Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

New York' City's election and the cyclist vote

National Bike to Work Day 2012An advocacy email from NYC sustainability mobility advocacy group Transportation Alternatives informs us that candidates, seeking every possible vote, are reaching out to bicyclists and bike events to push their candidacy.

Most candidates attended last weekend's Tour de Queens" ("Cyclists take part in sixth annual Tour de Queens " from Queens Courier), which attracted more than 1200 cyclists toia 20-mile ride around the borough, and even Anthony Weiner, who I marked as anti-bike given how he referred to bike lanes as "fucking bike lanes" as part of his "forgiveness tour" is  promoting the expansion of transportational biking. 

From the Capital New York blog entry "Weiner and de Blasio Now Vying to Be the Bike Candidate":

Today, Anthony Weiner visited a cycling shop in Chelsea called Zen Bikes and proposed a tax break worth $120 a worker for employers who promote biking to work by underwriting biking-related expenses. His goal? To increase bike commuting by 25 percent in the next four years.

From the New York Times article, "For City’s Transportation Chief, Kudos and Criticism":

ON a balmy night last June, the city’s Congressional delegation gathered for dinner at Gracie Mansion. Representative Anthony D. Weiner, who aspires to live in the mansion someday, knew he would have only a few minutes with the host, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. So he brought up the hottest topic he could think of: bicycle lanes, and the transportation commissioner who had nearly doubled the number of them, Janette Sadik-Khan.

“When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing?” Mr. Weiner said to Mr. Bloomberg, as tablemates listened. “I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes.”

-- Transportation Alternative's I'm Voting for Safe Streets advocacy campaign, and the elements of the campaign:

• Safe Neighborhood Streets for All;
• Transportation Choice on Commercial Streets;
• Data Driven Traffic Safety Enforcement

The Streetsblog entry, "Quinn’s Policy Book Skews Toward Transpo Issues the Mayor Can’t Control by" has links to most of their coverage on the various candidates and their positions on transportation issues.

While the piece is critical of the positions of Christine Quinn (currently chair of City Council) as being for transportation initiatives like congestion pricing and the East Side Access Project which will connect the LIRR to Grand Central Station which are the purview of government agencies beyond the control of the Mayor, I'd give her some slack.

Right: image of DC Ward 6 Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Tommy Wells, from the Washington City Paper.

I'd be ecstatic to see candidates for office in DC mention comparable projects in their platforms, let alone the backhanded criticism of biking that we experienced in the last election--obviously not in the case of DC Mayoral Candidate Tommy Wells who is probably the only Councilmember who bikes regularly.

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At 5:01 PM, Blogger washcycle said...

It's pretty well established that the Weiner promise was a joke. Everyone involved has said so.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Really? It comes across pretty straight in the NYT article, and it has stayed with me ever since.


At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weenie should stay out of government and go into the smut business where he belongs- sadly though- he is not creative enough for them

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

The NYT had a pretty vicious editorial about both Spitzer and Weiner yesterday, that Spitzer blew his opportunity to help transform state govt. and that Weiner was a so so Congressman who is now looking for a major and significant promotion.

Personally, I'd love it if Spitzer would relocate to DC and run for AG. He's the kind of person who could begin the transformation of the AG function in DC so that eventually the city could receive the authority to do local criminal prosecution, which is now done by the Federal Govt.

I heard him speak once (at a real estate conference no less) and I was supra-impressed.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why does DC need any more lawyers? Don't we have enough of these scoundrels already?

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weiner would add color and interest to these dullards we have around here- I am definitely in favor of stirring up the pot and his controversies- as would those of Spitzer- would add to the general humor of it all !!People take themselves too seriously around here IMO.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

correction: it wasn't an editorial in the NYT, it was an op-ed by columnist Frank Bruni.

FWIW, I don't know much about AW, but as I said, ES impresses me greatly.

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are right in that ES is really good on his feet and quick to the draw on that talk show he does or used to do.


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