Statement of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority before the NYSDOT Public Forum on Land Use and Transportation
Farmingdale, Long Island
March 6, 2008
Good Afternoon. I am Jan Wells, Associate Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC). We are the coordinating body for the legislatively mandated commuter councils for the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and New York City Transit. The volunteer members are appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of local elected officials to represent the interests of the users of MTA services. As some of you know, I have done extensive research and writing on Transit-Oriented Development at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University and I also have taught the Land Use and Transportation course for the National Transit Institute at multiple sites across the country. I want to thank Commissioner Glynn for holding this public forum on this very important topic, especially for the communities on Long Island that are suffering from congestion, distressed downtowns and lack of affordable housing.
I would like to remind everyone that in 2006 PCAC released its annual research report entitled, Where is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Transit-Oriented Development? The report discusses the benefits of and obstacles to implementing Transit Oriented Development in the MTA service area and explores the involvement of the State of New York, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), and MTA and its agencies. You can find our report on our website – pcac.org
While our recommendations focus on the role of MTA and its agencies, it is clear that the State of New York, and the DOT specifically, must take the lead in creating a statewide initiative promoting well-planned transit-oriented development. This means a program that 1) brings together and coordinates the various state agencies that need to be involved – transportation, economic development, housing finance, environment, especially for brownfield reclamation, etc.; 2) provides State resources for technical assistance to those county and local governments looking to do the proper planning and public outreach necessary for effective transit-friendly development; and 3) making improvements to infrastructure, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities, to support land use and transportation integration.
We look forward the NYSDOT taking a leadership role in developing better land use and transportation coordination. We urge NYSDOT to make this a critical component of its 20-Year Needs Assessment.