New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Editorial Board

Habitat Limiting the Lifespan of Sidewalk Sheds by Editorial Board

Limiting the Lifespan of Sidewalk Sheds

But sidewalk sheds have been known to overstay their welcome, like a drunken uncle, sometimes sticking around for a dozen years or more, providing magnets for drug dealers, homeless people, trash, and worse. To remedy the situation, city councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, proposed a new law on Tuesday that would give building owners three months, with the possibility of a three-month extension, to make repairs and remove scaffolding and sidewalk sheds, the New York Times reports. If the work is not completed in that time, the city will step in to do it, and charge the owner for the work.

AM New York Cyclists must get on board with NYC safety by Editorial Board

Cyclists must get on board with NYC safety

[Council Member Ben Kallos has] announced plans to add bike patrols across the Upper East Side in a pilot program that's an outgrowth of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative -- a move to reduce preventable traffic deaths. They'll combine that enforcement with educational programming and incentives, like free Citi Bike day memberships for those who take safety classes. And they'll even throw in free vests, lights and bells for commercial cyclists who complete the training.

It's an effort many -- from the City Council and the NYPD to nonprofits like Bike New York and the privately funded Citi Bike -- are getting behind. Now, local businesses and individual cyclists have to do their parts. City restaurants should take care of their bicycle delivery staffs by providing vests, bells and other gear. Individuals have to educate themselves, slow down and travel safely.

New York Post Hail, Hail, the Cab's All Here by Post Editorial Board

Hail, Hail, the Cab's All Here

Note the latest proposal from freshman City Councilmember Ben Kallos. The Upper East Side Democrat wants the Taxi and Limousine Commission to approve a city-branded e-hail app. This would give yellow cabs the technology to take on Uber and others on their own turf.

Yellow cabs wouldn’t be required to use the app, but considering the impact Uber’s app has had on the traditional yellow-cab model, they would be foolish not to.

Kallos’ idea is good as far as it goes and contrasts favorably with how other municipalities have reacted to an industry disrupter like Uber. In India, for example, New Delhi has just banned Uber.

The Real Deal ​Proposed downzoning could affect price at auction for Bauhouse's 3 Sutton Place by Editorial Board

​Proposed downzoning could affect price at auction for Bauhouse's 3 Sutton Place

The community group’s new zoning plan would curb building height in the East 50s along the East River at 260 feet, and the members are hoping to delay the Sutton Place project until their new zoning plan takes affect. That could affect the price at auction.

Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Council member who supports the proposal, which was spearheaded by Alan Kersh, a resident of the 47-story Sovereign across the street from for-sale site, told the Wall Street Journal that he wants “to stop the march of 1,000-foot towers into residential neighborhoods.”

Kersh’s apartment, at 425 East 58th Street, is 250 feet above ground, and his view would be blocked by Beninati’s tower.

Kallos has also helped block the demolition of the site. After an audit requested by Kallos, the DOB didn’t approve permits for work on the neighboring building, 426 East 58th Street, which is necessary for the demolition to proceed.

New York Observer The Insurgents of 2010 by Editorial Board

The Insurgents of 2010

Mr. Kallos has kept himself busy, putting his knowledge of technology and geeky insights to use in local government. The result is a series of Web sites that take local political info out of dusty file cabinets and up online. One site lets people see if they’re registered to vote. Another lets users check the attendance records of state lawmakers. His latest creation: a crowd-sourced calendar for political events around New York City and the state.