Policy

Policy, Restaurants

Image courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

The city has razed and removed two dozen abanonded dining sheds this week, under a new program announced by Mayor Eric Adams. The mayor on Thursday introduced a multi-agency initiative that will highlight open and active outdoor dining sheds in the city’s Open Restaurants program and remove neglected structures of shuttered restaurants. The city launched the Open Restaurants program in 2020 to keep businesses open during the pandemic, ultimately saving 100,000 jobs, according to Adams. While the majority of restaurants with outdoor dining follow the guidelines, the abandoned sheds have become eyesores.

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affordable housing, Policy

Rendering of 40 Quay Street; Image: FXCollaborative courtesy of MTA.

A bill requiring the city to sell public land to non-profit developers ahead of for-profit organizations was introduced in the City Council last week. Sponsored by Council Member Lincoln Restler, the legislation prioritizes the selection of community land trusts (CLT), community development corporations, or other non-profit groups during the bidding process for city-owned land, which the supporters say will ensure truly affordable housing will be built on the site.

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affordable housing, Policy

Image courtesy of mari small on Unsplash

Legislation prohibiting landlords from denying tenants housing based on criminal history will be introduced in the New York City Council on Thursday. The “Fair Chance for Housing” bill, sponsored by Council Member Keith Powers, bans “landlords, owners, agents, employees, and real estate brokers” from obtaining arrest or criminal record information at any point in the housing process.

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Manhattan, Policy, Transportation

Photo courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

MTA officials on Wednesday released the highly-anticipated environmental assessment of the Central Business District (CBD) Tolling Program, known as congestion pricing. The analysis says that the program could cut traffic congestion in Manhattan’s busiest areas by nearly 20 percent while raising $1 billion a year to fund mass transit improvements. Under the proposal, the plan could cost drivers who enter the borough south of 60th Street anywhere between $5 and $23, depending on the time of day and type of vehicle.

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Policy, Queens

Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

After previous failed attempts at an effective compost program in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced a new “no frills” system aimed at making it easy and less costly for New Yorkers to dispose of food and yard waste. Under the new program, the city’s Department of Sanitation will collect compost and organic waste from every residential building in Queens starting on October 3. New Yorkers can put any food waste, yard waste, and food-soiled paper in a Sanitation compost bin to be picked up weekly. According to the mayor, the program, which will be available to 2.2 million New Yorkers, is the largest curbside composting program in the country.

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New Jersey, Policy, Transportation

Photo of Newark Penn Station by King of Hearts on Wikimedia

Newark Penn Station is set to undergo a major renovation and NJ Transit wants feedback from riders who travel through the historic terminal. The transit agency will host three virtual public meetings about the $191 million restoration, with the first scheduled for August 9. First introduced by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2020, the project includes immediate aesthetic improvements and refurbishment of historic elements, as well as longer-term upgrades to the overall customer experience.

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Construction Update, Midtown East, Policy, Transportation

Photo courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

Let there be light! The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday unveiled the first section of new 18-foot ceilings at Penn Station’s Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) concourse. Installed by Skanska/AECOM, the new soaring ceilings consist of lighted panels supported by an inventive structural framing system that allowed work crews to remove “head knockers,” aging structural beams that limited the height of passageways within Penn Station, earlier this year.

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Green Design, Policy

New York will invest $70M to ‘decarbonize’ NYCHA

By Aaron Ginsburg, Wed, August 3, 2022

Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement to install 30,000 new heat pumps at NYCHA buildings at the Woodside Houses in Queens; Photo courtesy of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office on Flickr

A new investment by the state aims to make New York City public housing more environmentally friendly and effective for tenants. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced an initial investment of $70 million in a clean energy initiative to install 30,000 new heat pumps, considered more eco-friendly than traditional units, at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings across the city. The investment is part of the state’s Clean Heat for All Challenge, which launched in 2021 to spur ideas on how to revamp the way NYCHA units are heated and cooled.

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Policy, Transportation

NYC speed cameras now operate 24/7

By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, August 2, 2022

Image courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

As of Monday, New York City’s system of 2,000 speed cameras is now operating 24 hours a day for the first time. Previously the cameras were authorized by the state to operate only on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., missing “59 percent of traffic fatalities” that occurred when the cameras were inactive, according to Mayor Eric Adams’ office. The activation of the round-the-clock cameras aims to reduce speeding and prevent dangerous driving. Drivers going more than 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will be fined $50.

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Policy

Image courtesy of Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul on Flickr

New York City officials declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Saturday, a move that will open up more resources to fight the spread of the disease. Mayor Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan called New York City the “epicenter” of the outbreak, with the total cases reaching more than 1,400 as of August 1, roughly 25 percent of cases reported nationally, according to the city’s health department. Gov. Kathy Hochul this weekend also issued an executive order declaring a state disaster emergency in response to the monkeypox outbreak, which makes more public health workers eligible to administer monkeypox vaccines and requires providers to send vaccine data to the state.

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