Mayoral candidate Joe Melaragno answers NY Times Metro questions on transportation

Matt Flegenheimer and the New York Times posed three questions to the Democrat and Republican mayoral candidates in contested primaries. I'm going straight to the general election ballot in November but I wanted to share my thoughts on Transportation with you.

Would the number of bike lanes in the city increase, decrease or remain the same under your administration?

The number of bike lanes in the city would likely increase because penetration is still low, and bike travel is a good alternative to other modes of transportation in many neighborhoods. The availability of safe, dedicated bike lanes also promotes physical activity, which is an important issue for our population, especially young people. Getting around while also getting some exercise is a great thing.

How many more bike lanes? I don’t yet know. We must carefully monitor the use of bike lanes and their impacts on surrounding communities and other modes of transportation. New York City streets are an extremely important piece of our transportation network and getting the right balance between cars, delivery vehicles, buses and bikes is extremely important for the well-being of our citizens and of our economy. We must stay focused on adapting to the wants and needs of the city and its residents while making decisions with long term interests in mind.

Name one thing you would do as mayor to improve subway service in New York City?

I would work with the MTA to develop a vision for what we want the subway to look like in twenty years based on current operating data, future technological potential and substantial input from the community. I would then make sure we put in place an actionable plan to achieve this vision and deliver the world-class subway system New Yorkers need and deserve. Goals may include halving the time it takes to get from stop to stop system-wide (making outlying neighborhoods workable for many more families), enhancing system reliability and reducing delays by 50%, keeping platform temperatures at or below eighty degrees (even in the summer) and implementing a zero tolerance policy for peeling paint in stations. We should be able to take pride in our subway system. It was the best in the world in 1904 and it should be the best in the world in 2034.

How would you expand or improve taxi service outside Manhattan?

Taxi fares across the city are too high AND you can never get a taxi when you need it most. Half the current fare goes to covering the cost of a medallion and never makes it into a driver’s pocket. Under my administration, the city will buy back existing medallions for fair value and lower fares to make the iconic New York yellow cab a reasonably priced option for residents of all five boroughs.