Issues: Transportation

Griffo, Brindisi Announce $600K Grant for Griffiss International Airport

ROME – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi jointly announced today that the state has awarded $600,000 to Griffiss International Airport to cover a portion of Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR)’s start-up operating costs.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently selected Griffiss International Airport as one of six national sites for drone aircraft development. The airport has teamed with NUAIR, an alliance of 40 private, academic and military institutions, to lead research and testing to determine how drone aircraft can be integrated into the national airspace.

February 28, 2014
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Robach Named Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2014 

Robach Named Chairman of Senate Transportation Committee

New York State Senator Joseph E. Robach (R, C, I – Rochester) was named Chairman of the New York State Senate’s Committee on Transportation.

February 27, 2014
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Keeping our bridges and roadways safe, well-maintained

Last night, 13WHAM ran an excellent story on the state's Dedicated Highway and Bridge Fund. In a time when a third of Monroe County bridges are past their 50-year lifespan, only 22 cents on the dollar from this fund are being spent on capital projects.I appreciated the opportunity to share a potential solution in the segment. I am cosponsoring legislation that would realign this fund with its original, crucial purpose.

February 27, 2014
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Support the Discount Toll Plan on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Following Staten Island discounted proposal, Senator Golden and Assemblywoman Malliotakis are renewing their call for a discounted rate for those who travel over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge 3 or more times a month. 

February 24, 2014
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OPEN LETTER TO MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO FROM STATE SEN. RUBEN DIAZ

OPEN LETTER TO MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO FROM STATE SEN. RUBEN DIAZ

 

February 24, 2014

 

Mayor Bill De Blasio

City Hall

New York, New York 10007

 

Dear Mayor De Blasio:

February 24, 2014
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Senator Griffo Weekly Column #8: Let's Put A Stop To Bridge & Highway Fund Raids

Every time you gas up your car, rent a vehicle or use certain DMV services in New York, you pay a tax. This tax goes to a fund dedicated to state road and bridge repairs.

It makes perfect sense: We ask the people using the roads and bridges to help us keep that infrastructure safe for travel.

Here’s what makes no sense: The state has been siphoning off most of that fund to pay for budget items that have little to do with repairs. Motorists contributed $3.8 billion last year, but just 22 percent of that collection - $847 million – went to road and bridge upgrades.

February 20, 2014
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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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