New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Shaye Weaver

DNAinfo.com Hydroponic Lab and TV Surveillance on Upper East Side $1M Budget Ballot by Shaye Weaver

Hydroponic Lab and TV Surveillance on Upper East Side $1M Budget Ballot

Councilman Ben Kallos has set aside $1 million in capital funds under the participatory budgeting program to go toward improvement projects on the Upper East Side. Starting Saturday, residents of District 5 who are 14 and older can vote on which ones should receive the money.

 

DNAinfo.com UES Tower Developer Who Tried to Skirt Zoning Law Is At it Again: Officials by Shaye Weaver

UES Tower Developer Who Tried to Skirt Zoning Law Is At it Again: Officials

If the DOB decides to uphold its decision, then the developer can appeal with the city's Board of Standards and Appeals.

The challenge against DDG's plans, which can be submitted by individuals or organizations, was filed by local group Carnegie Hill Neighbors as well as politicians including Brewer, Councilman Ben Kallos, State Senator Liz Krueger and the law firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn. 

Their petition argues that DDG has made no changes to resolve zoning issues raised when it first filed plans with the city.

DNAinfo.com Hourslong Waits During Election Spark Push For More Polling Sites on UES by Shaye Weaver

Hourslong Waits During Election Spark Push For More Polling Sites on UES

UPPER EAST SIDE — A "broken" voting system is to blame for the hourslong waits endured by voters during the election this year, say local elected officials who are calling for an overhaul including more polling sites and the option to mail in ballots.

Lines to vote in the next election could be shortened by opening new polling sites to spread out the crowds, Councilman Ben Kallos said.

"If you are part of a church, a synagogue, a nonprofit center, you could be incredibly helpful. If you're from a school and not a poll site let us know," he told residents during a Community Board 8 meeting Wednesday.

"We need to expand the number of poll sites. We can even put one in your lobby, as long as it is ADA accessible," he said.

DNAinfo.com Elderly and Disabled Need Select Bus Service Stop at 72nd St., Locals Say by Shaye Weaver

Elderly and Disabled Need Select Bus Service Stop at 72nd St., Locals Say

UPPER EAST SIDE — Thousands of locals have signed a petition to add East 72nd Street to the M15 Select Bus Service route along First and Second avenues.

The stop was removed from the M15's express route when the MTAreplaced limited bus service with Select Bus Service along the line six years ago.

Now, residents have to walk to East 68th Street, East 67th Street or up to the East 79th Street stop to catch the Select Bus, a hike they say is difficult for the elderly and disabled. The other option is to wait up to 30 minutes for the local bus, residents said.

DNAinfo.com New Citi Bike Station on 91st St. Is Dangerous to Pedestrians, Locals Say by Shaye Weaver

New Citi Bike Station on 91st St. Is Dangerous to Pedestrians, Locals Say

Councilman Ben Kallos opposed the new Citi Bike station last year and plans on working with the DOT to get it moved.

Recently the councilman suggested the agency move it around the corner against Ruppert Park on Second Avenue between East 90th and East 91st streets.

“This is a very uphill battle,” Kallos said. “Citi Bike has not moved very many locations, except to the extent that we’re able to work with the community for minimal changes.”

DNAinfo.com UES Residents Want Benches, Painted Lanes at Esplanade's John Finley Walk by Shaye Weaver

UES Residents Want Benches, Painted Lanes at Esplanade's John Finley Walk

"We are rebuilding the East River Esplanade brick by brick and dollar by dollar to connect 60th street to 125th street in one seamless park," Kallos said in a statement on July 11. "John Finley Walk from 81st street to 84th will receive the attention it needs to go from roadway to greenway."

DNAinfo.com Developer Hit With Stop Work Order For Manipulating Zoning Code: Officials by Shaye Weaver

Developer Hit With Stop Work Order For Manipulating Zoning Code: Officials

Councilman Ben Kallos wrote a letter to the DOB pushing the agency to issue the stop work order on May 16.

"New Yorkers have won a rare victory over developers by stopping a skyscraper in a residential neighborhood," Kallos said in a statement. "I am glad we stopped this loophole before it was too late."

DNAinfo.com Friends of UES Woman Killed By Dump Truck Demand More Street Safety by Shaye Weaver

Friends of UES Woman Killed By Dump Truck Demand More Street Safety

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilman Ben Kallos, who both showed up to the vigil, spoke against the marine transfer station, saying it would only worsen the situation.

"People in the community pass on, but it should not happen because of bad public policy," Brewer said about the marine transfer station.

"The tragedy of all of this is that it won't be one private garbage truck, but hundreds an hour, driving through the side streets of the neighborhood, where they don't belong," Kallos added. "How many more deaths will it take? We need to make sure Jodi McGrath is the last person this happens to."

DNAinfo.com DOE Fund Returns to 86th Street for Holidays Amid Complaints about Trash by Shaye Weaver

DOE Fund Returns to 86th Street for Holidays Amid Complaints about Trash

The DOE Fund is making a temporary return to East 86th Street to clean up the garbage that residents say chronically builds up along the sidewalk and flows out of trash bins. The DOE Fund, or the "men in blue," as they're called, began bagging up trash along East 86th Street on Dec. 19 and will finish their stint in the new year, according to Councilman Ben Kallos, who secured funding to pay for clean up on the busy street from Lexington to First Avenue.