Julie will build on her long record of fighting for safe streets to make our District 5 corridors vibrant and accessible. We must put people at the center of our transportation priorities. Our streets and our open spaces can be transformed into conduits of mobility, community, sustainability and equity.
Our streets are where we gather, commute to work, walk to the bodega, dine outdoors with family, and go for an afternoon stroll with friends. Our streets are where community is formed. They fulfill many functions, yet today are primarily devoted to just one: the movement and storage of private cars. This is despite only 22 percent of Manhattan residents owning a car. Through re-balancing our streets to better serve all New Yorkers, we can make our city both more livable, more mobile, more sustainable and more equitable.
As a member of Community Board 1, Julie worked to curb reckless driving through the introduction of stop signs and speed bumps. She supported initiatives to lower the speed limit, which has successfully helped to reduce car-induced fatalities. She worked on precursors to our open-streets program, closing Broad Street to traffic, and was an early supporter of outdoor dining, helping win a suspension on sidewalk cafe licensing fees.
Protected Bike Lanes
Julie believes the next steps in the fight for street safety and equity include dramatically expanding the city’s protected bike lane network. Studies show that protected bike lanes make streets safer not just for the city’s booming number of cyclists, but for drivers and pedestrians as well. She also will institute traffic calming measures along major thruways to discourage disruptive activities, including speeding and motor bike usage.
Rapid Bus Network
We must also invest in our rapid bus network. The 14th Street Busway proved that giving buses a dedicated right of way allows our buses to approach subway-levels of speed and capacity at a fraction of the cost. Fears of increased congestion around the busway have not come to fruition, showing that mobility is not a zero sum game.
Julie believes making Vision Zero a reality through complete street design, a lower speed limit, expanded use of automated traffic enforcement, taking the NYPD out of traffic and collision work and getting placard abuse and reckless drivers off the road.
Access to Green Space
New York’s green spaces are the heart and lungs of our city. What would our neighborhood be without the East River Promenade? Yet, the Promenade’s accessibility, like many of our city’s green spaces, is crumbling and highly curtailed by urban highways. To improve access to green open spaces, we must rethink our urban highway system and our access to parks. Julie also supports significantly increasing green space throughout the city by expanding the Open Streets program, permanently landscaping previously car-dominated streets into beautiful pedestrian plazas. When streets are dedicated to pedestrian activity, they become destinations in and of themselves.
Inequities in our transportation systems mirror and deepen the broader inequities in our city. We must take all these steps inclusively, working for safer streets in every community and public transit that is accessible to all New Yorkers. Every street can be a great street and District 5 deserves nothing less.