The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

"Gridlock" Sam Schwartz to present Move NY plan at public forum Thursday 2/19
Posted: February 18, 2015 - 9:39am
A coalition of neighborhood groups, merchants associations, and elected officials representing Downtown and brownstone Brooklyn today announced a town hall meeting to discuss how to address the challenge posed to all New Yorkers by crumbling transportation infrastructure, growing congestion, and rising tolls and transit fares. The focus of the town hall meeting will be a plan put forward by Move NY, a transportation policy group.
“Gridlock” Sam Schwartz – a former NYC Traffic Commissioner – will present the Move NY plan, a leading proposal to address New York City’s numerous transportation needs in a comprehensive fashion.  Members of the community will have the opportunity to discuss the plan during break out sessions to take place after the initial presentation.  The town hall meeting is open to the public and will be held on February 19 at 6:00 PM EST at Brooklyn’s 3rd Avenue YWCA. Interested New Yorkers are encouraged to participate in the conversation on social media using the hashtags #MoveNYBK and #fillthegapNY.
“Everyone in the New York area benefits from the fact that we have one of the best public transportation systems in the world,” said Alex Matthiessen, Campaign Director for Move NY. “What we need to be able to figure out is how we preserve and improve this system, not just for our own benefit, but for future generations of New Yorkers. We’re excited to hear the input of everyday Brooklynites on how this plan can better help us achieve this shared goal.”
The Move NY plan aims to support the New York metropolitan area’s economic and cultural dynamism by ensuring a strong and sustainable transportation network. It seeks to accomplish this by instituting a fair tolling plan that ensures adequate investment in transportation infrastructure, improves transit speed and safety, and distributes responsibility for maintaining the region’s transit system equitably. The plan has generated the enthusiasm of a diverse group of supporters including AAA-NY, Transportation Alternatives, and the editorial board of Crain’s New York Business. Details of the plan can be found on Move NY’s website.
Assembly Member Walter Mosley, Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, Council Member Brad Lander, Council Member Stephen Levin, Community Boards 2 and 8, and nearly a dozen community groups are convening the town hall meeting. The groups hosting the forum include the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District, the Boerum Hill Association, the Brooklyn Heights Association, the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, the Cobble Hill Association, the Myrtle Avenue Partnership, the Park Slope Civic Council, Park Slope Neighbors, and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. 
Assembly Member Walter Mosley, who represents the 57th Assembly District, said: “As Brooklyn moves forward into the 21st century our public transportation must keep pace with the increasing demand for fast, efficient, and reliable service. We have seen an exponential increase of new members to our communities of central Brooklyn, which, in turn has put higher stress on our aging transportation system. Crowded platforms, dirty stations, and delay in services can no longer define outer borough service. I am proud that my community is involved with the dialogue on how to shape our mass transit in the coming years and look forward to working collaboratively with my colleagues in the State Legislature to implement their recommendations.”
Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, who represents the 52nd Assembly District, said: “The New York metropolitan area needs a better way of moving people and goods.  We simply must encourage better mass transit service to underserved neighborhoods, discourage unnecessary traffic through our communities, and bring rationality and equity to our discombobulated toll system. Move NY presents a serious and thoughtful approach that respects neighborhoods and addresses health and safety concerns in a constructive way. “
Council Member Brad Lander, who represents the 39th City Council District, said: ““New Yorkers need a transportation system that’s dependable and efficient, and the Move NY plan addresses many of the current issues the system faces in a thoughtful and forward looking way. A comprehensive plan like Move NY can improve the way we all move about the city, and I look forward to hearing from our community at today’s town hall.”
Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents the 33rd City Council District, said: New Yorkers depend on having a reliable transportation system and we should be seeking new ways to make necessary improvements. I look forward to this important town hall and an engaging discussion of the Move NY plan.”
Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, who represents the 35th City Council District, said: “Public transportation is central to the economic growth and development of our city by connecting thousands of New Yorkers across neighborhoods in all five boroughs. With a population of more than 8 million residents and growing, we need to efficiently assess and bolster our city’s transportation infrastructure. Through community engagement, we can identify the best approach to improve the daily commute on our city’s buses, trains, bridges, tunnels, and highways.”
Community Board 2 Chairwoman Shirley McRae said: “Community District 2 has a major public transportation hub, including a commuter rail terminal, a portion of an Interstate highway, and two East River crossings.  We need to learn how to use the infrastructure we have in a more efficient way.”
Community Board 6 Chairman Gary Reilly said: "We see the same problems come up time and time again: street safety, traffic congestion, crumbling infrastructure, air quality. And always, a shortage of resources we need to address them.  The Move-NY plan looks to be a smart way to finally finance the investments everyone agrees on by recognizing the value of mobility, reduced travel times, and safety for all users of the transportation system. It deserves our serious attention."
Community Board 8 Chairwoman Nizjoni Granville said: “Brooklyn’s communities are suffering from our broken transportation system. The problems arrive on our agenda every month: overcrowded subways, congested bridges, truck traffic on our residential streets. What is clear is that these issues are part of a larger trend, and they require a comprehensive solution. The Move NY plan is a serious proposal that we believe is worthy of the community’s consideration.” 
More on the Move NY Fair Plan: