Public Transit and Livable Streets

A more robust, efficient and fully-funded public transportation system is key to sustainable growth for our community, and for the city and region as a whole. At the same time, there are simple things we can do to make our city's streets safe for pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike. With more frequent subway and bus service, with safer and more better-planned streets, we can have both a metropolis that really works, and neighborhoods that are more livable day-to-day.

Statement of City Council Member Brad Lander on MTA’s Emergency Rescue Plan

 Statement of City Council Member Brad Lander on MTA’s Emergency Rescue Plan

A Good Start, but Nowhere Near Enough. Real Progress Will Require Significant, Long-Term Investment from Smart, Progressive Revenue Sources.

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Share your #SubwayWoes, with me & the MTA

Signal malfunctions, switch problems, power failures, sick passengers. In recent weeks, I’ve heard from so many of you about subway problems that have upended your schedule, made you miss meetings or classes, and snarled New York City.

If you think things are getting worse underground, you aren’t imagining it. Subway reliability has dropped dramatically, with delays doubling over the past five years.

Tomorrow, as part of our budget hearings, the MTA will testify before the New York City Council. Although the MTA is a state-controlled agency (the majority of seats on the board are appointed by Governor Cuomo), they have at least agreed to appear before us. Read more »

Help NYC Develop a Citywide Transit Plan

As NYC grows, we urgently need thoughtful planning to improve our public transportation. So I’m very pleased that the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) is working with us to do just that. Read more »

Still and always, grateful

Some years, gratitude is closer to the surface. Some years, it takes a little more digging.

Four years ago, as Thanksgiving came, we were recovering from a natural disaster.

Hurricane Sandy had taken the lives of loved ones, and battered our city. There were 500 nursing home evacuees living on the drill floor of the Park Slope Armory. But we found – no, together, we made – a “paradise built in hell” (the title of a brilliant book by Rebecca Solnit, about the extraordinary communities that arise in disaster). With food, music, art, volunteers, bathroom-cleaning, doctors, donations, smart organizing, love, and a deep sense of purpose, we turned that Armory into a place (as described by evacuee Miriam Eisenstein-Drachler) of “courtesy, gentleness, and goodness beyond description.” Even if it could not hold back the hurricane, she said, “it makes one feel more secure and very, very grateful.”

Today, as Thanksgiving comes, we are trying to recover from a political disaster. While the lives lost and damage done by Hurricane Sandy cannot be directly compared, the experience of loss for many of us is still real. Not just that we lost an election, though that will have profound consequences. What feels especially painful to me today is the risk that we’ll lose a vision that we’ve been so proud to hold up for our kids – of a country called to its best self, rooted in compassion, embracing difference, with a real belief (even when we don’t make it real) that everyone deserves a more equal chance across all our lines.

That very dream, and the effort to make it real, provoked a sharp back-lash (a “white-lash”, as Van Jones rightly called it). At this moment, it seems easier to mobilize the darker, more closed, more resentful, sides of humanity – rather than the hopeful, open, embracing ones. I’m afraid, honestly, about what that means for being human.  

Still and always, gratitude is a critical part of the way forward. Not as a way of “feeling better” (although gratitude turns out to be good for your health). And not only because bitterness can consume us (although John Lewis reminds us that hearts full of love will do a lot better to sustain us for a long-term struggle). But also because gratitude for what we do together, for what we can’t do alone, for the ways we need each other, is at the heart of creating an inclusive community. “Organized compassion” is not only how we fight but what we are fighting for.

So, in that spirit, here’s some of what I am so deeply grateful for, still and always: Read more »

Tell the MTA: We demand better F train service for ALL riders!

Whether you use a “local” or an “express” station, you were probably taken aback when the MTA announced their so-called “F Express Proposal” a few weeks ago. I know I was – since there was no outreach or community consultation.

The MTA’s proposal adds no service to the F line. Instead, it would simply eliminate half the trains from stopping at the six local F stations between Church Avenue and Jay Street/MetroTech.

By the MTA’s own data, this would hurt more F riders than it would help. It cynically pits Brooklyn straphangers against each other, creating ‘winners’ and ‘losers.’

Riders in all parts of Brooklyn agree: We need better service on the F line for ALL riders. So today, we’re asking you to join your local elected officials to tell the MTA that we demand a new plan. Read more »

A traffic light that shines more brightly than usual

New stoplight at Caton Avenue and E. 8th Street

We usually take stop-lights for granted. We stop-on-red, go-on-green, yield-to-pedestrians in the crosswalk, and don’t think too much about it. But the installation of the new traffic-light at Caton Avenue and E. 8th Street signals something bigger: our sorrow at the loss of a young man, and our commitment to do something about it. Read more »

Big News about the Carroll and Columbia Street Intersection

I’m writing to let you know that our efforts to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Carroll and Columbia Streets have paid off. Thank you to those of you who signed our petition. 

Today, NYC DOT announced their plan to install a traffic signal at the intersection. DOT has said they tentatively plan to install the traffic signal in September.

This is great news for everyone in Columbia Waterfront who is tired of risking their lives every time they cross the street, and will go a long way towards getting cars to slow down when they speed off the BQE and into our residential neighborhoods. Read more »

Some new candidates on the (PBNYC) ballot!

PBNYC Vote Week is underway – and there are some new candidates on the ballot!

For the first time ever, we’ll be offering a brand new voting opportunity. In addition to voting on how to spend $1.5 million on the “capital projects ballot” (with 13 great projects like those from prior years), you’ll also get to vote on how to spend $50,000 on our brand new “program ballot.” 

Every year, during the PBNYC brainstorming phase, we hear many great ideas that don’t meet the criteria for “city capital” funding, which has to be for “bricks-and-mortar” projects.

So this year, we are offering an entire second ballot of projects that qualify for city “programmatic” funding that lets us really take advantage of all the creativity we see in PBNYC.  I’m proud to say we are the only district in NYC piloting this new opportunity. Read more »

Help our very own Vision Zero teen champion!

Just over a year ago, one very impressive Park Slope teenager, Alison Collard de Beaufort, (an MS 51 alum and current Brooklyn Tech student) made headlines by helping to launch the Vision Zero Youth Council -- a group of young people, tired of seeing their fellow students killed in traffic crashes, who are pushing for better pedestrian safety across the city. Read more »