July 10th, 2006
Following the outcry over recent bicycle deaths (extensively commented on in The Wonkster), Transportation Commission Iris Weinshall is coming under attack.
Streetsblog features a message from the director of the transportation department’s Bicycle Program, who left the job Friday. Andrew Vesselenovitch criticizes the department for hindering programs to encourage bicycling. He cites slow progress on increasing bike lanes in the city and says the department ignored warnings about hazardous joint covers on the Williamsburg Bridge, which resulted in many injuries to – and lawsuits by – cyclists before they were removed. Vesselenovitch concludes, “I waited for a long time for the direction from the commissioner’s office to change, or for the commissioner to be changed. I hope that you won’t have to wait much longer.”
And last week Streetsblog reported on Weinshall’s trip to an international transportation conference in Stockholm where congestion pricing to reduce traffic was a key topic. Weinshall evidenced little interest in the topic, not bothering to look at how the policy of charging cars to travel in downtown districts was working in the Swedish capital. “New Yorkers tend to view traffic congestion as something akin to the weather. It’s good, it’s bad, there is nothing much you can do about it,” the blog writes, but “other world cities are proving that it is entirely possible to do something to reduce urban traffic congestion. If Commissioner Weinshall sat in on some of the presentations of her European colleagues on Thursday, she knows.”
Meanwhile, a report by the advocacy group Environmental Defense concludes, “A staggering amount of global warming pollution comes from U.S. cars.”By Gail Robinson on July 10, 2006, 12:10 pm
In category: Environment, Gotham City, Transportation | 7 Comments »