Bill de Blasio

Bronx, Brooklyn, History, Policy

Image via Alisdare Hickson/flickr

After a violent weekend led by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, New York officials have announced plans to review and remove controversial public structures. Mayor de Blasio said on Wednesday the city will conduct a 90-day review of “all symbols of hate on city property,” by putting together a panel of experts and community leaders who will make recommendations for items to take down (h/t NY Post). On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo called upon the United States Army to reconsider its decision to keep the street names that honor Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, two Confederate leaders, at Fort Hamilton. Cuomo also announced the removal of the busts of Lee and Jackson from CUNY’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans in the Bronx.

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Policy, Transportation

nyc, traffic, congestion pricing

Photo via Lucas Klappas on Flickr

With New York City’s subway system currently in a state of emergency, public officials and advocates have been developing ways to pay for its urgent repairs. According to the New York Times, Governor Cuomo is planning to release a congestion pricing plan as a way to provide a dedicated source of funding for the transit system, as well as a way to reduce traffic on some of the country’s busiest streets. Ten years ago, Mayor Bloomberg pushed for a similar plan, charging drivers $8 to enter the most congested parts of Manhattan during peak commuting hours, but the legislation faced resistance and was never brought to a vote.

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Policy, Transportation

Image Public Domain

Continuing this summer’s subway saga, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan on Sunday that would tax the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers to fund the system’s much-need repairs and renovations. The proposal, which requires Albany’s approval, would also provide half-price MetroCards for low-income straphangers. As the New York Times reported, the “millionaires tax” would increase the tax rate of the city’s wealthiest residents to 4.4 percent from roughly 3.9 percent for married couples with incomes over $1 million and for individuals who make more than $500,000 annually.

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Policy, Transportation

Subway image via WikiCommons

On Tuesday the Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed an $800 million emergency rescue plan for the city’s beleaguered subway system. As 6sqft reported, the MTA board has been scrambling for new ways to pay for the plan amid increasing dissatisfaction with fare hikes, even as the agency says they’ll need to raise fares by roughly 4 percent every other year as part of their long-term financial plan. According to Crain’s, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke Thursday about a possible corporate sponsorship alternative: For $600,000, a donor can publicly “adopt” a station to help pay for amenities and improved cleaning; for $250,000, a “Partnership Council” membership would help raise money for improvements without the donor’s name attached to the station.

Who wouldn’t want to adopt a subway station?

Policy, Transportation

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed on Tuesday an $800 million emergency rescue plan to fix the city’s failing subway system, which includes hiring 2,700 workers, removing some seats and adding additional train cars. And on Wednesday the MTA board grappled with ways to pay for the plan, with some members calling for the agency to end its routine fare and toll hikes and find revenue through other means. However, according to the New York Times, the authority’s chief financial officer, Robert Foran, said the agency needed to continue to raise fares by roughly 4 percent every other year as part of their long-term financial plan.

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Astoria, Transportation

Considering the NYC Ferry has been so popular since launching on May 1st that it had to charter two extra boats to meet demand, it’s not surprising that the city-subsidized ferry hit the 1 million rider mark as of today, a month earlier than expected. Mayor de Blasio celebrated the milestone earlier today with a press conference in Long Island City, also announcing that the fourth ferry route, the Astoria line, will launch on Tuesday, August 29th.

More ferry news

Policy, Transportation

nyc subway, metrocard, nyc subway station

The ongoing public debate over whether the state or city controls the subway continued this weekend when Mayor de Blasio, riding a Manhattan-bound F train on Sunday, demanded Governor Cuomo “take responsibility” over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The mayor’s comments come after Cuomo and Joseph Lhota, the recently appointed chairman of the MTA, called on de Blasio and the city last week to contribute more money to the authority for repair work. As the New York Times reported, de Blasio said the MTA has a lot of money that they’re not spending, including the $2.5 billion contributed by the city in 2015, to the MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan.

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Policy, Transportation

governor cuomo, andrew cuomo, mta

Although New York City’s subway is currently in a state of emergency, no government official seems to want to take ownership of the failing transit system. Governor Cuomo and Joseph Lhota, the recently appointed chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, called on Mayor de Blasio and City Hall to contribute more money for repairing the subway system on Thursday, citing a law that puts the city in charge of the track system. As the New York Times reported, Lhota and the MTA are preparing an emergency plan to deal with the subway, expecting more funds to come from the city. The plan, which Cuomo ordered the MTA to create within 30 days, is set to be completed by the end of next week.

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affordable housing, Policy

Image via Pixbay

After more than three years into Mayor de Blasio’s $41 billion, 10-year affordable housing initiative, the city announced on Thursday that 24,293 affordable apartments and homes were secured in Fiscal Year 2017. Out of those units, 40 percent were for families earning less than $43,000 a year, with more than 4,014 homes for families of three earning less than $26,000 a year. According to city officials, the mayor’s Housing New York initiative aims to help an estimated half of a million people afford to live in New York City. Despite these promising numbers, the plan still fails New Yorkers with extremely low-income, by making their affordability benchmarks too high.

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City Living

rats

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared Wednesday that he wanted “more rat corpses” in a $32 million crusade to rid the city’s most plagued neighborhoods of the scurrying scourge. The New York Times reports that parts of lower Manhattan, the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx are the focus of the latest campaign that hopes to reduce the number of rats in those areas by 70 percent by the close of 2018. Among the battle’s newly-forged weapons are 336 $7,000 solar-powered rat-proof garbage bins and an EPA-approved–and apparently very effective–method of killing rats in their holes using dry ice.

Psst…hey…pizza over here

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