New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Stephen Miller

Village Voice NYC Delivery Cyclists Speak Out About The Toughest Job On Two Wheels by Stephen Miller

NYC Delivery Cyclists Speak Out About The Toughest Job On Two Wheels

Elected officials have joined the war against e-bikes: in December, East Side councilmen Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos issued a “report card” grading restaurants. Establishments that used e-bikes for delivery automatically received failing grades. Kallos told the Voice that he would like to see doormen refuse entry to delivery workers using e-bikes.

Village Voice A Brief History of NYC’s Weirdest Mode of Transit, the Roosevelt Island Tram by Stephen Miller

A Brief History of NYC’s Weirdest Mode of Transit, the Roosevelt Island Tram

Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, said his grandfather used the vehicular elevator while serving as a doctor at Coler-Goldwater Hospital. Kallos first remembers taking the tram with elementary school classmates in the 1980s. “We had a birthday party on Roosevelt Island, and that’s the first time I remember going there,” he said. “At the time, the only way you were going to get there was on the tram.”

The tram served as an '80s backdrop not only for Kallos’s childhood memories, but also for high-flying scenes in the cheesy 1981 Sylvester Stallone thriller Nighthawks, where Sly’s character pilots a helicopter in a bid to rescue hostages held in one of the tram cabins.

Finally, the subway opened in 1989. The next year, the city came to an interim agreement with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, the state authority that manages the island, to continue operating the tram, which remained popular.

StreetsBlog DOT: NYC to Install Record Number of Protected Bike Lanes in 2015 by Stephen Miller

DOT: NYC to Install Record Number of Protected Bike Lanes in 2015

Council Members Ben Kallos and Helen Rosenthal were also at today’s event. Sensing the anti-bike sentiment from local seniors, the Upper East and Upper West Side council members bragged about how their local precincts were cracking down on cyclists.

StreetsBlog Citi Bike Arrives on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side by Stephen Miller

Citi Bike Arrives on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side

While the latest expansion is exciting, the station density on the Upper East and Upper West sides is lower than both the existing Citi Bike service area and DOT’s own density targets. This makes bike-share less convenient, potentially hampering ridership in two of the city’s densest neighborhoods. At this morning’s event, Daily News transit reporter Dan Rivoli asked about station density, and Kallos said he would welcome additional bike-share stations in the neighborhood.

StreetsBlog These Are the Streets Projects Vying for Your Vote in Participatory Budgeting by Stephen Miller

These Are the Streets Projects Vying for Your Vote in Participatory Budgeting
  • District 5 (Ben Kallos): Bus bulbs planned for the 86th Street Select Bus Service route; irrigation on the East River Greenway; additional and improved tree beds on the East River Greenway.

StreetsBlog Ben Kallos Seeks to Make NYPD Traffic Summons Data Open and Mappable by Stephen Miller

Ben Kallos Seeks to Make NYPD Traffic Summons Data Open and Mappable

As part of a raft of bills on government data and transparency, Council Member Ben Kallos has introduced legislation that would require the city to release and map data about where NYPD issues moving violations, among other things. The bill would open up new traffic enforcement information to the public...

StreetsBlog Council Members Rally With StreetsPAC (and Bicycles) on City Hall Steps by Stephen Miller

Council Members Rally With StreetsPAC (and Bicycles) on City Hall Steps

Kallos said he is working with Bike New York to make Roosevelt Island a model bike-friendly community and urged DOT to install better bike lanes on crosstown streets. He is hosting a forum on beautifying pedestrian islands along the First Avenue bike lane tonight, as well as a forum in June focused on working with restaurants and delivery cyclists. He also urged Streetsblog readers to fill out a survey on his website to help identify livable streets needs in his district.