Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez and members of the Progressive Caucus encouraged New York drivers to leave their cars at home for at least one day this year: Earth Day, April 22nd.
Single occupancy car usage is one of the least efficient ways of moving about a city rife with quality transportation options, not to mention the high costs of car ownership in New York City as compared to monthly MetroCards or a Citibike membership. Freeing up our streets can provide for cleaner air, causing less harm to our environment; allow for greater walkability and bikeability to promote active transportation; and will impress upon New Yorkers how our choices matter when it comes to how we move about. Take the Pledge!
WHAT PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MEMBERS SAY:
“New Yorkers who choose to drive don’t often think twice about hopping in cars to get around, at least until they’re sitting in the parking lot that is typical midtown traffic,” said NYC Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “This Earth Day, we can choose another way-to work, to school, to run errands or otherwise-and hopefully drive a discussion about how our choices impact our planet and our neighbors. We will see how lively our streets can be when filled with people rather than cars. We can also reaffirm that investments in mass transit pay major dividends from an economic and environmental perspective. I am so proud that this initiative has received the support of so many and we expect to have a real impact on April 22nd.”
“Southeast Queens has one of the longest travel times and highest rates of asthma in the City, neither problem can be solved by having more cars on the road” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller. “By creating more public transportation options residents in my district and throughout the City will be able to conveniently get to and from work, bring and pick up their children from school, and run errands, while helping to keep our environment clean. I would like to thank Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez for taking the initiative on this issue and look forward to working with him, the rest of my colleagues, and advocates to improve transportation options and help residents stay healthy.”
“Seeing the effects of climate change in our city, we know firsthand that it is essential to prioritize steps to protect our natural resources and strive to be a leader in green initiatives going forward,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “From working towards the cleanup of historic pollution at the Newtown Creek and Gowanus Canal Superfund sites and the ExxonMobil Oil Spill in Greenpoint, to the everyday protection of the air we breathe, I am proud of all we have already accomplished to create a cleaner and safer city. I am deeply committed to continuing environmental justice work in our city and I hope New Yorkers will join me in going car-free today, if possible. Resolution 1013 is a strong reminder to all New Yorkers that we must all do our part in large and small ways to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve our City and our planet for generations of New Yorkers to come.”
“I proudly support my friend and colleague, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, on this bold idea,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “I look forward to future Earth Days in NYC with New Yorkers creating a whole new car-free landscape and truly considering sustainable transportation alternatives, not just on Earth Day, but every day of the year.”
“Moving out of our automobiles and into buses, subways and bicycles would immensely improve our air quality and the health of our children and grandchildren, and I applaud my colleague for working to designate Earth Day as a car-free day in New York City,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “However, many of my constituents live in transportation deserts, making this a hardship that would double or triple their commutes. For those who live near convenient bus and rail lines, I encourage them to use public transit on Earth Day, and consider making it a more frequent habit. For the thousands of New Yorkers for whom this would be a hardship, I continue to call for a more efficient bus system, as well as a rapid transit line along the North Shore of Staten Island.”
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