New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Public Safety

We must work together to keep our neighborhood safe from crime and emergencies like construction accidents. In the wake of the two crane collapses on the Upper East Side last year that claimed 9 lives, we must increase financial support for emergency services, improve construction regulation and community notice, as well as expand our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_prepared/cert.shtml&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Community Emergency Response Teams</strong></a>.

The Real Deal Ben Kallos wants to crack down on unsafe sidewalk sheds by Decca Muldowney

Ben Kallos wants to crack down on unsafe sidewalk sheds

The city is cracking down on that scourge of New York City: unsafe sidewalk sheds.

While sidewalk sheds are meant to protect pedestrians from falling debris at construction sites, a spate of accidents in which sidewalk sheds have done more harm than good, Council member Ben Kallos has introduced a bill to tighten safety regulations. Kallos’ told Gothamist that his office has found seven sidewalk shed incidents in which pedestrians were injured since 2017.

Gothamist Lawmakers Take Aim At The Hundreds Of Miles Of Scaffolding Around NYC by Rhiannon Corby

Lawmakers Take Aim At The Hundreds Of Miles Of Scaffolding Around NYC

There are over 300 miles of scaffolding in this city. Those damp, dimly-lit plywood tunnels installed alongside construction sites are meant to keep construction materials from falling on pedestrians below. But sidewalk sheds can also be dangerous. Earlier this month, construction workers in Williamsburg were injured when a sidewalk shed gave way beneath them. Last summer, scaffolding in Brooklyn Heights fell outside a Starbucks, injuring three people below. And in 2017, a young woman suffered major spinal damage when scaffolding collapsed on her in SoHo.

ABC7 7 On Your Side Investigates: New York City losing control of sidewalk shed spread by Jim Hoffer

7 On Your Side Investigates: New York City losing control of sidewalk shed spread

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Since the collapse of a sidewalk shed in SoHo in November of 2017 nearly killed a young model, the construction of these sheds over New York City sidewalks has jumped more than 17 percent.

At the time of the SoHo incident, there were 7,000 sidewalk sheds. Through the Department of Buildings, 7 On Your Side Investigates has confirmed there are now 8,197 sheds adding another 30 miles of scaffolding hanging over the heads of New Yorkers.

New York Daily News Council members call for more city scaffolding inspections by GRAHAM RAYMAN

Council members call for more city scaffolding inspections

Kallos cited seven scaffolding collapses dating back to February 2017 that resulted in either property damage or injury. In addition, the council members say companies often put up the scaffolding and then drag their feet on the actual work, leaving the metal structure in place sometimes for years.

“It’s bad enough that we regularly see scaffolding staying up for years, apparently unused. But when it is used, we can’t even be sure it will serve its purpose and keep us safe,” State Senator Liz Krueger said.”Clearly, the self-certification process is not sufficient.”

Added New York City Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel: “The unprecedented development around New York City is at a rapid pace. Longstanding scaffolding has created public safety issues.”

Council Member Margaret Chin said there needs to be an incentive to reduce how long scaffolding remains in place. “This will lead to a vast improvement of quality of life across our city, as repairs will be done in a timely manner leading to fewer shadows on our streets and other issues associated with perpetual scaffolding,” she said.

New York Daily News New NYPD surveillance cameras to cover stretch of Upper East Side not easily reached by patrol cars by Rocco Parascandola

New NYPD surveillance cameras to cover stretch of Upper East Side not easily reached by patrol cars

City Councilman Ben Kallos said the 8 Argus cameras will cost $336,000.

Kallos said he has always had concerns about cameras and how they might impact on a person’s privacy as well as how law enforcement uses them.

But said his constituents want them.

“No one objected during participatory budgeting,” Kallos said, referring to the process by which citizens have a say in how city money is spent. “People want them.”

He also recalled speaking with a police commander at an FDR pedestrian bridge earlier this year and witnessing the deterrence of cameras.

“Two people walked past us,’’ Kallos explained. “They said, ‘There’s security cameras there — let’s not go there.”

The cameras will link to the NYPD’s Domain Awareness System, the surveillance network of more than 18,000 inter-connected cameras — including those in the private sector — as well as law enforcement databases.

Upper East Side Patch High Tech Cameras Set To Protect East 86th Street, Esplanade by Andrew Fine

High Tech Cameras Set To Protect East 86th Street, Esplanade

Council Member Ben Kallos, NYPD 19th Precinct Commander Kathleen Walsh, and representatives from the community gathered this breezy, but gorgeous morning alongside the East River at 63rd Street to announce the installation of high tech "ARGUS" security cameras on the East River Esplanade, and along East 86th Street. The cameras, which cost $35,000 each, utilize several cameras usually housed in a white metal box generally attached to light poles, are high definition, can see 360 degrees, and can be accessed by the NYPD on any type of device real-time. The installation of the ARGUS cameras is intended to deter crime, and to provide more far reaching and clearer imaging to help identify perps when a crime has been committed.

New York Post Construction accidents soar amid NYC building boom by Sara Dorn

Construction accidents soar amid NYC building boom

Construction-related deaths have doubled and injuries have surged 17 percent as building booms in the Big Apple.

Eight people have died in construction accidents in the first seven months of the year, compared to four over the same time frame in 2017, according to the city Buildings Department.

Through July of this year, 469 people were injured in 457 accidents on the job, the DOB says.

The latest construction-related death, according to DOB records, happened inside a West Village residential building at 36 Grove St. A live wire electrocuted a hardhat on July 16.

Our Town Safe space on Sutton Place by Douglas Feiden

Safe space on Sutton Place

Kallos tapped his discretionary funds to buy five security cameras for the northern blocks — each with a live 24/7 feed to the 17th Precinct — and Powers dipped into his Council funds to purchase two more for the culs-de-sac as far south as Beekman Place and 50th Street.

They don’t come cheap: Each camera will cost $35,000 for an overall tab of $245,000. It wasn’t immediately clear when they will be installed.

“Soon, the 17th Precinct will have eyes on the park — and it will be able to respond instantaneously and even proactively,” Kallos said in an Aug. 3 press conference at the river-facing dead end on East 54th Street.

Upper East Side Patch NYPD Cameras To Be Installed At 7 Sutton Place Locations by Brendan Krisel

NYPD Cameras To Be Installed At 7 Sutton Place Locations

Starting in 2019, NYPD security cameras will be installed at seven locations in the mostly-residential neighborhoods, City Councilman Ben Kallos and Keith Powers said. Both council representatives pitched in to fund the cameras after a proposal gained broad support during the last participatory budgeting cycle, but not enough votes to secure funding.

"We're here to talk about quality of life and making sure that every park in our neighborhood has the best quality of life and is as safe as possible," Kallos said Friday.