Issues: Transportation

Press Release: Statement From Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Regarding Tappan Zee Bridge's Mass Transit Task Force's Executive Summary

"Creating more jobs and helping people get to those jobs are two major priorities being addressed by the New NY Bridge Project and the Mass Transit Task Force. By targeting key employment centers like Yonkers, Tarrytown, White Plains, Valhalla and more, the recommendations will help spur smart economic growth and sustainability for the region and assist residents looking to climb the ladder of success."

February 11, 2014
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Utica Observer-Dispatch editorial: Stop robbing bridge fund

"State Sen. Joseph Griffo is dead-on in his criticism of the state's ongoing raid on highway and bridge funds. Our infrastructure is a mess and requires every tax dollar and fee collected to make improvements. Our infrastructure is a mess and requires every tax dollar and fee collected to make improvements.

"And we second Griffo's call for legislation that will protect taxpayers' money and make sure it goes where it should."

Read the rest here

February 11, 2014
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CNY lawmakers to state: Keep I-81 in same general corridor through Syracuse area

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

January 30, 2014 at 7:37 AM, updated January 30, 2014 at 10:45 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Central New York's state lawmakers want any solution for Interstate 81 to travel along the same general path the aging highway occupies now, according to a letter sent in December to the state's top transportation official. 

February 10, 2014
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Progress Report: Senator DeFrancisco Discusses Hearing Testimony Regarding I-81, Hospital Funding and Early Intervention Repayments on Your Voice

As Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator John A. DeFrancisco has been conducting public budget hearings in Albany to seek straight answers to serious questions regarding the Central New York community.  These issues include hydrofracking, the future of I-81, balanced funding for hospitals, and Early Intervention repayments. 

February 10, 2014
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Progress Report: Senator DeFrancisco Discusses Testimony on I-81, Hospital Funding and Early Intervention Repayments on Your Voice

As Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator John A. DeFrancisco has been conducting public budget hearings in Albany to seek straight answers to serious questions regarding the Central New York community.  These issues include hydrofracking, the future of I-81, balanced funding for hospitals, and Early Intervention repayments. 

February 10, 2014
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Kennedy, Peoples-Stokes, Kearns Push for Commitment from NFTA to Review Recent Route Cuts and Fare Hikes as They Push State for Increased Funds

State Delegation is Working to Help Secure Additional State Funding for NFTA; Lawmakers Want NFTA to Commit to Current Level of Service and Explore Reversing Previous Service Cuts and Fare Hikes.

NFTA Deserves Additional State Funding to Help Support Operations – Kennedy, Peoples-Stokes and Kearns Want Any Funds Secured to Go to Cutting Rates for Families in Need

Kennedy: If the State Does Its Part to Support the NFTA; NFTA Must Do Its Part to Support WNY.

February 7, 2014
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RITCHIE WANTS STATE REVIEW OF LOCAL RAIL SAFETY

Asks Governor for Oversight of Freight Trains Speeding Through Rural Communities

Senator Patty Ritchie wants the state to boost its oversight of freight trains coursing through Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties in the wake of moves by national rail companies for higher speeds on the local lines, and growing concerns about transport of hazardous materials through populated communities.

The Senator has written a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to expand a new rail safety review he’s ordered into rail transport of crude oil on downstate lines to also include potentially hazardous freight being moved through other communities. The letter is available here.

“Community leaders have expressed concern that these higher speed trains could be causing unnecessary risks to neighboring communities and schools, local populations and our environment, should a serious accident occur,” Senator Ritchie said in her letter to the Governor, copies of which she has sent to emergency response officials in the three local counties.

February 7, 2014
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Griffo: State Must Stop Raiding Highway & Bridge Fund

UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today reiterated his objection to the state’s sweep of highway and bridge funds, following a state comptroller’s report that revealed just 22 percent of motorist taxes and fees are being used for capital construction project.

“Motorists paid $3.8 billion last year in state taxes and fees on travel-related items such as gas, vehicle licensing and rental cars. That money is supposed to go toward making bridges and highways safer,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “Instead, the money is being taken to pay for past borrowing as well as operating costs of state agencies – at the expense of our infrastructure.”

February 5, 2014
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The Brooklyn Paper : Whose streets? Our streets! Bushwick pol wants Brooklyn to rule its own roads

By Megan Riesz

The Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn, not Albany, knows best what should happen on Brooklyn streets.

That is the thinking behind a bill sponsored by state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan (D—Bushwick) that would allow the Council to reduce the speed limit on residential streets citywide to 20 miles per hour without state approval.

“It will save lives,” Dilan said. “I am excited.”

February 3, 2014
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Senator Ritchie Questions DOT Commissioner

Senator Patty Ritchie questioned the state DOT Commissioner, Joan McDonald, during last week's public hearings on the State Budget. Senator Ritchie focused on key issues impacting Northern and Central New York, including the Governor's I-98 proposal, road needs in Oswego County, a continuing problem with polluted water wells near Alexandria Bay and rail safety issues.

Advance to the following time marks to find the discussion of these issues:

0:04 Rooftop highway proposal

1:41 Specific road repair needs needs in Oswego County (Fulton and Parish)

3:14 Alexandria Bay-area salt issue

4:05 Rail safety issue

February 3, 2014
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Federal Farm Bill Will Provide Greater Stability for New York Farmers

Senator Young strongly supports passage of Farm Bill

ALBANY— With farms serving as the foundation of our nation’s food supply, it is encouraging to see progress being made toward the passage of a long awaited federal Farm Bill.

