New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Transportation

<a href="http://www.mta.info/nyct/index.html&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>New York City Transit</strong></a>&nbsp;is the life blood of New York City, moving more than&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mta.info/mta/ind-perform/per-nyct.htm&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>187.9 million</strong></a>&nbsp;passengers per month. However, the Lexington Avenue Subway Line is currently over 150% of capacity. As the City grows we must improve capacity and investigate transportation alternatives. We must find alternative transportation routes for residents of Roosevelt Island by modifying current subway service, trams, ferries, and even building additional subway stations.<br><br>While we are building any improvements, including the long overdue Second Avenue Subway, we must make sure that the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mta.info/&quot; target="_blank"><strong>Metropolitan Transportation Authority</strong></a>&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.mta.info/&quot; target="_blank"><strong>MTA</strong></a>) is&nbsp;<strong>transparent</strong>&nbsp;by making its construction plans available to the people,&nbsp;<strong>open</strong>&nbsp;to review and suggestions from the community, and&nbsp;<strong>accountable</strong>&nbsp;should final decisions be made by the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mta.info/&quot; target="_blank"><strong>MTA</strong></a>&nbsp;without public comment.<br><br>While the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nyc.gov/mayor/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Mayor</strong></a>'s&nbsp;<a href="http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/congestionpricing/index.htm&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Congestion Pricing</strong></a>&nbsp;plan may not have been enacted, it is important not to let a greener New York fall by the wayside. As your City Council member I will work with you to implement initiatives that preserve our environment, improve transportation and make New York City a clean, affordable, and accessible place to live.

New York Daily News How to set up a fair congestion pricing program by Ben Kallos

How to set up a fair congestion pricing program

New York City desperately needs relief from congestion, but the current “congestion pricing” plan was never intended to do that. It was a thinly veiled tax on low-income workers who must still show up in person to raise funds for a mass transit system crumbling under the weight of its own corruption and bureaucracy. Now is the time for a better plan that will actually reduce congestion.

Upper East Side Patch New UES Electric Vehicle Chargers Constantly Blocked By Gas Cars by Nick Garber

New UES Electric Vehicle Chargers Constantly Blocked By Gas Cars

When Patch stopped by on Tuesday, four gas-powered cars were occupying the spots, joined by a single electric car: a Tesla SUV. But that Tesla, the neighbor said, has hogged one of the power cords for at least two straight days — far longer than its necessary charging time, and raising its own enforcement issues.

Reached for comment, City Councilmember Ben Kallos suggested that the NYPD may need to begin issuing fines to drivers who disobey the rules.

"As a City, we need to ingrain the concept that charging stations must be respected and that they are not just parking spots for any car," Kallos said in a statement. "I plan to work with the NYPD and the Department of Transportation to get this fixed asap."

Gizmodo NYC Considers Surveillance Law That Would Fine Drivers With Loud Cars by Lucas Ropek

NYC Considers Surveillance Law That Would Fine Drivers With Loud Cars

A New York City legislator has introduced a bill that would let the police department use radar and artificial intelligence to surveil noise levels related to traffic in the city. If you got caught making a ruckus in violation of city code under the new law, the NYPD could use the tech to identify your car and send you a nice, fat $500 fine.

The bill, which was introduced by City Councilor Ben Kallos, would allow the government to deploy sound recording and analysis devices at various points throughout the city, the likes of which would be paired with cameras. Together, the surveillance gear would be used to help police identify and fine vehicles that violate city noise ordinances.

Kallos recently told Gothamist that the surveillance would only be targeted at “vehicles” and that it wouldn’t stop “a person from walking down the street in the classic ‘80s way of having a boombox over their shoulder.”

He further stressed just how disastrous a loud person in a car can be, telling the outlet that the surveillance would be aimed at “everything from somebody leaning into a car horn in anger, as people all over the world might be aware of, to something more unique like people driving down a city street with their windows open, blasting music so loud that your windows start shaking.”

