Back in 2020 (which can seem like a lifetime ago), only 4% Americans surveyed by Consumer Reports said they would definitely buy an electric car. But what a difference a couple of years, and a tremendous rise in gas prices, can make: In a new survey of 8,000 Americans released last week, the number who said they would definitely buy an EV jumped to 14%, and more than a third of those surveyed would consider going all electric.
Founding Executive Director, Christopher J. Collins will retire December 2021 after 17 years leading the organization.
The organizational leadership team, the Board of Directors, and all staff are grateful for his leadership and hard work over the years and note that he leaves them and the organization well-positioned to carry his legacy and the charitable mission forward, building on the solid foundations he put in place.
In the years after World War II, car ownership boomed in the United States, and so did the development of urban freeways. In many cases, making it easy for people to drive from suburban areas to downtown business districts came at a severe cost to low income neighborhoods, and especially to places with high concentrations of Black and brown residents.
Today, ambitious climate goals and new considerations of environmental justice are causing some cities to reconsider those long-ago decisions in urban planning, especially since many of those highways are deteriorating and nearing the end of their useful lives.
But plans to remove highways, while potentially offering benefits like cleaner air, less noise and more walkable neighborhoods, also raise new questions about development, open space and exactly who will benefit from these changes.
As we ease out of the COVID-19 PAUSE in NYC, one thing is making a comeback that nobody wants: traffic congestion. While businesses continue to reopen and more workers returning to their job sites, most people are leery of using mass transit, which can mean only one thing: More driving…which is putting decades of air quality improvements in jeopardy.
“We avoid 17 million metric tons of greenhouse gases a year because of the MTA,” said Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “If we’re swapping that with cars, which are less efficient to begin with, we are going to have a problem.”
Traffic on bridges and tunnels is down only 18 percent on average from its pre-pandemic levels. The number of vehicles entering Manhattan’s central business district is only 15 percent below the volume seen ahead of the public health crisis, according to the city’s Department of Transportation. In early April, traffic was down roughly 60 percent from normal levels.
While subway ridership has rebounded from an all-time low, it’s still down roughly 78 percent from 2019 levels — with just more than one million riders using the system on weekdays. Buses have recovered more quickly, but ridership is still down 50 percent.
While environmental advocates have focused their efforts in recent years on targeting the largest source of emissions — city buildings — they acknowledge transit could become a greater concern in the Covid-19 era.
Since the 1970s, off and on, NYC has considered a congestion pricing plan, where drivers would be charged a fee for driving in Manhattan south of 60th Street during certain hours of the day, for the purpose of relieving congestion on the streets and raising badly needed income for the public transportation system. Unlike previous plans, the current one under consideration does not include tolls on all the East River bridges. But opponents still believe the fees will be a drain on commuters.
Got questions about the planned L train closures? Join the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the NYC Department of Transportation for a series of open houses to learn and ask questions about plans for the 15-month closure of the Canarsie Tunnel, beginning in April 2019. Please join us at one of these events, and feel free to arrive anytime during the timeframes listed.
East Williamsburg: Wednesday, January 24
Progress High School
850 Grand Street bet Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St, Brooklyn
Manhattan East Side: Wednesday, January 31
344 East 14th Street bet First & Second Aves, Manhattan
Williamsburg: Thursday, February 8
Williamsburg Community Center
195 Graham Avenue bet Scoles & Stagg Sts, Brooklyn
Manhattan West Side: Wednesday, February 14
Our Lady of Guadalupe
328 West 14th Street bet Eighth Ave & Hudson St, Manhattan