“Agriculture has always been key to the success of our state,” said Senator Catharine Young (R, I, C—Olean), chair of the New York State Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. “As a state legislator, I am pleased to see our representatives at the federal level working to pass legislation that will improve the stability of our food system, mitigate risks for farmers, encourage economic development in rural areas, and benefit the health and safety of consumers.”

January 31, 2014
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SQUADRON, SILVER, MALONEY, CHIN, COMMUNITY, RIDERS ALLIANCE RALLY FOR RESTORED ESCALATOR SERVICE AT EAST BROADWAY F STOP

Escalator Has Been Out of Service Since August 2012

LOWER EAST SIDE -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Councilmember Margaret Chin joined dozens of community members and the Riders Alliance at a rally to urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to finally complete repairs to the escalator at the East Broadway F train subway station. 

January 31, 2014
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CAPITAL: New York’s forgotten high-speed rail study

By Dana Rubinstein

On Tuesday, following months of delays, the Federal Railroad Administration quietly posted to its website a New York State study study outlining five different options for "high speed rail" connecting New York City to Niagara Falls.

The study was supposed to have been released in June, after it was reviewed by the federal government, and as recently as this morning, New York State's transportation commissioner was apparently still unaware that the review was complete.

January 30, 2014
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Senator Kennedy Pushes for Increased NFTA Funding in State Budget

At public hearing today in Albany, Kennedy says lack of state aid for NFTA presents significant challenge for transit riders and economic development in WNY.

ALBANY, N.Y. – At a public hearing on the state budget’s impact on transportation today in Albany, Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, launched a decisive push for increased state support for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). Kennedy made the case for a more fair share of state aid to be directed to the NFTA and pressed for answers related to NFTA funding concerns in the upcoming year.

January 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris, Markey, Crowley Renew Call for Suspended License Driver Crackdown After Another Deadly Crash in Queens

(Maspeth, Queens) In the wake of yet another deadly crash in Queens involving a driver with a suspended license, Senator Michael Gianaris brought together elected officials, community groups and transportation safety advocates to push for swift passage of his legislation cracking down on chronically reckless drivers with suspended licenses. This renewed effort followed the tragic death of Angela Hurtado, who was on her way to play bingo when she was killed by a driver with a suspended license making an illegal turn.

Days after a crash involving a truck driver with a suspended license tragically took the life of an 8 year old in Woodside, Senator Michael Gianaris introduced legislation that would make it a felony for drivers who drive with suspended licenses and kill or seriously injure someone in the process. A second bill would give law enforcement the authority to immediately impound the license plate of a vehicle being operated by someone with a suspended license.

“Noshat Nahian and Angela Hurtado are only the latest of many victims whose lives have been cut short by drivers who should not have been on the road in the first place,” said Senator Gianaris. “These are preventable tragedies. We need to enact these important proposals before any more lives are lost.”

January 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Fights 7 Train Closures

“Our fast-growing western Queens neighborhoods require increased mass transit options, not ones that are being slashed. The people of Long Island City and Sunnyside deserve better than 22 weekends of 7 train closures, and I will fight to ensure the MTA reduces weekend closures, improves local bus service, and increases transit alternatives like free shuttle bus service," said Senator Michael Gianaris. 

January 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Doubles Down on Traffic Safety Legislation In Support of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Efforts

At PS 152, surrounded by elected leaders, community activists, and the families of deadly car crash victims, Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out a plan to make our streets safer. In support of Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in our city to zero, Senator Michael Gianaris called for the swift passage of his legislation that would make it a felony for drivers who drive with suspended licenses and kill or seriously injure someone in the process.

Senator Gianaris proposed this bill, as well as one that would immediately impound the license plate of a vehicle being operated by someone with a suspended license, after a crash involving a truck driver with a suspended license tragically took the life of 8 year old Noshat Nahian while he was on his way to the Woodside school.

January 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris' Efforts Lead to Nighttime Closure of Deadly Queensboro Lane

After yet another deadly crash on the Queensboro Bridge exit ramp, Senator Michael Gianaris demanded the city act quickly to make the area safer. His efforts produced results immediately, as the Department of Transportation closed the deadly off-ramp at night. 

Though Senator Gianaris hopes DOT will do more in the future to prevent crashes at this site, he was proud to have brought about change so quickly. 

This New York Times story has the details. 

January 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Introduces Legislation Cracking Down on Suspended Drivers in Deadly Crashes

Days after a crash involving a truck driver with a suspended license tragically took the life of an 8 year old in Woodside, Senator Michael Gianaris introduced legislation that would make it a felony for drivers who drive with suspended licenses and kill or seriously injure someone in the process. Currently, drivers like the one involved in the recent tragedy can get away with only a misdemeanor. Senator Gianaris also proposed the immediate impoundment of the license plate of a vehicle being operated by someone with a suspended license.

January 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Applauds East River Ferry Extension

Senator Gianaris applauded the extension of East River Ferry Service, saying “The extension of East River Ferry service through 2019 is welcome news for western Queens, an area in dire need of better mass transit due to woefully inadequate service on the 7 subway line. Hopefully, this step in the right direction will lead to continued attention to the mass transit needs of the growing community of Long Island City.” 

Check out Brownstoner Queens for more info

January 30, 2014
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