Showing posts with label Mayor de Blasio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mayor de Blasio. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Mayor extends curfew to 8 tonight

The curfew will be in place through Sunday for now.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Citywide curfew goes into effect tonight at 11

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Here then, the Lower East Side Quality of Life Improvement Plan

[The Mayor at Max Fish via @NYCMayorsOffice]

The city yesterday unveiled a new etiquette campaign aimed to douse the flames of the hellish nightlife inferno that engulfs the Lower East Side on weekends.

Here's the release on the pilot program via the city:

The Lower East Side Quality of Life Improvement Plan is a multiagency plan to improve quality of life for New Yorkers living in one of the city’s densest nightlife districts. The plan is focused on 6 blocks of Orchard and Ludlow Streets between Houston and Delancey on the Lower East Side.

Improvements will reduce traffic and pedestrian congestion on the street and make garbage sweeping routes more effective. Nightlife patrons will also see a new etiquette campaign encouraging them to be more respectful aware of their surroundings.

Residents and businesses often complain of late-night horn honking and loud voices as traffic stops due to double-parked cars dropping off and collecting passengers on narrow streets.

The plan addresses residents' and businesses’ concerns and make their neighborhood more livable, and was designed with the support and input of the community and businesses and has the buy-in of residents, business owners, workers, and local officials.

The components of this plan include:

New parking regulations to ease traffic congestion, reduce noise

• DOT implementing “No Standing” rules overnight: from midnight to 6am on the west sides of Ludlow and Orchard streets, and 7 pm to 7 am on the east sides, seven days a week.
• Removing parked cars overnight eases congestion, honking and other noise.

Sanitation sweeper schedule coordinated with bar closing times for greater effectiveness

• Street sweepers will now operate between 3 am and 6 am, to better capture all the litter dropped by late-night patrons of bars and restaurants.
• The old schedule from midnight to 3 am was less efficient, because many streets were swept before closing time, leaving hours for patrons to drop litter.

Increased enforcement of for-hire vehicles

• TLC will increase enforcement patrols to clamp down on unlicensed for-hire vehicles double parking and making unauthorized pickups.
• A 10-person squad of TLC officers and supervisors will conduct random patrols between 11pm and 3am at least once every Friday and Saturday night.

"Night Owl" etiquette campaign urging patrons to be more considerate

• Office of Nightlife [Night Mayor!] and NYPD creating and distributing signs to bars and clubs with tips for theft prevention and other helpful tips.

Here are two of the "Night Owl" signs that will appear on LinkNYC kiosks ...

"The world loves New York nightlife, but we also have to take care of the New Yorkers who live where others play," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. "We are creating cleaner, quieter streets to improve quality of life while ensuring bars, restaurants and clubs can thrive."

You can watch a recap of the press conference here...

So that is the plan... now the reaction...

Updated 9 a.m.

Speaking of reaction...

Friday, July 26, 2019

Report: Mayor unleashes the 'Green Wave Bicycle Plan' to address increase in cycling fatalities, make streets safer

To address the rising death toll of cyclists on city streets this year (17 so far vs. 10 all of last year), Mayor de Blasio yesterday released details on a five-year, $58.4 million plan that aims to combine design, enforcement, legislation, policy and education to make the city safer for all street users.

Here's Gothamist with the key details:

Dubbed the "Green Wave Bicycle Plan," the 24-page blueprint calls for the addition of 30 miles of new protected bike lanes each year, up from the current rate of about 20. The Department of Transportation will also begin implementing traffic calming treatments at 50 of the city's most dangerous intersections, while the NYPD's three-week campaign targeting dangerous drivers will be extended indefinitely.

The plan includes expanded NYPD enforcement:

• Under the plan, the NYPD will ramp up enforcement at the 100 most crash-prone intersections and target enforcement on highest risk activities: speeding, failing to yield, blocking bike lanes, oversized trucks/trucks off route.
• Maintain continuous citywide implementation of “Operation Bicycle Safe Passage” initiative – extending elevated enforcement of blocked bike lanes and hazardous driving violations. Since implementation of Operation Bicycle Safe Passage, NYPD has doubled enforcement of cars parked in bicycle lanes and issued more than 8,600 summons in the first three weeks of July.
• Specialized units and precincts will increase enforcement against oversized and off-route trucks.
• The NYPD also announced that supervisors would respond to collision sites to determine if the right-of-way laws should be applied — and that it would also discontinue its practice of ticketing cyclists at the site of fatal cyclist crashes.
• NYPD supports new and emerging technology for automated enforcement.

