Mar. 1-7, 2015
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“Our lobby day represents a coming together of groups representing various interests from across Long Island’s diverse communities. These groups share a single purpose; to better the lives of all long Islanders and to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life of its citizens. This includes ensuring that Long Island continues to offer good jobs with good schools, and affordable places to live; while also continuing to preserve our natural resources. Most importantly, we must ensure that Long Island remains a place that our children and grandchildren can afford to and want to call home.”
John R. Durso, President Long Island Federation of Labor
"Annual fare hikes, low service levels, and late or no-show buses are the symptoms of an underfunded bus system, and Long Island bus riders are paying dearly due to a lack of state assistance. It is time for New York to step up and pay their fair share to suburban transit systems."
Aaron Watkins-Lopez, LI Bus Riders Coalition
"What we see consistently, year after year, is that Long Island is behind the curve as far as their road designs."
Veronica Vanterpool, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Long Island Lobby Coalition Returns to Albany with Platform for Infrastructure, Jobs, Transportation, Energy & Sandy Relief
Another great day for Long Island as the LI Lobby Coalition completed their 7th visit to the state’s capital in 6 years. The coalition consisting of over 75 organizations with nearly 40 groups attending the Lobby Day, headed to Albany with an agenda tackling infrastructure projects for sewers, parking, transportation, small business, energy, human services and Sandy reconstruction.
Past and present supporters of the Long Island Lobby Coalition include:
Part of the LILC growth can be attributed to several millenial groups who signed on and/or took the journey to Albany as well. These groups focus on both local and regional issues facing their generation and advocate for solutions to stop long Island's "brain drain".
Throughout the day, the LI Lobby Coalition held a press conference as well as participated in 3 scheduled meetings which were with the LI Assembly delegation hosted by Assemblyman Phil Ramos, the LI Senate Delegation hosted by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and an assortment of Governor Cuomo’s staff.
This year, the platform agenda was as follows:
LEGISLATIVE & BUDGET AGENDA
“The Bay Park STP needs to be prioritized by our Legislature for funding. It’s a onetime cost for a long term benefit. We cannot simply sit and watch our bays die. This year, the state can allocate $500 million from the settle funds for this critical infrastructure. The LI Lobby Coalition is standing behind this request and we need all three branches of government to help us make this essential change,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
"I look forward to discussing with our state representatives important initiatives to make our neighborhoods more safe and attractive," said Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran (Baldwin). "These include implementing new traffic and pedestrian safety measures along Sunrise Highway, obtaining state grants for a Complete Streets project in Baldwin, and funding an ocean outfall pipe for the Bay Park sewage treatment plant. The more various levels of government are able to work together, the better off all our communities will be."
"Lobby day allows diverse groups to come together with one voice to speak on behalf of Long Island. For us, we have the opportunity to engage with future partners that will help us achieve the vision we have for downtown Hicksville” said Lionel Chitty, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce.
"Long Islanders need to present a united front when asking for our fair share of infrastructure resources," said Suburban Millennial Institute Founder Jeff Guillot. "Elected officials and business leaders from across the state need to work together on a comprehensive strategy to retain a Millennial workforce on Long Island. We are proud to be part of this diverse coalition of stakeholders as we pursue initiatives that will allow the region to remain a fantastic place to live, work & play."
Annual fare hikes, low service levels, and late or no-show buses are the symptoms of an underfunded bus system, and Long Island bus riders are paying dearly due to a lack of state assistance. It is time for New York to step up and pay their fair share to suburban transit systems." said Aaron Watkins-Lopez of the LI Bus Riders Coalition
“Today’s visit to Albany shows the partnership around issues important to Long Island residents, visitors and businesses. Two such issues, adequate funding for Long Island’s transit systems and Complete Streets, have been priorities for many of our groups for years. It’s important to show the breadth of support around transit and safe streets for all road users to guide Long Island’s elected representatives during the budget and legislative season,” says Veronica Vanterpool, executive director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
“Our lobby day represents a coming together of groups representing various interests from across Long Island’s diverse communities. These groups share a single purpose; to better the lives of all long Islanders and to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life of its citizens. This includes ensuring that Long Island continues to offer good jobs with good schools, and affordable places to live; while also continuing to preserve our natural resources. Most importantly, we must ensure that Long Island remains a place that our children and grandchildren can afford to and want to call home.” John R. Durso, President Long Island Federation of Labor
Since Sandy devastated Long Island in October 2012, Friends of Long Island grassroot community groups and partners have worked tirelessly to help those recover and rebuild homes, businesses, communities and lives sooner rather than later. We appreciate the Assembly, Senate of Governor's office for continuing to work with and support those on the local level to rebuild the area towards a more resilient future. Jon Siebert, Friends of Long Island
Vision Long Island is proud to be a part of the annual Long Island Lobby Day and looks forward to continuing to work with local groups and communities to create opportunity for projects of signicance on Long Island. We applaud everyone who joined with us this year!
