Mayor announces $900M for street safety

Mayor Eric Adams has announced a historic $900 million investment over the next five years for street safety.

The announcement made Sunday in downtown Brooklyn comes off the heels of straphangers and politicians advocating for Mayor Adams to fully fund the NYC Streets Plan. Last year, the city had its deadliest year for traffic-related deaths since Vision Zero was started in 2014, according to a report from Transportation Alternatives.

The new announcement will include physical upgrades to two bike lanes in Brooklyn: 20th Street, from 7th Avenue to 10th Avenue; and Grand Street, while exact limits are still being determined.

“Far too many people are not biking because they don’t feel safe. And the more we make it safe, the more we are going to see people utilize their bikes, which is good for exercise. It’s good to interact with everyday New Yorkers, and it is just good for our environment. You’re talking about a win, win, win,” Adams said at the announcement after biking over the Brooklyn Bridge.

The legislation passed under the previous city council requires the Department of Transportation to create five-year plans for traffic improvements including 250 miles of bike lanes, 150 miles of protected bus lanes, and one million feet of pedestrian space.

While the City Council advocated for $3.1 billion in their response to the Mayor’s Budget so that the program would be fully funded, both transportation advocates and zealous politicians celebrated the investment.

“This is a big, big, big day for street safety in New York City,” Councilman Lincoln Restler, a transportation advocate who represents parts of Downtown Brooklyn, said. “This investment, $900 million-plus dollars over the next five years, will save lives. We are going to achieve, with the great work of Commissioner Rodriguez and the team at DOT, safe, protected bike lanes, not paint barriers, that are going to keep our community safe.”

10 constituents of Lincoln Restler’s 33rd council district died from traffic fatalities in 2021, making it one of the most dangerous in all of the city per a Transportation Alternatives report.

“The ‘NYC Streets Plan’ is a critical investment in our city’s future,” Sara Lind, director of policy for Open Plans, said. “Freeing New Yorkers from car dependency will save lives, improve public health, support the millions of New Yorkers who rely on public transportation, and help to mitigate the climate crisis. Reclaiming space for pedestrians is a matter of equity — while only a minority of New Yorkers drive, every New Yorker uses our sidewalks. We are all pedestrians.”

Suozzi considering joining Adams at City Hall

Northeast Queens might be looking for a new congressman.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams revealed this weekend that he has asked Congressman Tom Suozzi to join his administration at deputy mayor.
Suozzi, who before being elected to the House of Representatives served as Nassau County executive and mayor of Glen Cove, campaigned hard for Adams before the Democratic Primary in June.
Suozzi says he will give the offer serious thought over the Thanksgiving holiday.
It would be a raise for Suozzi, at the very least. According to the Post, as a congressman he makes $174,000 a year. Dean Fuleihan, the current first deputy mayor, makes nearly $300,000. You’re probably thinking the same thing we are…Dean who?!
It’s not the only post that Suozzi is eyeing. He also said that he would decide by the end of the month if he plans to run in the Democratic Primary for governor next year. He would join a crowded race of bold-faced names, including current Governor Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Oh yeah, and maybe Mayor Bill de Blasio, who formed an exploratory committee to determine whether he would have a viable shot at competing.
If Suozzi decides to accept Adam’s position, it would likely help Hochul’s chance at earning the governorship from the voters as opposed to being gifted it by Andrew Cuomo’s ego and busy hands. Hochul and Suozzi would likely be competing for the same suburban voters.
In a recent Zoom call with reporters, Suozzi said he would run a moderate campaign, and distance himself from some of the rhetoric coming out of the far left.
Suozzi recently took a stand against the more progressive factions of the party when he endorsed the write-in campaign of Byron Brown for mayor of Buffalo after he lost in the Democratic Primary to Democratic Socialist India Walton.
Many progressives were upset that Brown was even continuing to campaign.
It looks like Monday is shaping up to be a big day of decisions for Suozzi.

Good luck Eric!

Dear Editor,
Congratulations to mayor-elect Eric Adams. We all need to offer our support for the incoming mayor, even if we did not vote for him.
Adams will have a lot on his plate. He has many issues to address, like crime and guns on the street, affordable housing, homelessness, mental health issues, rising food costs, vaccine mandates, and much more.
Adams is a blue-collar worker who fully understands the problems of the poor and the issues facing the common men and women of this great city. As a retired captain of the NYPD, I think he will support our Finest.
I hope he succeeds for the good of us all.
Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.

