New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

NY1

NY1 Building Owners Could Soon Be Facing Deadline for Taking Down Scaffolding by Roma Torre

Building Owners Could Soon Be Facing Deadline for Taking Down Scaffolding

Sometimes it feels like once scaffolding goes up in the city, it stays up forever. But building owners could soon be facing a deadline for taking it down.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would put strict limits on how long scaffolding can be installed on city buildings.

The story was first reported by The New York Times.

The measure would give building owners up to six months to finish repairs so the scaffolding can be removed. 

If the repairs aren’t completed in time, the city would finish the work and charge the owner.

The city requires scaffolding to protect pedestrians from falling debris during repair work.

Supporters of the bill say the structures are ugly and hurt business. 

Critics say building owners don’t always have the money on hand to make expensive repairs.

NY1 NYers, Council Members Discuss Ways to Improve Buses in Light of Drop in Ridership by NY1 News

NYers, Council Members Discuss Ways to Improve Buses in Light of Drop in Ridership

"Why can't we just pay with our cellphones like you can in so many other places? Why can't you just tap and go as you get on every single entrance of the bus?" said City Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan.

 

NY1 Second Election Official Suspended Amid Investigations Into New York Primary Voter Purge by Grace Rauh

Second Election Official Suspended Amid Investigations Into New York Primary Voter Purge

Resolutions passed by the council Thursday advocate for no-excuse absentee voting, and would allow people to register with a party up to 10 days before an election.

"For me, voter empowerment and barriers to registration is something I've been working on for nearly a decade," City Councilor Ben Kallos of Manhattan said. "In fact, it's one of the issues that brought me into government."

Meanwhile, the board failed to accomplish what it set out to do at its meeting Thursday: certify the citywide results from last month's primary.

Instead, that was postponed because officials from the Manhattan office failed to show up for the official vote.

NY1 Annual Hope Count to Document Number of City's Homeless by Michael Scotto

Annual Hope Count to Document Number of City's Homeless

The Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services will provide support for meals, legal services, supportive housing and other programs benefiting the city's homeless.

Council Member Ben Kallos tells NY1 it's meant to help New Yorkers struggling to stay afloat. 

"These are actually services for anyone who's homeless, at risk, or even just hungry. And so, we have between the churches, synagogues, and non-profits we have meals, lunch and dinner, even sometimes breakfast. We also have food pantries," said Kallos. "One of the things that we're really focused on is trying to find additional beds so people have a choice." 

The taskforce is comprised of a handful of religious centers, non-profit groups, the Department of Homeless Services and Human Resources Administration.

NY1 Plans for Overhaul of Second Avenue on Upper East Side Unveiled at Community Board Meeting by NY1 News

Plans for Overhaul of Second Avenue on Upper East Side Unveiled at Community Board Meeting

Plans for a major overhaul of Second Avenue on the Upper East Side were revealed Wednesday at a community board meeting.

They include a protected bike lane, a parking lane, a bus lane and three travel lanes.

The redesigned street will look much like Second Avenue currently does above 105th street.

The proposed bike lane changes drew mixed opinions.

"I think it's great we're finally going to get our street back on Second Avenue. We're going to get more parking back on Second Avenue, and all the bikes going the wrong way on First Avenue will finally have a place to go," said City Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan.

NY1 Exclusive: First Look at Second Ave. Redesign Plans by Michael Scotto

Exclusive: First Look at Second Ave. Redesign Plans

City Councilman Ben Kallos says residents might be pleasantly surprised by the changes to Second Avenue.

"We haven't had parking on Second Avenue for quite some time, so having any parking back should be a good thing for drivers and riders alike. People will no longer be going the wrong way on the First Avenue bike lane because they will have a bike lane to go downtown," Kallos said.

NY1 City Councilman Makes Push for Relocated Car Tracker by NY1 News

City Councilman Makes Push for Relocated Car Tracker

When cars are moved because of things like parades or movie shoots, drivers often have no clue where their vehicles are, and now one city lawmaker is looking to change that.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would require the city Transportation Department to notify 311 and put information about relocated cars on its website.

Drivers would then be able to visit the website or call the city's helpline to find their cars.

That's the way it currently works when a car is towed to an impound lot for a normal parking restriction.

Kallos tells the Daily News he decided to introduce the bill after his disabled mother's car was towed several blocks from her home, and was covered in tickets once she found it.