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 NYC bill would put yellow taxi and Uber hails in a single app, offering possible help to struggling industry by Clayton Guse

NYC bill would put yellow taxi and Uber hails in a single app, offering possible help to struggling industry

New York City’s ailing taxicab industry may get a boost if a proposed bill gets a green light from the City Council.

The legislation would require the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission to establish a “universal e-hail app” to let riders order from a single app any for-hire vehicle — including taxis and cars that normally drive for Uber or Lyft.

ntroduced by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the bill is like one he pitched in 2014, before Uber raked in a majority of the city’s ride hails.

But with e-hail companies like Uber and Lyft getting three times the rides as yellow and green taxis before the pandemic — and more than eight times the rides as of September — Kallos said it’s high time to level the playing field.

AM New York A spooky Gracie Mansion rally calls for safer bike lanes, bridges for people by Todd Maisel

A spooky Gracie Mansion rally calls for safer bike lanes, bridges for people

Dozens of cyclists on Halloween, dressed in their spooky best, haunted the exterior of Gracie Mansion on All Hallow’s Eve to send a message to the mayor to provide more cycling space, especially for crowded East River bridges.

Costumed cyclists from all five boroughs rode to the historic mayoral residence on East 86th Street to call for more pedaling space on New York City’s bridges — specifically the Brooklyn Bridge and Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge, which they say are dangerously crowded for pedestrians and cyclists.

Organized by Transportation Alternatives’ #Bridges4People campaign, the cyclists gathered with three Councilmembers Ben Kallos (who came dressed as Captain America), Brad Lander (who dressed as The Magician) and Carlos Menchaca (who appeared as himself). All three have been staunch advocates of cyclists in the city and their efforts to make it safer to transverse the city’s bridges.

StreetsBlog A Beautiful Day on the Queensboro Bridge — Will It Lead to More Space for Oppressed Pedestrians? by Streetsblog

A Beautiful Day on the Queensboro Bridge — Will It Lead to More Space for Oppressed Pedestrians?

Don’t care how, they want it now.

Two City Council Members, two state Senators, a Borough President and the head of the city’s foremost bike and pedestrian advocacy group met with Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Monday — and got what participants said was a firm quasi-commitment that the city would take back a lane on the Queensboro Bridge from car drivers and finally give it back to pedestrians, who currently share a single crowded lane with cyclists going in both directions.

“Everyone wants this project to happen, including Polly Trottenberg,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who walked the bridge with his Council colleague Ben Kallos, plus state Senators Jessica Ramos and Michael Gianaris, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris and Trottenberg. “And everyone knows these are disastrous budgetary times, but the money is not the issue. It’s a small amount of money relatively speaking.”

AM New York A ‘ferry’ big deal: Mayor, local officials laud NYC Ferry extension in Queens by Angelica Acevedo

A ‘ferry’ big deal: Mayor, local officials laud NYC Ferry extension in Queens

Mayor Bill de Blasio joined community leaders in Astoria, Queens, on Friday for a ride on NYC Ferry’s new extension from Astoria to the Upper East Side.

Last week, the NYC Ferry service announced it would finally expand the line to connect the neighboring boroughs, after years of advocacy from Astoria community leaders. The line will offer a direct connection from 3-10 Astoria Blvd. to 90th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Before they embarked on what Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos called a two-minute ride across the river, the mayor held a press conference with Kallos, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Economic Development Corporation Executive Director James Wong at Astoria’s pier.

StreetsBlog STREETSBLOG GETS ACTION: DOT Chief Accepts Council Offer of Queensboro Bridge Fix Cash by Dave Colon

STREETSBLOG GETS ACTION: DOT Chief Accepts Council Offer of Queensboro Bridge Fix Cash

She said yes.

DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said on Thursday that she welcomes a recent City Council offer — revealed last week in Streetsblog — to cover the cost of turning the South Outer Roadway on the Queensboro Bridge into a badly needed pedestrian lane on the jammed up bridge. The project has long been stalled due to a variety of DOT excuses.

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Council Members Ben Kallos of Manhattan and Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens recently told Streetsblog they were willing to use their discretionary budgets to cover the cost of the eight-foot high security fencing that the DOT said is needed to convert the South Outer Roadway into a pedestrian walkway, freeing up the bridge’s northernmost lane for cyclists, who currently share the space with walkers. DOT had said the fencing is a “multi-million dollar” project, but Streetsblog estimated the cost would be around $450,000, based on a similar project on the George Washington Bridge.

StreetsBlog OUT OF EXCUSES: Council Members Offer DOT Money for QBB Security Fence by Gersh Kuntzman

OUT OF EXCUSES: Council Members Offer DOT Money for QBB Security Fence

All she has to do is ask.

Two members of the City Council — whose districts flank the Queensboro Bridge — have promised to allocate capital money that they control to install a security fence on the south outer roadway, a missing piece of infrastructure that Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg says is preventing her agency from doubling the amount of pedestrian and cycling space on the fabled span.

“I’m all in,” said Queens Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

“We could do this now,” added his Manhattan colleague Ben Kallos.

AM New York Op-Ed | New Yorkers can’t wait for pedestrian paths on Queensboro Bridge to open any longer by Ben Kallos, Jimmy Van Bramer

Op-Ed | New Yorkers can’t wait for pedestrian paths on Queensboro Bridge to open any longer

Thousands of New Yorkers bike, walk, and run over the Queensboro Bridge each day. The bridge has nine lanes for car traffic, yet only a narrow path along the northern edge of the bridge is open to cyclists and pedestrians, causing conflicts, congestion, and in the age of COVID, dangerous crowding. As the Queens and Manhattan council members whose districts border the bridge, and whose constituents depend on this critical inter-borough connection, we are calling on the city to open the South Outer Roadway to pedestrians.  

New York Times Make the Queensboro Bridge Car-Free by Ben Kallos, Danny Harris, Ken Podziba

Make the Queensboro Bridge Car-Free

To the Editor:

Re “A Proposed Link for Manhattan and Queens, for Bikes and Pedestrians Only” (news article, June 25):

As much as we appreciate big-picture thinking about bike infrastructure, we favor more immediate action to make the Queens-Manhattan bike trip safer and less crowded.

The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge’s south roadway should be made into a walkway, with the north roadway converted to a two-way, bicycle-only path. This approach is supported by Manhattan and Queens elected officials and community boards and could be executed with minimal cost and put into effect immediately.

In the best circumstances, a new bridge could take more than a decade to build. It would face input from parties ranging from the U.S. Coast Guard and state environmental regulators to Roosevelt Island residents rightly concerned about being passed over by yet another structure.