The Times is reporting that Governor Paterson has chosen Representative Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Secretary Clinton in the Senate. I've discussed Gillibrand's record before, but I think it's a good time to go over the most salient points.
Although Gillibrand's house has a Walk Score of 3, she's an hour's walk from downtown Hudson, which has a Walk Score of 86. More importantly, when she's in Washington she takes the Metro to work. She even brought her son to daycare on the train, and then got back on the Metro one stop to her office. That may have changed now that she has two sons - or it may not.
Gillibrand's commitment to transit and rail may not go very deep: the Ethan Allen Express, one of the two trains a day that run through the northern part of her district, is threatened by Vermont budget cuts. Last week over 200 people rallied in Rutland (which by Vermont standards counts as a mass demonstration), but no one from the New York section of the route was to be seen. There is no indication that Gillibrand has even noticed that part of her district could lose half its train service.
As I wrote before, Gillibrand has called for light rail in the Capital District, but deferred to the Governor for action. Did this come up in any of their conversations? It would be a really good thing for that area, but if Gillibrand's transit advocacy is limited to campaign promises with no follow-up, this could be a big disappointment for New York.
It'd be interesting to hear from advocates for transit and livable streets in Gillibrand's district. One well-known critic of "Happy Motoring," James Howard Kunstler, has so far been silent on Gillibrand and any of his elected officials. Incidentally, his house has a Walk Score of 0. WTF JHK?