Bill de Blasio

Policy, Transportation

Via Flickr

As the city’s for-hire vehicles (FHVs) rack up nearly 800,000 rides per day, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced on Wednesday the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s new plan to extend last year’s cap on for-hire vehicle licenses, the New York Post reports. A second cap will be placed on the length of time FHVs can let their cars cruise the city without passengers in the most congested part of Manhattan, below 96th Street. Last August, the city also suspended the issuance of new licenses. The new policies are expected to increase driver salaries by about 20 percent and make traffic in Manhattan below 60th Street six to 10 percent faster.

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Architecture, Green Design, Policy

Photo via Flickr cc

During a rally at Trump Tower yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio put the Trump Organization on blast as he promoted the city’s Green New Deal. Under the new climate change legislation, which requires large buildings in New York City to dramatically cut their greenhouse gas emissions, eight Trump-owned properties, referred to as “dirty, inefficient buildings,” would cause the Organization to owe roughly $2.1 million in fines annually beginning in 2030. The 27,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses that these buildings pump out each year is equal to 5,800 cars. After being passed by the New York City Council on April 18, the law is slated to go into effect on May 17.

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New Developments, Policy, Union Square

124 East 14th Street, union square, tech hub, GVHPS, preservationists

Rendering via NYCEDC

The city’s plans to create a tech hub at 124 East 14th Street near Union Square have been embroiled in a preservation battle since they were first announced. Community organizations like the Cooper Square Committee and Village Preservation have advocated for the past year that any rezoning should come with protections for the adjacent neighborhood, which is largely residential. As the Daily News reported, Village Preservation recently criticized the city for its lack of transparency in the development process, while claiming that it gave out a “sweetheart deal” based on political alliances and campaign donations.

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affordable housing, Midtown West, Policy

Via Wikimedia

A judge on Monday approved the city’s plan to open a homeless shelter near Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row neighborhood. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Alexander Tisch dismissed the lawsuit from the West 58th Street Coalition, a group of residents who claimed the shelter would have “an enormous impact on our densely populated, narrow, high-pedestrian-traffic street.” The ruling comes more than a year after Mayor Bill de Blasio first announced plans to open a shelter for 140 single men at the converted Park Savoy hotel, located next to One57, a supertall with a penthouse that sold for $100 million in 2015.

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Architecture, Green Design, Policy

hudson yards, nyc, west side

Via Flickr

New York City will prohibit the construction of new “inefficient”all-glass and steel skyscrapers, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. Dubbed by the mayor as the city’s version of the Green New Deal, the $14 billion plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030 as a way to fight climate change. Under the bill, developers would have to meet strict energy codes before getting a building permit from the city. During a press conference Monday, de Blasio said glass skyscrapers that do not meet strict performance guidelines “have no place in our city or on our Earth anymore.”

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Brooklyn, Transportation, Urban Design

Bjarke Ingels reveals new proposal for a park-covered BQE

By Alexandra Alexa, Thu, April 4, 2019

Bjarke Ingels Group, BQE

Rendering courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

The latest proposal to fix the crumbling BQE comes from Bjarke Ingels Group, who unveiled their plan to a crowd of 1,000 at a town hall meeting hosted by the Brooklyn Heights Association and advocacy group A Better Way last night. Dubbed the BQP—with the P standing for Park—the firm wants to build a new, six-lane highway that would be topped by a public park, saving the promenade and expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park by more than 10 acres. The proposal comes on the heels of Mayor de Blasio hitting the brakes on a $3 billion DOT plan and instead convening a “panel of experts” to determine the best path forward.

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Long Island City, Policy

amazon, long island city, amazon nyc

Image via NYCEDC

According to a new poll conducted by the Siena College Research Institute, nearly two-thirds of New York state registered voters think Amazon’s decision to cancel its plans for a second headquarters in Queens was bad for New York. Sixty-one percent of the people who were polled say they would approve of the deal—in which Amazon would receive up to $3 billion in state and city incentives and create up to 25,000 jobs—if the company were to reconsider. The results are clear: “While some may have celebrated Amazon’s announcement to pull the plug, the vast majority of New Yorkers of every stripe thought it was bad for the Empire State,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

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Battery Park City, Financial District, Green Design, Policy, South Street Seaport

Lower Manhattan Resiliency, de Blasio, climate change nyc

Via Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled on Thursday a $10 billion plan to extend the coastline of Lower Manhattan as much as 500 feet to protect from future floods. The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency project is the result of a study that looked at ways to build resilience in low-lying neighborhoods like the Financial District and South Street Seaport. The study found the only feasible measure for these areas would be extending the shoreline about two city blocks into the East River by adding a new piece of land at or above 20 feet from current sea level.

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Policy, Transportation

Image via Flickr

After facing criticism for the delayed and limited roll-out of Fair Fares, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Johnson have announced plans to expand the program. Starting this fall, eligible New Yorkers in NYCHA, enrolled students at CUNY, and military veterans below the poverty line will have access to the program, which provides half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers. By January 2020, open enrollment will expand to all New Yorkers at or below the federal poverty line (a household income of $25,750 for a family of four). The program has also been criticized for its reversal on reduced fares for single trips, but Monday’s announcement came with the good news that a pay-per-ride option will be available by mid-March.

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affordable housing, East New York, Policy

east new york, basement conversion, bill de blasio

Via Flickr

Certain basement apartments in East New York will be transformed into legal and affordable homes thanks to a new law signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday. The legislation creates a three-year pilot program that helps homeowners renovate cellar and basement units to meet the new code standards, which include minimum ceiling heights, window sizes, and proper safety requirements. “There are thousands of basement apartments in our City, but too many are illegal and unsafe,” de Blasio said in a statement. “This program will help New Yorkers secure safe, affordable homes and give homeowners a new legal source of income.”

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