New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Noah Manskar

Upper East Side Patch NYC Votes To Ban Restaurants From Offering Kids Sugary Drinks by Noah Manskar

NYC Votes To Ban Restaurants From Offering Kids Sugary Drinks

NEW YORK — Sorry, kids — now you'll have to ask for that Coke. New York City restaurants will likely be banned from offering kids sugary drinks under legislation the City Council approved Thursday.

The bill restricts the beverages that eateries can offer with children's meals to water, juice and low- or non-fat milk. Restaurants could still give kids soda or another drink if they ask for one, but those that get caught offering heavily sweetened sippables could be fined up to $200.

"Healthy drinks with kid's meals will be the new normal in New York City no matter where they are eating," Councilman Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the bill, said in a statement. "While parents can still order whatever they want the default will be healthy."

Upper East Side Patch Use More Cameras To Keep NYC Buses Moving, Pols Say by Noah Manskar

Use More Cameras To Keep NYC Buses Moving, Pols Say

UPPER EAST SIDE — Cameras have deterred drivers from running red lights and speeding past schools — and they could help keep New York City's bus lanes clear too, lawmakers and advocates say.

State law limits the number of routes where cameras can be used to ticket drivers who block bus lanes. Legislators and transit advocates say they want to change that through the state budget so cameras can be used across the city.

Upper East Side Patch NYC Bus Routes Graded: Just 1 Of 248 Gets An 'A' by Noah Manskar

NYC Bus Routes Graded: Just 1 Of 248 Gets An 'A'

The buses are also a priority for New York City Transit President Andy Byford. His transit overhaul plan released last year called for redesigning the city's bus route network and rolling out 2,800 new buses within five years. His agency also wants to speed up boarding by using all doors.

But officials should move faster to make changes that can help commuters, said City Councilman Ben Kallos, whose Upper East Side district got a failing grade.

"What do we say to all the commuters who had a rough commute this morning, who didn't get to work on time, who lost money or may have lost their jobs because of the bus that never showed up, the bus that showed up bunched or the bus that got caught in traffic because there was no bus lane?" Kallos, a Democrat, said.

The MTA says its redesign of Staten Island's express bus network has made average bus speeds 12 percent faster, and a redesign is now underway for The Bronx. But Max Young, the agency's chief external affairs officer, acknowledged that there is still "an enormous amount of work to do on this issue" despite recent progress.

Upper East Side Patch Mayor Blames 'Bad Luck' For NYC's Meltdown During Snowstorm by Noah Manskar

Mayor Blames 'Bad Luck' For NYC's Meltdown During Snowstorm

 "Bad luck" was to blame for the city descending into travel chaos as the first snow of the winter hit Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday. The storm blanketed Central Park in more than six inches of snow, the most for that day in more than a century.

Upper East Side Patch NY's $3B Gift To Amazon Could Pay For Wish List Of Fixes: Pols by Noah Manskar

NY's $3B Gift To Amazon Could Pay For Wish List Of Fixes: Pols

Addressed to Bezos — whom one of its signatories, Councilman Ben Kallos, compared to a "Bond villain" on Wednesday — the letter stated officials' belief that "Amazon will be a strong contributor to our civic and commercial life."

Gianaris, who signed the letter, said the officials thought the jobs stemming from the project would be good, but "never contemplated that public dollars would be secretly given to Amazon to get them here."

Upper East Side Patch Bill Aims To Keep NYC Construction Sites Quiet by Noah Manskar

Bill Aims To Keep NYC Construction Sites Quiet

The bill also cuts in half the amount of noise allowed to come from a construction site when work is being done before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

"New York City may be the city that never sleeps, but that shouldn't be because of after-hours construction noise waking you up," City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) said in a statement. "Our new law will turn down the volume on after hours construction noise in residential neighborhoods."