Sometimes winning isn’t really winning. For the second year in a row, Route 25 in Suffolk County received the title of the most dangerous for pedestrians in the Tri-State area, having almost double the amount of pedestrian fatalities as Route 24 in Nassau County, which was ranked 2nd with 11 fatalities between 2011 and 2013.
According to an analysis conducted by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Suffolk County’s Route 25 (Jericho Turnpike) is not only the most dangerous road for pedestrians in downstate New York, but in the tristate region. Half of the 20 fatalities fatalities occurred within the 11.5-mile stretch from Centereach to Ridge.
In June 2014, a $3.2 million federal grant from Highway Safety Improvement Program funds was awarded for operational and pedestrian safety improvements on one of the region’s most dangerous roads, Route 110, in the Village of Amityville and the towns of Babylon and Huntington in Suffolk County. Additionally, Suffolk County legislators approved $250,000 in annual dedicated funding for implementing the County’s Complete Streets policy.
Although the investments are a step in the right direction, the need is so much greater than the investments made to date. Campaign Executive Director Veronica Vanderpool indicated towards some of the issues. "At some of these roadways ... it can be a half-mile before there's another crosswalk," Vanterpool said, "What we see consistently, year after year, is that Long Island is behind the curve as far as their road designs." Wide lanes, steel fences and guardrails along sidewalks contribute to the potential for pedestrian related incidents.
“This report serves as another exclamation point reminding Long Island public officials that our roadways continue to be dangerous for pedestrians,” said Vision Long Island’s Director Eric Alexander. “The recommendations contained herein will serve to reverse what has become a descending spiral of poor safety measures in the design of our regions streets. “
Vision Long Island and other organizations will be asking our public officials to address these findings at the 3rd Annual Complete Streets Summit on Friday, April 10. You can learn more about the study by reading Tri-State Transportation’s press release, report, summary, or by checking out media coverage on NY CBS, NY Daiy News, Newsday and News 12 (subscription required).
Nearly $100 million worth of infrastructure projects on Long Island were announced Tuesday by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program- a grassroots undertaking that allows local entities to increase their physical, social and economic resilience following impacts from Sandy, Irene and Lee. The first round of projects will fund 26 Long Island projects, with 9 being in Suffolk and 13 in Nassau.
Another transit-oriented development (TOD) in Farmingdale is closer to reality this week.
Village officials approved a zone change Monday for the proposed 42-unit project on Secatogue Avenue.
Developer Anthony Bartone is looking to build 28 studio apartments, 10 one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments on the .75-acre site near the LIRR station. Four of those units are expected to be priced at lower workforce housing rates.
In order to move along with the TOD project, the Village had to swap the zoning from business D and residential B to downtown mixed use.
He’s also offered to build a fence, walkway and streetlights from the development to Main Street. These extras would cost Bartone $104,000.
Bartone and the Village Board are expected to negotiate incentive bonuses at the board's April meeting.
"I believe the addition of studio apartments to the transit-oriented development complements the entire Phase Three development," Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said. "I firmly believe the younger generation will flock to these studios."
A VHB Engineering representative also spoke to the board, arguing the development would not significantly affect traffic conditions. The village paid for that research and is to be reimbursed by Bartone. VHB also prepared Farmingdale’s 2011 master plan; the first two phases of the project were developed by Bartone and JPI Development of Texas.
The first phase, a 39-unit building on Atlantic Ave, is open and 30-percent occupied. The second building, on S. Front Street, is slated to open this summer, with a lottery for the 16 workforce apartments recently held.
