FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE STATEN ISLAND TRANSPORTATION TASK FORCE
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the preliminary recommendations presented to the Staten Island Transportation Task Force. Co-Chairs Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall and Department of City Planning (DCP ) Director Amanda Burden presented preliminary recommendations on easing traffic congestion on Staten Island to the Task Force. In his State of the City address, Mayor Bloomberg charged these two agencies with the job of developing initiatives that when implemented will help alleviate Staten Island's overcrowded streets and intersections. Today, sixty days later, the Task Force received over 40 recommendations that are guided by four themes: taking pro-active engineering and enforcement steps to relieve congested bottlenecks, moving forward with roadway capital projects, improving mass transit options, and strengthening cooperation between city and state agencies. Seventeen of these recommendations are short term actions that the City and State will begin immediately.
"Staten Island is our fastest growing borough and its infrastructure has not kept up with its phenomenal growth," said Mayor Bloomberg. "In my State of the City address, I promised that we would tackle the problem of Staten Island's transportation infrastructure using the same successful formula that was used for the Growth Management Task Force. We have reached out to local community leaders, brought all the stakeholders to the table and developed a short term action plan, along with medium, long term and other recommended solutions. We will begin immediately to implement the short term plans to address traffic and congestion problems, which will start to make it easier for Staten Islanders to get to work, school and around town."
"Traffic on Staten Island is impacting the quality of life for residents and visitors," said DOT Commissioner Weinshall. "The Mayor's leadership in confronting this problem and creating the task force has led to the development of ideas that I believe will deal with this serious problem head-on."
"Staten Island's traffic problems are a result of rapid growth in the absence of a transportation infrastructure, and I am confident that with the Mayor's leadership, our partnership with the Department of Transportation will yield practical, comprehensive solutions to complex planning issues," said City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden.
This renewed commitment to aggressively implement transportation upgrades on Staten Island would not be complete without residents having a voice in this ongoing process. To ensure that the public has a seat at the table, the Task Force is working with the Staten Island Advance to invite readers to inform the Task Force about the Island's transportation problems and suggest solutions to improve their daily commute.
Since Staten Island's transportation network is comprised of local streets, highways, bridges and mass transit controlled by city, state and federal agencies, the Task Force brought together representatives from each entity to begin a new era of partnership and cooperation. There were several members of the Task Force that helped to put the proposal together. Commissioner Weinshall and Director Burden are the Task Force's Co-Chairs. Other members include U.S. Representative Vito Fossella, Borough President James Molinaro, Councilmembers Michael McMahon, James Oddo and Andrew Lanza, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce President Linda Baran, Chairman of Community Board 1 Sean Sweeney, Chairman of Community Board 2 Dana Magee, Chairman of Community Board 3 John Antoniello, Parks and Recreation S.I. Borough Commissioner Thomas Paulo, NYPD Inspector Joseph McKeever, Mayor's Community Assistance Unit Assistant Commissioner Christie Huus, Peter King of New York State DOT, John Gaul and Keith Hom of MTA, Lou Venech of the Port Authority, and Raheel Shagih of NYC OEM.
Once the Task Force was formed, DOT, City Planning and representatives from City Hall met individually with each member to compile a list of their traffic and mass transit concerns. They also consulted city, state and regional transportation authorities and held meetings with local stakeholders including the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and Community Board Transportation Committees to get feedback from the community.
Today, the task-force announced a number of immediate remedies, while additional enhancements require further study and discussion. The recommendations have been split into four categories: short-term projects that can be addressed in less than a year; medium-term projects that have a timeframe of one to four years; long-term projects that all have five or more year timeframes; and proposals for further consideration. The short-term action plan will be implemented this year. The Task Force will meet every 90 days to discuss findings on the medium and long term recommendations.
Projects for further consideration include:
Stu Loeser/Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Kay Sarlin (Dept. of Transportation)
Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning)
Watch the video in 56k or 300k