Queens GOP contributing to its own demise

Curtis Sliwa is going to have a hard time overcoming the name recognition, momentum and overwhelming voter registration disadvantage in his race against Eric Adams for mayor.
You know what is going to make it even harder? If Republicans in Queens keep holding fundraisers for his opponent.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, the last Republican elected official in Queens, was one of the hosts of a recent fundraiser for Adams at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach that carried a $1,000 donation just to get in the door.
The first host listed for the event, Anthony Como, is a former Republican councilman who once held the seat occupied by Councilman Bob Holden.
The person who sent us the flyer said they were told the event would be “intimate and discrete.” We guess Republicans in Queens don’t want word getting out that they are actively raising money for the Democrat in the race.
We were also told by our source that the event raised well over $100,000 for the Adams campaign.
We guess the jockeying for influence with – and perhaps even a job in – the Adams administration has already begun, party loyalty be damned.
Speaking of Ulrich, a couple of weeks ago we wrote about the race for his seat in south Queens. Ulrich is the last Republican elected official in the borough, and if the seat goes to a Democrat, every elected post in Queens will be held by a Democrat.
While most voters in Queens, like the rest of the city, are registered Democrats, the borough has always had significant Republican strongholds in parts of the borough, such as northeast Queens, south Queens, and the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale.
The prospect of Queens being an all-blue borough would have been unimaginable even ten year ago. We wrote about that a couple of weeks back, and loyal reader Larry Penner shared his thoughts on the demise of the Queens GOP. Here’s what he wrote:

The ongoing fight for control of the Queens County Republican Party is like two hyenas fighting over the carcass of a dead animal, in this case the remnants of the once-relevant Queens Republican Party.
This is the latest chapter of a periodic civil war whose origins can be traced to the 1980s among the remaining handful of GOP party activists. Take a trip down memory lane to understand why today’s descendants of the organization spend more time fighting each other than offering Democrats any serious competition.
Late Richmond Hill Republican Club leader Wilfred Dalton was a major force in politics for several decades up until the 1980’s. Any serious city, state or federal GOP candidate would stop by his clubhouse seeking support.
Former presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan all spoke at the clubhouse.
In 1976, former governor Nelson Rockefeller still controlled the New York State GOP. During the Republican Presidential Primary that same year, the GOP establishment rallied around President Ford.
Dalton endorsed former California governor Ronald Reagan, successfully electing pro-Reagan delegates to the national GOP Convention.
In 1980, the GOP establishment was split between George Bush and Bob Dole. Proving the second time is a charm, Dalton teamed up with others and again elected pro-Reagan delegates, pushing him to the nomination.
Until the 1980’s, Queens Republicans routinely qualified candidates for all congressional, State Senate, Assembly and City Council seats. They would offer Democrats serious competition.
After the 1982 reapportionment, Democrats eliminated the districts of Queens GOP Assembly members Rosemary Gunning, John LoPresto, John Flack, Al DelliBovi and John Esposito.
John Gallagher gave up his Assembly seat in 1972 to run unsuccessfully against Democratic congress member Lester Wolff. Doug Prescott briefly recaptured this seat in the 1990s, but eventually lost, leaving Queens with no GOP Assembly members.

GOP state senators Frank Padavan and Martin Knorr voted for this reapportionment plan, since it continued to protect their own gerrymandered districts.
In 1977, Republican Rabbi Sheldon Farber won a special election to fill a vacant seat against Democrat State Assembly member Gerdi E. Lipchutz, despite a 4-to-1 Democrat-versus-Republican voter registration advantage. This temporarily gave the Queens GOP a record three State Senators.
Farber declined to run in 1978, as he knew the odds were against him winning a full term in what traditionally was a safe Democratic State Senate seat.
Despite overwhelming Democratic Party enrollment in Queens County, creative gerrymandering by the GOP-controlled State Senate after the 2000 census continued to preserve the seats of both Republican state senators Serphin Maltese and Frank Padavan.
Eventually Democrats beat Maltese in 2008 and Padavan in 2010.
Before the surprise election of Bob Turner, the last Republican congress member from Queens was Seymour Halperin. After the 1970 reapportionment, he declined to run against Democrat Lester Wolff of Great Neck in 1972 when both were merged into one Queens/Nassau County district.
In 1982, Republican John LeBoutellier briefly recaptured this seat for one term. In 2011, Bob Turner won the 9th Congressional District in a special election defeating David Weprin to replace Democrat Anthony Weiner.
As a result of his district being gerrymandered out of existence, he ran and lost in the 2012 Republican Primary for Senate rather than seek reelection in another district.
James A. Lundy was the last GOP Queens borough president. He served from January 1952 to December 1957. Nat Hentel was the last GOP District Attorney. He was appointed by Governor Rockefeller and served one year in 1966.
During the 1990s under Republican mayor Rudy Guiliani, the GOP elected Tom Olgibene, Mike Abel and Alfonse Stabile from Queens.
In 2009, the GOP elected Dan Halloran, Peter Koo and Eric Ulrich. Koo changed his enrollment to Democrat in 2012. Halloran was sent to prison on political corruption charges.
Today, the last GOP public official from Queens is Ulrich. He may go down in political history as the last registered Republican public official from Queens.
In 2017, Councilman Bob Holden was elected on the Republican and Conservative party lines, but rejoined the Democrats after taking office, although he still routinely runs on the Conservative Party line.
Crossover Democrats who would vote Republican continue to move out of the borough or succumb to old age. There has been no successful GOP outreach to new Caribbean, Hispanic, Asian or other immigrant groups.
Attempts to reach middle-class African-American homeowners in former GOP neighborhoods has also failed. For decades, once the GOP loses any incumbent City Council, Assembly, State Senate or congressional representative, they are seldom ever able to reclaim the district.
Both Queens GOP factions should be thinking about the future instead of their own respective egos. Otherwise, the ever-dwindling number of Queens Republicans will continue down the path to political extinction.
The numbers just don’t afford Republicans the opportunity to elect anyone to public office, thus making them irrelevant in the General Election. Many Assembly districts no longer have active GOP political clubhouses.
Hundreds of Queens Republican county committee positions are vacant. There are few volunteers to circulate nominating petitions which are required to place candidates on the ballot or assist candidates in running campaigns.
In many cases, candidates are just placeholders on the ballot. They have no funding or volunteers and just go through the motions, knowing in advance they will lose by large margins.
As a result, they are unable to mount any serious challenges to incumbent Democratic officials. Democrats have a free pass every November.