The plan doesn't mention if they'll be an educational component to curb the NYPD's tradition of blaming the victim for his or her own death on the streets, as we saw in the case of Kelly Hurley on First Avenue at Ninth Street in 2017. A detective came to the conclusion that she didn't stop in time and "slipped" under a truck — a truck failing to yield and making an illegal left turn across four lanes of traffic.

You can find plenty more reaction and analysis of "Green Wave" over at Streetsblog — here and here, for starters.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Report: Developer Gregg Singer says Mayor de Blasio lied about city's P.S. 64 outreach

During a recent media roundtable at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Mayor de Blasio said that Gregg Singer, who owns the former P.S. 64 on Ninth Street, "has been exceedingly uncooperative" about selling the building back to the city, as The Villager reported.

However, Singer told Patch that he hasn't heard from anyone at the mayor's office about the property he bought in a city auction in 1998.

Some background: During a town hall forum at P.S. 188 last October, de Blasio said that the Giuliani administration should not have auctioned off the property, and that he would work to "right the wrongs of the past," as DNAifno reported.

"For the administration to put that building into private hands failed miserably, and we’ve seen the negative affect that that has had on the community. So I'm announcing tonight the city's interest in re-acquiring that building," de Blasio said, eliciting cheers from the audience.

And during the media roundtable on Aug. 23, de Blasio said the following, as reported by The Villager:

“We’ve tried to have a productive conversation about purchase,” he said. “We’ve gotten nowhere so far. We’re not giving up. We’re working very closely with the councilmember, Carlina Rivera. I’m very frustrated with that owner.”

Eminent domain, though it may not be an immediate option, is “certainly something I want to know more about, but I had hoped the best solution here would be a direct purchase,” de Blasio explained. “That’s not off the table. It’s just we’re just not getting any cooperation so far.”

And as Patch reported last Friday afternoon:

"When I read the report that Mayor de Blasio told the media that I had been 'exceedingly uncooperative,' I was astonished at the brazenness of the mayor's lie," Singer told Patch.

"I know that politicians are not known for their strict adherence to the truth, but when someone like the mayor can claim to be frustrated because I have been uncooperative when I have not received a single email or phone call from him or anyone in his office is simply unbelievable."

Singer challenged the mayor's office to produce email and phone logs that the city has reached out to him.

Singer has said that he has no intention of selling the building, which he bought for $3.15 million. He wants to turn the landmarked property into a dorm called University Square, which continues in a holding pattern while the DOB maintains a Stop Work Order on the building.

In years past several local elected officials, community activists and residents have asked for the return of the building at 605 E. Ninth St. Avenue B and Avenue C for community use. The building became a community center after the school left in 1977. The group was evicted when Singer took over as the landlord.

Previously on Ev Grieve:
The Times explores the past, present and future of the former P.S. 64

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Preservationists: City schedules next public hearing on tech hub without any public notice

[Tech hub endering via RAL Development]

The proposed tech hub at the site of the now-former PC Richard complex on 14th Street at Irving Place is making its way through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Back on Friday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office released her recommendation (see more on that below).

The application now moves to the City Planning Commission before a deciding vote by City Council later this year.

As previously reported, the 21-story building would house a digital skills training center, flex-office space for startups, market-rate office space and a food hall, among other things.

To make this happen, the site/area needs to be upzoned. This zoning change is of particular concern to some area residents and preservationists, who have stressed that the fabric of the neighborhood could be lost with a large number of out-of-context new developments south of Union Square along Broadway, University Place and Fourth Avenue.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has been leading the efforts behind a rezoning of the area to enforce some height restrictions and affordable housing requirements.

Now GVSHP officials have just learned that the city scheduled the next public hearing for tomorrow afternoon — without any actual public notice.

Here's an email via the GVSHP:

Last Friday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer released her recommendation on the proposed 14th Street Tech Hub, as part of the required public approval process. Brewer initially pledged not to include the need for neighborhood protections to accompany Tech Hub as part of her recommendation, as GVSHP and many others have called for, calling them “unrelated.”

However, GVSHP worked hard to persuade the Borough President that the Tech Hub without neighborhood protections would accelerate rampant overdevelopment in the University Place, Broadway, and 3rd and 4th Avenue corridors, as did thousands of neighborhood residents who wrote or called her. Following this, Brewer issued her recommendation (read the PDF here) including mention of the potential impacts upon the adjacent Greenwich Village and East Village neighborhoods and the need for neighborhood protections, as GVSHP has proposed and called for.

Outrageously, directly following this, the City scheduled the sole City Planning Commission public hearing on this matter for this Wednesday, May 9 with virtually no public notification (as of this morning, the city’s own Land Use Tracking System had still not shown that the City Planning Commission hearing had even been scheduled). Adding insult to injury, this item is scheduled as the LAST item on a long agenda for the day, making it virtually impossible to say how late in the day this item will be heard.