For more on this story, check out Newsday (subscription required).
In what would be the Supervisor’s fifth town address, he noted that he plans to keep moving forward on three themes: the town’s fiscal condition, the development of EPCAL, and downtown revitalization.
Sometimes it’s just best to do it yourself.
With federal support lacking, more states are trying to raise transportation funds on their own, and finding it doesn’t hurt political aspirations.
That’s because the federal government has yet to significantly increase transportation infrastructure funding. The MAP-21 transportation spending act from 2012 kept federal funding flat, prompting states to find their own assets to handle infrastructure maintenance.
Created in 1956, the fund was designed to finance the country’s Interstate Highway System. In 1982, funding for mass transit was added. The fund has been the home for federal fuel tax beginning at 3 cents per gallon in the beginning to 18.4 cents per gallon in 1993. For years Congress passed long-term plans and properly funded the account. But since the new millennium, the Federal Highway Trust fund has been leaning heavily on transfers from the general fund – including $12 billion in 2014 – and short-term fixes by Congress.
Last summer, senators acquiesced to a House of Representatives plan to find $10.8 billion to sustain highway and transit projects in all 50 states until May 2015. That included increasing customs user fees, transferring $1 billion from a fund to fix leaking underground fuel tanks and authorizing controversial pension smoothing – companies making fewer tax-deductible pension contributions now and more in the near future to give the federal government more revenue earlier.
Meanwhile, Congress has not raised the gas tax, which many transportation advocates say could be the most responsible near-term solution to the crumbling infrastructure.
Check out Transportation For America’s website for additional coverage.
A week after investigators from the NY State Attorney General’s office raided a Long Island engineering firm’s office in connection with forged engineering report allegations, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand called on FEMA to better care for Sandy victims who feel that they may have been short changed in their flood insurance awards.
With the additional pressure, FEMA said on Wednesday that it will be reopening as many as 15,000 insurance claims related to Sandy after two weeks of negotiations with homeowners that were victims of fraudulent engineering reports. Lawyers for Sandy victims predict that the total compensation could add up to $3-4 billion. Additionally, FEMA said that it will be making aggressive reforms within the National Flood Insurance Program.
"We commend FEMA for its serious review of these claims and trust the process with set the stage for productive discussions with the agency by communities and nonprofits to facilitate the ongoing recovery , said Professor Benjamin Rajotte, Director of Disaster Relief Clinic at Touro Law.
This new development is outlined here. You can check out Senator Menendez’ press release here, view the 60 Minutes investigation, and read more about the NY State Attorney General’s investigation from Newsday (subscription required).
Vision Long Island Partner, Suburban Millennial Instititue to Host First Annual Conference on jobs
In partnership with the National Center for Suburban Studies® at Hofstra University, the Suburban Millennial Institute is convening leaders in government, business, and advocacy on Friday, March 13 to discuss how Long Island can retain its Millennial population. Three moderated panels entitled “Work” “Live” and “Play” will discuss innovative and bold ideas for building a strong future with long-term economic growth on Long Island. The “Work” panel focuses on public sector jobs, “Live,” on private sector jobs, and “Play,” a panel of Long Island Millennial generation entrepreneurs.
The Suburban Millennial Institute is proud to announce Lee Zeldin, United States Congressman (NY-1) and Joan Kuhl, Why Millennials Matter as the keynote speakers.
Panelists include the following*:
“LIVE” panel: Moderator, Tawaun Weber, Vision Long Island
“PLAY” panel: Moderator David Calone, Jove Equity Partners
The conference kicks off at 8:00am and will run through 12:30pm, with refreshments served throughout the morning. Register for the conference at www.suburbanmillennial.com, download the flyer, and follow us on twitter @SuburbanMillenn.
Brown Bag Lunch Presentation: Downtown Redevelopment on Long Island
On March 18, 2015, at 12 noon Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island, will be the guest speaker for a Brown Bag Event hosted by NYMTC. It will be a discussion on the status of downtown revitalization initiatives on Long Island including residential, office, retail, public space market trends and the growing movement to create, manage and maintain great places. A robust discussion on opportunities and challenges to these efforts, needed infrastructure and the implications on local decision making will ensue.