Who’s mayor of NYC? Depends on who you ask

At this rate, why even waste the money holding a general election this November to decide who will be the next mayor of New York City?
Eric Adams was finally declared the winner of the Democratic Primary in the first citywide test of ranked-choice voting, edging out fellow candidates Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley. There was also a Republican Primary this year, which Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa won.
He’ll face off against Adams this November, although you wouldn’t know it by the way Adams is acting.
Adams has been taking a victory lap since he was declared the winner and, if we’re being honest, Sliwa has almost no shot at defeating Adams in the general election. That said, Adams is acting more like the next mayor of New York City than a candidate who still has an election to win later this year.
Heck, Adams isn’t even acting like the next mayor of New York City, he’s acting like THE mayor of New York City.
At the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s annual dinner at Giando on the Water in Williamsburg, Adams boldly declared “I am the mayor” as the actual mayor, Bill de Blasio, stood behind him with an uncomfortable smile frozen on his face.
Adams was greeted by a call-and-response chant of “The champ is here!” led by the party chair, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.
In case you missed it, we figured we would borrow (steal?) from the Post and quote verbatim a mayoral spokesperson on the incident, because it was a pretty funny response.
“Damn. Now it’s official, I guess,” the spokesperson said. “Everyone knows that you officially assume office if you declare you’re the mayor within 10 feet of the current mayor. How do you think [late Mayor] Abe Beame got the job?”
That’s some sarcasm we can appreciate!
All of this is probably bringing Governor Andrew Cuomo a little bit of joy even after he was interviewed this past weekend by the Attorney General’s office on allegation he made unwanted sexual advances to several staffers over the years.
Cuomo and de Blasio have been locked in a long-standing feud for years, especially on the governor’s side, who never seems to miss an opportunity to attack or undermine the mayor. Some might say his preoccupation with sticking it to de Blasio sometimes comes at the expense of the general welfare of the residents of New York City.
Earlier in the same day as Adams’ declaration, Cuomo appeared at an event with Adams and declared him the next mayor of New York City and said he was very excited to work the Democratic Primary winner, something he has never said about de Blasio since he was named the Democratic nominee in 2013, when he did say he was excited to work with him.
That relationship deteriorated quickly, so we’ll see how long the love fest between Adams and Cuomo lasts after the January 1st inauguration.
And it’s not just local politicians who are ready to accept Adams as the 110th mayor of the Big Apple. Shortly after his victory was official, President Joe Biden, no less, invited Adams to the White House to discuss the rise in gun violence. We’re guessing Sliwa didn’t get the same consideration.

Heck, the current mayor of New York City, who still has six months left in office, wasn’t even invited to the Capitol pow-wow.
Speaking of the radio show host, all of this praise and attention for Adams is not sitting well with Sliwa. Sliwa said Adams is acting like a “dictator” and brought up the fact that he narrowly defeated Garcia in the primary, which he presumably believes improves his chances come November.
We don’t suppose Adams is going to pay much attention to Sliwa, and presumably will not agree to many debates, if any. If he does, it should be much-watch TV, as Sliwa will have to take every chance he gets to attack Adams.
Sliwa probably won’t be the next mayor, but maybe this campaign will help him boost his ratings!

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