August 28, 2017
Commissioner Polly Trottenberg
NYC Department of Transportation
55 Water Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10041
Dear Commissioner Trottenberg,
As you know, this is an exciting time for the North Shore of Staten Island. Work is well under way on three transformational projects on the St. George waterfront, the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets and Lighthouse Point. At the same time, the North Shore has seen new parks, additional school seats and an overall Renaissance unfolding.
Unfortunately, we are saddled with outdated infrastructure and a lack of efficient public transportation. As I work with your office and other public officials to alleviate traffic with overdue necessities such as bus rapid transit, additional ferry service and Citi Bike, I am writing to ask for additional smart traffic light technology here.
Because smart traffic signals monitor traffic in real time and have been found to improve congestion, they are a long-overdue solution in my district. In 2014, you came to Staten Island to announce the addition of smart traffic signals at several intersections in our borough. While the current Traffic Improvement Strategy—conducted by NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Transportation in preparation for our new waterfront projects—calls for the changing signal times at key intersections along Bay Street and Richmond Terrace, we simply have too many new factors entering our equation to rely on slower, outdated technology. Our traffic conditions will be changing hour to hour, day to day, week to week. We simply won’t have time to perform new studies to reset the timing of our traffic lights as conditions change.
With so many new factors, it will be important to my constituents that our traffic signals adapt to evolving conditions in real time. Smart signal technology promises to reduce travel times for already weary commuters, while at the same time reducing the harmful auto emissions associated with idling vehicles. We have this technology at our disposal. It is imperative that we utilize it—before these projects come online.
I ask that you install smart light technology at all intersections adjacent to our new waterfront development projects along Bay Street and Richmond Terrace in St. George. Furthermore, what is in place to assess the need throughout the North Shore? The influx of traffic signals since the implementation of Vision Zero—as well as increasing population here—underscores the importance of ensuring we are using the latest technology for more efficient transportation.
I thank you for your consideration in this matter, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Councilmember Debi Rose
NYCC, 49th District