Transportation Nation

(AUDIO) NY MTA Votes To Keep Taking Controversial Ads -- With Disclaimer

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pamela Geller defending her anti-jihad subway ads during the public session of the MTA meeting (photo by Jim O'Grady)

The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority has voted to keep accepting "issue ads," with a disclaimer that the ad "doesn’t imply an endorsement." The authority will only put disclaimers on ads expressing political, religious or moral views.

(You're safe, Dr. Zizmor.)

The agency's monthly board meeting got a bit rowdy during the public comment session on Thursday, thanks to a controversial ad in the  subway that equates the word 'jihad' with 'savages.'

Many came to speak because the MTA had let it be known that it might vote to ban all issue ads in the subway. That brought out a group of Occupy Wall Street protestors, who criticized the anti-jihad ads. Seth Rosenberg echoed several speakers when he called the ads "racist, anti-Muslim and vile to the core."

Pamela Geller, the woman who paid $6,000 to place a month's worth of ads in ten Manhattan subway stations, was there to defend her investment."The reason why these ads were run, so we have just a little context, is there were a series of anti-Israel ads that were running in the subway," she said.

Geller was referring to subway ads bought last year by a group called Two People One Future. Those ads said, "We are the side of peace and justice ... End U.S. military aid to Israel."

Though Geller said she found the Two People One Future ads offensive, she "didn't deface them." That was a pointed reference to to the fate of her own ads -- which, soon after their appearance on Monday, were affixed with stickers reading "Hate Speech."

When members of Occupy Wall Street tried to drown out Geller as she spoke at the meeting, NY MTA chairman Joe Lhota ordered the protestors removed.

Advertising produces one percent of the MTA's yearly revenue. And issue ads make up one percent of that - a total that comes to $1.3 million out of the MTA's annual budget of $1.2 billion.

You can see a photo of the ad below.

(photo by Jim O'Grady)

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Transportation Nation

Winter Park Planners Working on Central Florida “Complete Streets”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Supporters of "Complete Streets" say this type of situation could be avoided with regulation changes

(Orlando, Fla. -- Mark Simpson WMFE)

Advocates of the “Complete Streets” movement hope they are on the verge of gaining ground in Central Florida.  Planners at the City of Winter Park, located north of Orlando, say they have drafted a “Complete Streets” resolution for the city.  Mayor Ken Bradley is also supporting the measure which is expected to come up for a vote in about two weeks.

Dan Burden, executive director of the Walkable and Liveable Communities Institute was in Winter Park this week to discuss improvements that could be made to local roads.  He says a complete street is a thoroughfare “where a person can just naturally switch seamlessly from mode to mode”. That means encompassing walking, biking, driving, and even moving big trucks down the road. Burden presented those concepts to Winter Park commissioners while in town.

Listen to Dan Burden explain how "road" psychology impacts driving speeds

dan burden on visual friction

Meanwhile Orlando land use attorney Rick Geller is pursuing an effort to tack “complete streets” language to a state transportation bill, while the legislature is still in session this year. He says “complete streets” are needed at the state level to set standards for local communities to emulate. It’s not clear if Geller’s language will be picked up before the session concludes May 6th, but he says he’ll back next year if it’s not.

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