You can read more here.

In late February, CB3 approved a land use application to create the tech hub. In doing so, CB3 also included an amendment in their resolution calling for zoning protection.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Behold Civic Hall, the high-tech future of Union Square — and NYC

Speaking out against a 'Silicon Alley' in this neighborhood

P.C. Richard puts up the moving signs on 14th Street; more Tech Hub debate to come

Report: CB3 OKs proposal for Union Square tech hub; calls for zoning protections

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Informational meeting Tuesday for HDFC homeowners

HDFC homeowners in the neighborhood are holding an informational session on Tuesday night from 7-9 at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. The above flyer has all the details.

Here's a recap from an EVG reader and co-op resident about what's happening from an earlier post:

This new proposed Regulatory Agreement is overreaching and would result in a loss of autonomy and decision-making abilities that benefit HDFC buildings, as well as costing individual shareholders hard-earned equity.

The new rules include a 30 percent flip tax on all units when they sell; the requirement of hiring outside managers and monitors at our expense; a ban on owning other residential property within a 100-mile radius of New York City; and more draconian clauses. Community meetings to discuss the agreement have been contentious and hostile, and so far not one HDFC in the entire city has publicly supported the plan. Very few HDFCs in the city need financial help and we strongly oppose a "one size fits all" regulatory agreement that will cost us money, resources, and most important, value in our home equity.

For more background, you may visit the HDFC Coalition website here ... and the East Village/Lower East Side HDFC Coalition website here.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Report: Mayor wants to penalize landlords for keeping storefronts vacant

[DF Mavens on 2nd Avenue has been tenant-free since January 2016]

From today's Post:

As a growing number of vacant storefronts dot the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said he wants to penalize landlords who leave the shopfronts sitting empty.

“I am very interested in fighting for a vacancy fee or a vacancy tax that would penalize landlords who leave their storefronts vacant for long periods of time in neighborhoods because they are looking for some top-dollar rent but they blight neighborhoods by doing it,” he said on WNYC. “That is something we could get done through Albany.”


The borough’s overall vacancy rates doubled from 2.1 percent to 4.2 percent between 2012 and 2017, according to a City Council report published in December. The report blamed landlords charging skyrocketing rents right as brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling with growing online competition.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Reminders: CB3 committees to hear more about the Union Square tech hub tonight

[Rendering via RAL Development]

As noted back on Jan. 25, CB3's Joint Economic Development Committee and Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee will hear more about the Mayor's proposed 20-story tech hub on 14th Street during its meeting tonight. (It takes place at 6:30 at the Henry Street Settlement, Youth Services Gymnasium, 301 Henry St.)

Mayor de Blasio is proposing to turning the city-owned P.C. Richard site on 14th Street at Irving Place into a "workforce development and digital skills training center," among other things.

Here's more about the proposed 240,000 square-foot facility via Crain's:

Civic Hall, a nonprofit that promotes collaboration to solve civic problems with technology, would operate six floors of the building. Half the space would be used for co-working and meetings for the city’s philanthropy, business and tech sectors. The other half is slated to be occupied by five organizations offering tech training. General Assembly, for example, hosts intense coding courses. Per Scholas, a national nonprofit, offers its free tech training to underserved populations that, on average, make less than $20,000 per year before enrolling in and roughly double that income after graduating.

To make this happen, the site/area needs to be upzoned. This zoning change is of particular concern to some area residents and preservationists, who have stressed that the fabric of the neighborhood could be lost with a rash of new developments south of Union Square along Broadway, University Place and Fourth Avenue. (The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has been leading the efforts behind a rezoning of the area to enforce some height restrictions and affordable housing requirements. The group makes their case here.)

On Jan. 29, the Economic Development Corporation, the city agency overseeing the hub's development, presented the proposal to the Planning Commission, the first step in the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), as Curbed reported.

The tech-hub project will eventually need Planning Commission and City Council approval. The public-review process is expected to take about around seven months. Crain's lays out here why the hub faces "a thorny approval process."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Behold Civic Hall, the high-tech future of Union Square — and NYC

Speaking out against a 'Silicon Alley' in this neighborhood

P.C. Richard puts up the moving signs on 14th Street; more Tech Hub debate to come

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A look at some of the Night Mayor candidates

As you may recall from September, Mayor de Blasio announced the formation of the city's Office of Nightlife, where a soon-to-be-appointed Night Mayor will reign.

A quickie recap via DNAnfo:

The new appointee will field complaints and mediate disputes between nightlife establishments and city and state agencies, as well as residents with complaints and concerns.

