroller; John Samuelson, President of the Transport Workers Union Local 100; and Ira Greenberg, Chairman of the Executive Committee Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. The hearing examined the MTA's costs and revenue streams, and explored ways to maintain service without drastically increasing fares. To see a picture of Senator Stewart-Cousins at the hearing, click here.

May 9, 2011
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Committee Meeting: Transportation Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Transportation Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., Chair 1:00 PM, Tuesday, May 10, 2011 Room 124 CAP

May 10, 1:00 PM - 1:06 PM
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Public Hearing: Public Hearing: How New York State can utilize public-private partnerships in order to expedite and better fund infrastructure projects throughout the state

Senate Standing Committee on TransportationChair: Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.Public Hearing: How New York State can utilize public-private partnerships in order to expedite and better fund infrastructure projects throughout the statePlace: Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New YorkTime: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Melissa Kehoe (518) 455-3341Media Contact: Chris Schneider (516) 882-0630ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY

May 16, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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Riverdale Press: Tweet Tweet - Senator Espaillat responds to constituents via twitter

Got a neighborhood problem? Tweet your local pol.

After a Riverdale blogger communicated via Twitter with state Sen. Adriano Espaillat about the disrepair of the pedestrian bridge over the Henry Hudson Parkway at West 235th Street, the Department of Transportation started fixing it. 

May 6, 2011
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LIC annoyed by loud trains

Queens Chronicle wrote about the noisy trains that are disturbing residents in Long Island City.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) said he and his constituents have had enough of the racket at the Long Island Rail Road yard located at Borden Avenue and 2nd Street in LIC.

Trains idle at the yard and pollute the air. On Saturday, Gianaris announced he had penned a letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder, asking him to silence the locomotives.

“It is unacceptable that the MTA wastes expensive fuel while transit fares rise and services are being cut,” Gianaris said.

May 5, 2011
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Astoria taxi stand request

Queens Chronicle wrote about Senator Gianaris' request for a taxi stand at 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard.

After receiving numerous complaints from residents and business owners, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) has requested a taxi stand be created in the vicinity of 31st Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue in Astoria.

Gianaris wrote a letter to Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky this month to inform him of congestion caused in the area due to idling cabs. Gianaris wrote that livery cabs often illegally respond to passengers who hail them, block traffic by double parking along the streets and sit in metered spots for hours without paying.

May 5, 2011
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Legislative Update with Senator Robach

On Thursday, May 4th, Senator Robach was a guest on Legislative Update. Among the topics discussed were a preview of what's coming up for the rest of the 2011 legislative session, new legislation enacted regarding text messaging while drive, and a proposed gas tax holiday.

May 5, 2011
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SENATOR FUSCHILLO VOTES TO STRENGTHEN STATE’S TEXTING WHILE DRIVING BAN

            Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently voted in favor of legislation to strengthen the state’s texting-while-driving ban.

May 5, 2011
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Gianaris: ‘Idling Trains Hurt Quality Of Life In LIC’

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' letter to the MTA requesting a "no idle" policy at the Long Island City rail yard.

Continuing his fight to improve the quality of life in Western Queens, state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) has called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to cease immediately the idling of Long Island Railroad trains at the Long Island City rail yard in Queens.

Gianaris charged that the idling trains pollute the air with the excessive amount of fuel they waste while sitting idle and disturb the neighborhood with the loud noise of their running engines.

May 5, 2011
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Senator Robach Co-Sponors Gas Holiday Legislation

Senator Robach provides remarks on Senate Bill S4880A, which he is a co-sponsor of. This legislation would provide for the suspension of taxes on gasoline and similar motor fuels for Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend and Labor Day weekend.

May 5, 2011
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LIC Community Calls For Improved 7 Train Service

Queens Gazette wrote about the rally to improve service on the 7 train.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, state Senator Michael Gianaris and state Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, were joined by local businesses, transit advocates and residents at a rally on April 28 to demand that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) expedite repairs to address the frequent unreliability of No. 7 train service and the long-term MTA infrastructure problems facing the rapidly growing area of Long Island City.

May 4, 2011
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LaValle: Senate Passes Legislation to Strengthen Law on Text Messaging While Driving

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today co-sponsored and voted for a bill (S.998B) that will make it easier for law enforcement to crack down on texting-while-driving offenses and prevent tragic accidents caused by drivers distracted by texting.

The bill would make text messaging while driving a primary violation rather than a secondary violation. Under the current law, a driver can only be cited for texting-while-driving if another violation, such as speeding, is also being cited.

 Federal data shows 16,000 deaths nationwide due to texting while driving.

May 4, 2011
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SENATOR FUSCHILLO VOTES TO STRENGTHEN STATE'S TEXTING WHILE DRIVING BAN

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today voted in favor of strengthening New York's texting while driving ban. The legislation would better enable police officers to enforce the ban by making texting while driving a primary violation. Texting while driving is currently a secondary violation, meaning law enforcement can only enforce the ban if they cite the driver for another offense, such as speeding.

The legislation was approved by the State Senate and sent to the Assembly for consideration.

May 3, 2011
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