- Expand public transportation and eventually move towards free transportation for all.
- Fight for a free and accessible subway.
- Reform Access-a-Ride to be more streamlined and user friendly.
- Propose new east-west/north-south protected green zone bike lanes wherever possible to remain accessible for people from those bike riding to those with assisted mobility devices.
- Fast track already present municipal initiatives for safety such as: adding safe intersections for cyclists, daytime/nighttime parking solutions, taxi relief/delivery zones.
- Following multiple car related deaths of precarious workers delivering food, prioritize delivery personnel in green zone lanes in the short term, while working towards having a living wage and extended for all workers, documented and undocumented.
- Prioritize bike lane maintenance and clearing, especially during snow falls to allow workers who are cyclists equal access transportation.
- Provide greenzone safety lanes for e-bikes on the Hudson River Greenway and other relevant routes and rescind the criminalization of e-bike use on the Greenway for delivery workers.
Kristin’s vision/guiding principles about streets and transit:
- Like all basic resources, transit should be free! We choose to fund cops to crack down on fare evasion, when all-door fare-free boarding on busses would speed things up and give the most vulnerable New Yorkers a much-needed break. In the meantime, I support expanding the fair fares program, as we move towards a universally free and accessible system.
- Harlemites have a long tradition of heavily using streets, sidewalks, and stoops. We have great block parties and cookouts! Where street life struggles in some parts of the city you still see it here. It’s important to support and encourage that through policy and redesign.
- Our neighborhood is a connective tissue for crucial (and crowded!) subway lines, bus routes, bike lanes, and river pathways that connect Upper Manhattan to the Bronx to the rest of the island and the city. We owe it to ourselves, and our neighboring districts to get this right!
Most pressing problems to address on Harlem’s streets:
- 125th St. does not work for anyone. It sees high rates of traffic and pedestrian injuries/fatalities, and anyone who has taken a bus or car across 125th St. knows that the traffic is unacceptably slow.
- The 2nd Avenue Subway phase II expansion will barely reach District 9, but we need to make sure that the project is carried out in a way that adds value for everyone who lives around and uses East 125th St. We need to make sure that transportation projects like this aren’t just engines of gentrification and displacement.
- We need a better balance of Citi Bikes in the district. The density of stations is great, and it’s encouraging to see all different types of Harlemites taking advantage of the bikeshare and of the reduced-fare program. But often the stations around 125th St. are completely full, while the stations around 145th St. are completely empty, making it difficult to rely on Citi Bike as a commuting option.
Initiatives that Kristin would support:
- I would enthusiastically support the additions of more protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, and busways in District 9.
- I’m inspired by Transportation Alternatives’ 25×25 challenge, to take back more public street space for the people.
- The Open Street facilitated by the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance has been a wonderful and welcome addition to the neighborhood during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to see Open Streets continue even after the pandemic, and am interested in finding ways to support and expand other sections of open streets in the district that haven’t been usable by pedestrians and bikers in practice.
- One of the only discontinuous parts of the East River bike path is in our district. I look forward to supporting the work of groups like Friends of the East River Esplanade and the Harlem River Working Group, to make the path continuous all the way up the island, and turn it into much-needed greenspace for Harlemites, hopefully including necessary amenities like comfort stations that we see in downtown Manhattan (restrooms, water fountains).
- Harlem desperately needs safe bike and pedestrian connections to the Bronx. Crossing any of our bridges requires navigating complicated, five or six-way intersections with cars entering and exiting highways at very fast speeds. These routes aren’t even safe for cars, judging by the mirrors, bumpers, and hubcaps that litter the roadways up here!
Transforming Transportation in District 9