Have A Heart For Island's Homeless At Candlelight Vigil
Wear red and join Long Island Coalition for the Homeless at Farmingdale State College March 31 to support your homeless neighbors.
2015 Complete Streets Summit on April 10th
This coalition is a contingent of chambers of commerce, civic associations, local governments, engineering and professional trade groups, transit advocates and members of the public who want safe streets for all modes of traffic. The group looks to coordinate Complete Streets planning efforts, communicate on finding opportunities for local projects, act as a clearinghouse for information and lobby with a united voice for safe roadways.
The second annual Complete Streets Summit, held at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale, was a gathering of government leaders, planners, engineers, nonprofits and other community stakeholders who support policy changes to design roadways for all uses – not just automobiles. The Summit was a chance to remind participants of the campaign’s significance.
“If we’re going to have a vibrant economy and a safe environment for all of us, then Complete Streets is part of the solution”, said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Friday, April 10, 2015 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Fee for registration is $45. Scholarships are available!
Listnet LISA Awards to be held on May 6th
The objective of LISTnet (Long Island Software & Technology Network) is to promote Long Island as one of the national centers of excellence for Software and Technology solutions. This is achieved by facilitating collaborations between companies, establishing forums and events for the exchange of information, improving the quantity of the labor force and partnering with companies that provide the High technology Centers necessary for the growth of L.I. software and technology companies.
Each year Listnet honors partners in that growth at their annual LISA (Long Island Software Award). This year Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander is among the honorees.
The awards will be held 6-9pm at the Garden City Hotel on May 6 for the "NEW" LISA LITE AWARD at the Garden City Hotel. For more information please visit our website at www.listnet.org or contact Peter Goldsmith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (631) 224-4400.
Regional Freight Plan Amendment Public Review Period
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) is conducting a public review for an amendment to its Regional Freight Plan. The public comment period begins on March 2, 2015 and will end at 4 p.m. March 31, 2015. The freight plan has been amended to reflect new information that was produced after NYMTC’s current regional transportation plan, known as Plan 2040, was adopted by NYMTC’s Program, Finance, and Administration Committee in September, 2013. The comment period provides the opportunity for public feedback on the three task reports and the revised Summary Report’s Chapter Five, Special Reports.
The technical memoranda for these discrete tasks and the revised Regional Freight Plan Summary Report can be found on the NYMTC website at http://www.nymtc.org/project/freight_planning/freight_index.html.
Two public meetings will be held to present an overview of the amended Freight Plan, on March 18, 2015 at 3PM and 6:30PM. Both meetings may be attended in person or via webinar. To attend in person, RSVP at 212.383.7200 or Shawana.Brown@dot.ny.gov. The meetings will be held in NYMTC’s offices at 25 Beaver Street, Suite 201, NY, NY 10004.
To register for the 3PM webinar go to http://bit.ly/1EpQzfX
Comments are due in writing by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 to:
Intern with Vision Long Island!
Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.
To learn more or apply, send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to email@example.com. Put "Vision Long Island Internship" in the subject heading. For more information, call our office at 631-261-0242.
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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To arrange a visit, call 516-571-8011 and for information and brochures, visit their website
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Current exhibition: “The Other Side”- a look at William Floyd Estate, a National Park unit of Fire Island National Seashore. Long Island plantation and slave owner William Floyd.
For information, visit their website or call 516-922-5032
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Current exhibit: Growing Up in Sea Cliff
For information, visit their website or call 516-671-0090
Before-and-After Maps Show How Freeways Transformed America's Cities
Cincinnati 1955 & 2013
Between the 1950s and the 1980s, cities across the country undertook massive freeway construction projects. In many cases they decided to run the freeways straight through downtown, bulldozing thousands of homes and businesses in the process.
"It's amazing how for over half a century planners and city governments prioritized moving cars quickly over neighborhoods and the people that lived in them. Rather than build from what has helped neighborhoods and cities thrive over the centuries, they tossed all that aside to redesign everything to suit the automobile. Hopefully, we are learning that building places for machines and not people, doesn't produce places that people want to be", said Vision Long Island Sustainability Director Elissa Kyle.
Newsletter Editor: Mike Koehler, Communications Director
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