The bill text doesn’t designate a specific device that would be utilized for the program. Instead, the NYPD would be allowed to try out a number of different sound detection technologies, including acoustic monitoring (which, historically, has been used to study wildlife) and “beamforming,” a form of sensor-based sound analysis, as well as other AI-driven tech options. The device—whatever it ends up being—would undergo an annual “calibration check,” ostensibly to make sure it’s working properly.

Gothamist Manhattan Lawmaker Proposes Bill To Curb Loud Motor Vehicle Noise Using Surveillance Radar Technology by David Cruz

Manhattan Lawmaker Proposes Bill To Curb Loud Motor Vehicle Noise Using Surveillance Radar Technology

A New York City Council member has introduced a bill this week to combat excessively noisy motor vehicles across the five boroughs. Central to his plan would be the use of noise-detecting technology that captures the intensity of loud sounds from a vehicle and identifies the responsible party so the NYPD can fine them.

Manhattan Councilmember Ben Kallos, representing the 5th Council District that covers the Upper East Side, introduced the measure at a Council meeting on Thursday. The bill bears similarities to the 2013 law introducing speed cameras, which snap photos of delinquent drivers going above the legal speed limit and sending a fine via mail. Kallos’s bill would require the use of sound devices installed on city property accompanied with a camera to capture sounds above a certain threshold. An image of the vehicle will be sent to the NYPD, which will then issue a summons, according to the bill. Kallos's bill was first reported by WABC-TV.

New York Daily News Irked at noisy dirt bikes? Councilman has a modest proposal by GRAHAM RAYMAN

Irked at noisy dirt bikes? Councilman has a modest proposal

The ear-splitting noise from dirt bikes, ATVs and unmuffled cars with giant speakers is back with a vengeance this summer, and one city councilman has a plan to deal with it.

City Council member Ben Kallos will introduce a bill Thursday that would create a network of video cameras and high-tech microphones to catch the miscreants and then fine them up to $1,575 for a third offense.

The lead motorcycle of approximately 50 ATV's and motorcycles on 8th Ave. and W. 54th St. in Manhattan on July 15.

The lead motorcycle of approximately 50 ATV's and motorcycles on 8th Ave. and W. 54th St. in Manhattan on July 15. (Sam Costanza/for New York Daily News)

Kallos, who represents parts of the Upper East Side, Midtown and East Harlem, says the bill was born out of his frustration at the inability of the police or other city agencies to deal with the problem.

“I get these complaints all the time and I have my own panic response of picking up my daughter when I hear them,” he said. “Every New Yorker knows how bad this is. So I said, f--- it, let’s put in a bill.”

NYC.gov Office of the Mayor Mayor de Blasio Recommends Sherif Soliman to Traffic Mobility Review Board, Calls on MTA to Expedite Congestion Pricing Launch by The Press Office of the Mayor

Mayor de Blasio Recommends Sherif Soliman to Traffic Mobility Review Board, Calls on MTA to Expedite Congestion Pricing Launch

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio today recommended Department of Finance Commissioner Sherif Soliman to the Traffic Mobility Review Board (TMRB). The mayor also called on the MTA to work faster to advance this crucial first-in-the-nation program, which will charge private vehicles for entering Manhattan’s Central Business District.

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“Congestion pricing will put fewer cars on the road and more funding toward mass transit, which means better commutes for the pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers who actually live in our city,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I have advocated for this on behalf of residents for nearly four years and will keep pushing until it is implemented. I trust that under Sherif Soliman’s leadership, the Traffic Mobility Review Board will turn this plan into our reality, cementing New York City as a leader in transportation.”

West Side Spirit Transportation Alternatives leads effort to reallocate 25 percent of public space for pedestrians by Jason Cohen

Transportation Alternatives leads effort to reallocate 25 percent of public space for pedestrians

As NYC slowly recovers from the pandemic, a coalition of over 80 advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations recently laid out a plan to transform public space in the five boroughs.

Spearheaded by Transportation Alternatives, the coalition released NYC 25x25, which calls on the next mayoral administration to allocate 25 percent of the street space by 2025 into pedestrian space.

