Since 1994, the Campaign has been a steady drumbeat for transportation reform. Here are some of our most notable accomplishments:
- "Fix-it-first" reform in New Jersey: Tri-State used a mix of media and political advocacy, research, and legal action to win major policy and cultural shifts at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. During the 1990s, the department routinely spent over 50% of its capital budget for road expansion. As of 2009, that percentage is now less than 5%, with the department focusing on repair and maintenance instead.
- Sustainable transportation revolution in NYC: In 2007, Campaign trustee Janette Sadik-Khan was appointed to head New York City's Dept. of Transportation, and TSTC executive director Jon Orcutt was hired as the department's director of policy soon after, a validation of the Campaign's work in prior years. Since then, the agency has led a green transportation revolution that includes major street reclamations, bus rapid transit routes planned for every borough, and hundreds of miles of bike lanes.
- Catalyzed transportation reform in Connecticut: TSTC helped bring about a more balanced approach to transportation policy in Connecticut. 40% of the state’s transportation construction money now goes to transit, and spending on cycling, walking, and road and bridge maintenance has increased.
- Improved public process, transit and land use planning as part of Tappan Zee II study: The study of a project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge and add transit to the I-287 corridor began in 2001 with little opportunity for public input and few signs that meaningful bus options were being studied. Throughout the decade, the Campaign met with the study team and local stakeholders, and held a symposium and released a report in 2007 that made a case for a cutting edge, cost-effective bus rapid transit system for the TZ corridor. In 2008, the study team announced that they had selected a combination of BRT and commuter rail with the highest projected ridership of any alternative being studied. Campaign advocacy also helped lead to the creation of public working groups and a land-use training program.
- Won a multimodal plan for Route 347 on Long Island: In 2008, based on input from TSTC and local advocates, the NYS DOT embraced a new approach to the controversial plan to widen Route 347 for 15 miles. The new plan, A Vision Plan for a Green Route 347, calls for a modified boulevard design, a separated suburban greenway, and improved street crossings.
Additional Transit Service and Funding
- Access to the Region's Core: Tri-State organized online and mail campaigns targeted at federal officials in support of Access to the Region's Core, a critical transit investment including a second NJ Transit rail tunnel to Manhattan. The Campaign also used media advocacy to raise public support for the project. In 2009, the project secured $3 billion in federal funds.
- Stopped "doomsday" service cuts in New York: Working with other members of the Campaign for New York's Future, Tri-State helped win passage of several new revenue sources for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2009, staving off catastrophic service cuts.
Congestion Pricing and Innovative Tolling
Implementation of congestion pricing throughout the region was one of the Campaign's founding principles, and our advocacy has led to the adoption of pricing policies at several agencies. We have also supported efforts to introduce cashless tolling. See our Managing Congestion page for more.
- New Jersey Turnpike Authority: NJTA was the first agency in the tri-state area to incorporate congestion pricing, introducing a differential peak/off-peak pricing scheme in 2000, and increasing the differential in 2003.
- Port Authority: The Port Authority followed NJTA's lead by instituting a $1 peak/off-peak differential in 2001.
- New York City congestion pricing: The Campaign helped lay much of the groundwork for NYC's congestion pricing plan. In 2006, we conducted a poll showing that New Yorkers were open to pricing, and in 2007, we released widely cited fact sheets demonstrating that only a small minority of workers in the region drove alone to the congestion pricing zone. In 2008, the pricing plan was approved by the NYC Council before being blocked by the NYS Legislature.
Biking and Walking Programs
The Campaign has helped win hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding for pedestrian and cycling programs in the tri-state area:
- Complete streets legislation in Connecticut: In 2008, TSTC and a broad coalition won passage of complete streets legislation in the city of New Haven, whereby the city agreed to design its roads for all users. In 2009, the Campaign was instrumental in drafting and winning passage of a state law requiring ConnDOT to spend at least 1% of transportation project funds to be spent on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
- 5-year pedestrian safety program in New Jersey: In 2005, Tri-State released two reports highlighting rising pedestrian fatalities in NJ and the dearth of funding for bike/ped programs. The next year, Gov. Jon Corzine announced a five-year, $74 million pedestrian safety program to fund infrastructure improvements across the state.
- Safe streets programs on Long Island: Our advocacy prompted NYSDOT to create the Safe Streets and Traffic Calming Grant Program in 1999, a pass-through program for LI municipalities. In 2008, after we highlighted that senior pedestrians were disproportionately at risk, the agency launched the SafeSeniors safety program starting on the island.
Equitable Transportation Policies
TSTC advocates for communities that disproportionately bear the negative effects of the transportation system. In addition, the Campaign has played a key role in advocating for suburban bus riders on Long Island and in Westchester County, and urban bus riders in New Jersey and Connecticut. These commuters are often the most transit-dependent and the least able to afford higher fares or service cuts.
- Preserving suburban bus service in New York: The Campaign has won rollbacks or cancellations of budget cuts to Long Island Bus (most recently in 2009), and has advocated for a regional bus system that could put LI Bus and Bee-Line on stable financial footing. The MTA took the first step towards such a system in 2008.
- Study of Sheridan Expressway teardown: In 2003, the Campaign and a coalition of Bronx groups succeeded in convincing NYSDOT to study the viability of tearing down the Sheridan Expressway, a little-used stub highway, so that it can be developed for affordable housing, mixed-use development, and open space. As the study has continued, this option appears increasingly likely to be selected.
Stopping Road Expansion
Over the last 15 years, our advocacy has helped stop wasteful and sprawl-inducing road projects including:
- Route 11 and I-84 in Connecticut,
- Route 92 and the Millstone Bypass in NJ,
- the plan to twin the Goethals bridge,
- widening of Route 206 in New Jersey, and
- the Long Island Expressway in Queens.