Kathy Hochul

affordable housing, Green Design, Policy

In 2021, Hochul toured several homes in the East Elmhurst section of Queens that flooded from torrential rains brought on by Hurricane Ida. Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor on Flickr

In addition to electing Gov. Kathy Hochul, voters in New York on Tuesday approved four new ballot measures that focus on fighting climate change and improving racial equity. Nearly 70 percent of voters said yes to the landmark “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act,” which gives the state permission to borrow $4.2 billion for funding projects that will protect New Yorkers from future extreme weather due to climate change. It’s the largest initiative for environmental protection in New York State history.

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Construction Update, Design, Midtown West, Transportation

MTA selects design team for Penn Station renovation

By Aaron Ginsburg, Thu, September 22, 2022

Photo by Danazar on Wikimedia

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has selected a group of architects and engineers for the $7 billion redesign of Penn Station, with the agency’s board voting to approve the contract on Wednesday. The agency tapped FXCollaborative Architects and WSP USA to bring their Penn Station Master Plan to life, with further assistance from London-based John McAslan + Partners as collaborative architects. According to Gov. Kathy Hochul, work will begin “in the coming months.”

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Policy, Transportation

MTA to install security cameras in every subway car

By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, September 20, 2022

Photo courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

Two security cameras will be installed in every subway car in New York City, under a new initiative announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul and the MTA on Tuesday. The $5.5 million project, paid in part by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, includes the installation of nearly 13,000 cameras on 6,355 train cars by 2025. The enhanced security measure is an expansion of a pilot program that launched this summer following a mass shooting on the subway in Brooklyn in April. There are surveillance cameras in the more than 470 subway stations across the city, but none in cars before the program.

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Construction Update, Queens, Transportation

All renderings courtesy of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Construction officially kicked off on Thursday on John F. Kennedy International Airport’s new 2.4 million-square-foot terminal, set to be the largest at the Queens airport. In December, Gov. Kathy Hochul first unveiled plans for the state-of-the-art Terminal One, which is estimated to cost $9.5 billion, up from the projected cost of $7.4 billion in 2019.

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Policy, Transportation

New York lifts mask mandate on public transit

By Aaron Ginsburg, Wed, September 7, 2022

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr

Masks are no longer required on public transportation in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday. During a press conference in Harlem, the governor said masks are now optional for riders traveling on New York City’s subways and buses, as well as MetroNorth and Long Island Rail Road. The state’s mandate has been in place since April 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Art, Williamsburg

All renderings courtesy of NY State Parks on Flickr

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday revealed the design of a new gateway to Williamsburg’s Marsha P. Johnson State Park. Located at the Kent Avenue and North Eighth Street entrance, the ornamental entrance is meant to “communicate Marsha P. Johnson’s spirit and legacy” while complementing the park and surrounding neighborhood. The design of the gateway will continue through the fall of 2022 and construction is expected next year.

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Harlem, History, Museums

Image of the Schomburg Center via Wiki Commons

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced the state will commit $8 million for upgrades to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The investment will go toward the refurbishment of the building’s facade, replacement of the roof and windows, and the installation of much-needed safety and energy-efficient features. The state’s announcement comes during Harlem Week, a weeklong celebration of the neighborhood’s history and culture.

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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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Midtown West, Policy

Photo by Danazar on Wikimedia

Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday that they have reached an agreement on who will pick up the tab for the planned reconstruction and expansion of Penn Station and the redevelopment of the surrounding area. The financial agreement between city and state assures that a consistent level of property tax revenue is maintained and underscores a commitment to not raising taxes or transit fares by using funds from privately financed development to help pay for the project.

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Policy

Image courtesy of Gerardo Romo/NYC Council Media Unit on Flickr

As New York City faces a sixth Covid wave, Mayor Eric Adams is expanding the city’s network of at-home test distribution sites. Starting Wednesday, New Yorkers will be able to pick up a free rapid Covid test from 57 NYC Parks locations, including parks, pools, nature centers, and recreation centers. With these new NYC Parks distribution sites, the city’s at-home test distribution program includes 1,220 sites.

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