Stringer proposes climate plan to limit cars on New York City streets as mayor

Image from iOS (14)
City Comptroller Scott Stringer. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

Scott Stringer is making promises to limit the number of cars allowed on New York City streets as well as banning a new fossil fuel infrastructure as part of a climate plan if elected as mayor in the coming year.

The sitting city comptroller took to Zoom Sunday for the climate announcement with environmental champions Bill McKibben and Councilman Costa Constantinides in outlining a proposal they believe will transform how New York City runs.

“But [New York City is] not leading. We’re actually falling behind. emissions are up since 2017. We’re still putting pipelines in the ground and air pollution has contributed to more COVID deaths in the Bronx than anywhere else in the country. We can’t pretend to be making progress on climate change,” Stringer said. “We will measure our progress in years, not decades, you’re gonna be able to hold me accountable during my term, every day, every step of the way. pipelines, power plants, and peaker plants are relics of the past and that’s where I’ll put them.”

Stringer’s climate target parts of the city with elevated asthma rates like Astoria’s “Asthma Alley” while drawing a bead on the urban highway network and other roads that would be repurposed into green space for public use.

McKibben, a well-known environmentalist and author, backed the plan while highlighted the need for public transit outside of the subway network.

“New York needs its subway system back on a financial basis that works. It needs to be operating 24 hours a day, and it needs a bus system that’s not a poor sister to the subway system that gets people out in the boroughs and up and down the outer avenues and everything else,” McKibben said. “So the plan is great, but the best plans in the world don’t matter if the people who are attached to those plans can’t get them done. If they don’t have the savvy and competence to do what needs doing, so I will just say that I’ve been incredibly impressed [by Stringer].”

Stringer plans to carry on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Open Streets program by making it permanent, providing fully protected bus lanes for the busiest bus lines, expanding CitiBike throughout the city by a “massive” expansion to the bike lane network and subsidizing the purchase of new bike-sharing equipment.

School buses would be completely converted to electric by the year 2025.

As comptroller, Stringer has taken environmental initiatives within his power as an accountant by divesting the city’s pension portfolios away from fossil fuel industry investments.

For buildings, one of the biggest sources of carbon in the city, Stringer intends to eliminate number four heating oil by 2025 by providing “district-scale” clean energy projects.

Read the full proposal here.