If adopted, this policy could hypothetically create:

· 500 lane miles of new protected bus-only lanes, so every New Yorker lives within a quarter mile of a protected bus lane

· 1,000 lane miles of permanent Open Streets

· 780,000 spaces for car-share parking and paid parking spaces (converted from free parking) with the potential to generate, by the most conservative estimate, at least one billion dollars annually

· 19.4 million square feet of bike parking spaces, including racks, secure bike parking, bike share and other micromobility uses, so that Citi Bike access can stretch citywide and nearly every New York City block will host bike parking

· “Universal daylighting” — removing car parking directly adjacent to an intersection in order to increase visibility and decrease the likelihood of a crash — at every one of New York City’s 39,000 intersections

· A one-block-long car-free multi-use space for play, student drop-off and pick-up and outdoor learning outside each of New York City’s 1,700 public schools

· At least one 80-foot-long zone on every block for deliveries, e-cargo bikes, for-hire-vehicle and taxi passenger drop-off, and trash collection, so trash bags are off the sidewalk.

One supporter of this plan is Councilman Ben Kallos. The lawmaker, who is running for borough president, is one of the few elected officials who does not own a car and commutes on his bike.

“I’m about making the city livable and walkable and all about public transportation,” he told Our Town.

Positive Feedback

According to Kallos, only 20 percent of NYC residents own cars, so he questions why the public space is geared towards them. He noted when the Open Streets Program launched last year due to the pandemic, his office was flooded with positive feedback.

Kallos recalled this was one of the first times he has seen parking spots taken away without a fight.

However, he understands that for those who do have a vehicle, parking is limited. Kallos hopes that in the future the council will examine mandating that new construction have parking garages. Prior to the 1980s, they were required with new buildings, but legislation deemed it an accessory.

New York Times Car Lanes to Become Bike Lanes on 2 Major New York City Bridges by Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Winnie Hu

Car Lanes to Become Bike Lanes on 2 Major New York City Bridges

City Councilmen Ben Kallos and Jimmy Van Bramer, whose districts include either end of the Queensboro Bridge, have fought for years for a separate bike lane. They have held several rallies and recently marched across the bridge during the pandemic.

“This news couldn’t have come sooner as more people rely on bikes during the pandemic,” Mr. Kallos said. “The single shared lane on the Queensboro Bridge has gotten more crowded and dangerous.”

Upper East Side Patch Upper East Side Bike Lane Snowplows Blocked By City, Pols Say by Nick Garber

Upper East Side Bike Lane Snowplows Blocked By City, Pols Say

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Two Upper East Side officeholders said the city has blocked them from buying snow plows to clear the neighborhood's bike lanes, even though residents asked for them and the money is already allocated.

"It's incredibly stupid to put the health and safety of people riding bikes in jeopardy because the city doesn't want to spend $30,000," said City Councilmember Ben Kallos, referring to the cost of the six-foot plow attachment in question.

New Yorkers have long complained that intersections and bike lanes remain slush-covered for days after snowstorms, posing a hazard to cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Our Town Calls for More Bike Parking by Jason Cohen

Calls for More Bike Parking

Council Member Ben Kallos, who is a bike rider and one of the only elected officials without a car, spoke with Our Town about the need for more bike parking.

“Anyone would be amused or horrified to learn what New Yorkers do to fit their bikes in tiny studio apartments,” Kallos said. “I once had to put my bike vertically in a bathtub while visiting a friend for lack of bike parking or space in their apartment. I fully support every recommendation from Transportation Alternatives and will work to make them a reality. We’ve already partnered with residents to place bike racks throughout the district anytime they are requested. I am particularly interested in the climate protected and even pods to protect bikes from theft.”

He noted that even if someone is fortunate to live in a building with bike parking, it can take months or a year to get a spot.

According to Kallos, when he first ran for office there were several complaints about bikes being chained to trees and sides of buildings, both of which are illegal. So, when he got elected he asked his constituents how they wanted the streets to look and many wanted more bike parking.