Big blue signs, similar to this one, decorate the sides of New York’s highways; photo via Wikimedia
Despite demands from the federal government for over two years to remove the “I Love NY” highway signs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to comply. Now, the state of New York could lose up to $14 million in federal funding for not taking down the more than 500 big blue signs found along the state’s highways, considered to be distracting to drivers. According to the New York Times, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) first raised concerns in 2011 when the signs were still an abstract idea. The state installed them anyway.
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Photo via joiseyshowaa on Flickr
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s task force, Fix NYC, released its congestion pricing plan last week, critics were quick to say the fees would most burden commuters who live outside the city and drive into Manhattan for work. However, a new report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign found that less than 4 percent of residents in most districts commute by car into proposed congestion zones. In their report, the transportation research group analyzed the community patterns by looking at state Senate and Assembly districts; they found that a majority of commuters rely on mass transit, rather than cars, to commute.
Second Avenue Subway station, courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed FY 2019 budget, released earlier this month, calls on New York City to increase its funding to the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority, forcing the city to pay half of the authority’s $836 million emergency action plan. Another provision in the governor’s proposal allows the MTA to create special “transit improvement” districts and impose higher taxes on property owners in these areas in order to raise money for subway repairs and projects. According to the New York Times, the governor’s plan, known as “value capture,” would apply to future projects that would cost over $100 million. Like most issues involving both state and city cooperation, this proposal has continued the rift over MTA funding between the governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has already expressed disapproval of the plan. Find out more
R211 subway car prototype © MTA/Flickr
The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday delayed a vote on construction contracts to renovate two stations in the Bronx and six in Manhattan after MTA members, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, objected. The contracts fall under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1 billion plan to outfit 33 subway stations with countdown clocks, LED lighting, USB ports and other amenities. The board’s city representatives questioned why so much money was being put towards unnecessary, cosmetic improvements at stations that are in decent condition already, instead of funding signal and track repairs. As the New York Times reported, the decision to postpone the vote has ramped up the public dispute between de Blasio and Cuomo over MTA funding.
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Photo of the Statue of Liberty courtesy of the NPS
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said the state of New York will pay $65,000 per day to reopen the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island during the ongoing federal government shutdown, which forced the park to close over the weekend. Cuomo said the state made an agreement with the Department of the Interior, which oversees the National Park Service, to keep New York Harbor’s landmark open. The government closed midnight on Saturday after Republican and Democrats in Congress failed to pass an appropriations bill.
“The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and opportunity for all, and it is a gross injustice that this administration’s dysfunction caused it to shut down,” Cuomo said. “When this administration tries to deport immigrants, when they close down the Statue of Liberty, they are attacking who we are.”
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Photo courtesy of Davide Gabino’s Flickr
Drivers entering the busiest areas of Manhattan might soon be required to pay $11.52 per trip under a congestion pricing plan expected to be released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday. According to the New York Times, the proposal comes from an advisory panel “Fix NYC,” a group assembled by the governor to explore ways to reduce congestion and also fund the city’s strapped-for-cash transit system. Under the proposal, trucks would pay $25.34 and taxis would see a surcharge of $2 to $5 per ride if entering the “pricing zone,” which would run south of 60th Street. Cuomo first introduced the idea of a congestion pricing plan to fund the MTA‘s transit repairs in August, after declaring the subway in a state of emergency earlier that summer.
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Photo of Cuomo via the governor’s Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled on Tuesday his proposed $168 billion FY 2019 executive budget, aimed mostly at raising revenue and protecting New York taxpayers from future federal cuts with a possible restructuring of the state’s tax code. “Washington hit a button and launched an economic missile and it says ‘New York’ on it, and it’s headed our way,” Cuomo said. “You know what my recommendation is? Get out of the way.”
While the governor’s budget clearly targets President Trump and his administration, it appears to impose more financial responsibility on Mayor Bill de Blasio as well, according to Politico New York. The budget includes three provisions that require the city to increase their funding of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including making City Hall pay half of the authority’s $836 million emergency action plan. So far, de Blasio has refused to provide any additional funds to the MTA.
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Photo via Dan Phiffer’s Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to present the state legislature this week with ways to fund the financially troubled Metropolitan Transportation Authority. On Tuesday, he released his $168 billion budget proposal for the fiscal year 2019, which includes a proposal for charging vehicles for driving in the busiest areas of Manhattan during peak hours, with the money raised going to mass transit. According to the Daily News, a Republican gubernatorial candidate has a different idea. Joel Giambra, a former Erie County executive who announced his bid for governor last week, said he wants to legalize marijuana to fund the city’s desperately-needed transit repairs.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced a plan to create a 407-acre state park on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, which would be the largest state park in New York City. As a part of the $1.4 billion “Vital Brooklyn” initiative, the park would add much-needed green space in the Central Brooklyn neighborhood, an area the governor has described as a “park desert.” Formerly the site of two landfills, the open space will be converted into parkland with opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, as well as educational facilities and an amphitheater.
See renderings of the park here
Red Hook waterfront, photo via Sunghwan Yoon on Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday to study a possible extension of subway service from Lower Manhattan to a new station in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. In addition to expanding transit options, the governor is also asking the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to consolidate maritime operations by relocating them to Sunset Park, as a way to free up space for community activities. The revitalization of Red Hook is Cuomo’s 21st proposal expected to be delivered in his 2018 State of the State address on Wednesday.
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