The start of a new year is a natural time to hit the reset button and evaluate where changes can be made for improvements. Most people make New Year’s resolutions that focus on personal health and well-being, though not many follow through. Regardless, there’s no harm in trying!
This year, we’d like to propose some New Year’s resolutions that are achievable and, if implemented successfully, would bring relief to commuters while helping to bolster our recovery as we climb our way out of the COVID-19 crisis. Broken down by transportation authority, our resolutions include:
New Jersey Department of Transportation
- Invest in infrastructure for people walking and bicycling such as the Circuit Trails network.
- Expand and support the development of a statewide trail network that provides first-and-last mile transportation for all.
- Explore the benefits of consolidating New Jersey’s disparate transportation authorities.
- Make New Jersey safer for all by asking the state to adopt and implement Vision Zero with a goal of eliminating all deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
- Use lessons from the pandemic to implement new opportunities in our streetscapes by encouraging outdoor dining, open and slow streets programs, as well as Ciclovias.
New Jersey Transit
- Deliver public transportation service that is safe, reliable, convenient and cost-effective; afterall, it is the mission of the agency.
- Commit to an equitable bus network redesign with a robust and transparent public review process.
- Advocate for adequate state funding to end debilitating capital-to-operating transfers (hint: use the promised contribution of the NJTA toll hike).
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- Continue the design and rollout of the borough-by-borough bus network redesign with an appropriate public review process.
- Implement all-door boarding on all MTA buses.
- Bring back 24/7 subway service.
- Continue capital projects that will make service more reliable and improve station accessibility.
New York City Department of Transportation
- Finish rolling out 20 miles of bus improvement projects as proposed in June 2020 by Mayor de Blasio in his Better Buses Restart plan.
- Implement new streetscape design guidelines to accommodate outdoor dining and build a citywide network of dedicated bus lanes and protected bike lanes.
- Continue advancing the Gateway Program and (finally) break ground on the new Hudson River Tunnels.
- Explore all options for improving train operations at Penn Station, including various through-running alternatives.
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
- Complete Tier II Environmental Impact Statement for the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel.
- Move forward with Port Authority Bus Terminal Replacement Project, coordinating with the Federal Transit Administration to conduct an environmental review.
The pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on our region’s transportation authorities, but with new federal leadership and support on the horizon, there is a lot to look forward to. These next four years could prove to be the most consequential for transit and transportation infrastructure. Let’s not squander this incredible opportunity to build a modern, green, and equitable transportation network.