The administration is in the process of interviewing candidates for the job, which is expected to be filled by the end of the year.

Brooklyn City Councilmember Rafael Espinal sponsored the legislation.

The Observer has more on the search in an article posted yesterday:

Espinal said hundreds of people have applied for the job, including from community boards, the artist community, industry folks and business owners as well as artists who are flame throwers, dancers and musicians. He said he would prefer someone from outside city agencies and the administration.

He noted that the city has seen a 20 percent decrease in the number of music venues over the last 15 years and that that stems from city enforcement and displacement because of real estate.

The Observer looks at a few of the Night Mayor candidates who have emerged.

Candidates include Bronx native Gerard McNamee, the former director of operations for East Village nightclub and concert venue Webster Hall before it was sold to Brooklyn Sports Entertainment in April; Brooklyn resident Brendan Sullivan, a DJ, producer and author; and Matthew Demar, who rapped in the 1990s under the moniker “Kid Panic” and a supporter of President Trump.

Sullivan, 35, who grew up in Connecticut, said his experience includes serving as bartender and head bartender at The Modern at the Museum of Modern Art and deejaying at the Beauty Bar in the East Village for five years. He also worked at Pianos NYC and deejayed at St. Jerome’s, where he met Lady GaGa and eventually became her DJ, touring with her and starring in her first music video.

Sullivan reportedly has already had several interviews with the city.


Demar, 49, who grew up in Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island, has been in the nightclub and restaurant business for more than 30 years. He worked for his first nightclub, the Roxy — which was later renamed 1018 — at the age of 13 hosting high school teen nights, managed his first nightclub at 17 and brought one of the first foam machines to the city from Mexico. He ran clubs such as Coco’s and Mirage Glow.

In the 1990s, he toured the country with Boyz II Men, Big Daddy Kane and MC Lyte. He also developed a nightclub in Utica and owned the Hollyrock nightclubs in Herkimer, Utica and Sylvan Beach.

“I’m the only person — unless I’m wrong — but I think I’m really one of the only people that has entertainment, that has nightclub and hotel experience,” he said.

Demar said that he has not heard from the city. McNamee did not respond to a request for comment from the Observer.

And lastly...

The mayor’s office said many people have applied for the position but that neither the names of candidates nor the number of applicants are public information yet and that the salary likely will be $130,000. Eligibility requirements include at least five years of experience working closely with the nightlife or music industry, with city government regulations governing the nighttime economy or health and public safety and understanding city politics and government structure.

Previously on EV Grieve:
ICYMI — Mayor forms Office of Nightlife (38 comments)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Mayor vows to crack down on e-bikes

Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday that the city will crack down on businesses who allow their employees to use e-bikes for deliveries.

Here's part of the official announcement:

“E-bikes are illegal to operate in New York City and the NYPD is stepping up enforcement,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Those at the top of the food chain need to be held accountable. That’s why instead of merely targeting riders, we’re going after businesses that look the other way and leave their workers to shoulder the fine.”

E-bikes are illegal to operate on New York City streets. According to the City Administrative Code, an “e-bike” constitutes a “motorized scooter” and “no person shall operate a motorized scooter in the City of New York.” So far this year, the NYPD has seized 923 e-bikes compared to the 341 it confiscated this time last year, an increase of more than 170 percent. Nearly 1,800 civil and moving summonses have been issued to e-bike operators year-to-date.

Businesses that enable e-bike use and turn a blind eye to employees who operate them are also at fault. City law states that “a business using a bicycle for commercial purposes shall not possess any motorized scooter and shall not permit any person to operate a motorized scooter on behalf of such business.”

Beginning in 2018, the NYPD will issue a new department directive and provide officers with the necessary forms and training to execute civil enforcement against businesses much more efficiently by allowing officers to issue civil summonses to businesses through the mail. While the NYPD will continue confiscating e-bikes and issuing summonses to riders — particularly those riding in a hazardous manner — officers will step up enforcement activity against businesses that too often put their employees in a position to break the law.

Currently, riders caught operating an e-bike are subject to a civil summons, confiscation and fines of up to $500. Beginning next year, businesses that utilize e-bikes or allow employees to operate them will receive a civil summons and a $100 fine for a first offenses and a $200 fine for each subsequent offense.

Jay Cai, the owner of Banhmigos restaurant in Brooklyn, told The Wall Street Journal that e-bikes are valuable "because of the increased and heavy traffic in New York and lack of parking spots." He said on average he gets 25 delivery orders an hour for a profit of $30,000 a month. Without an e-bike, he claimed that would drop by 50 percent.

Customers would be upset if they had to wait longer for deliveries, and “they’re not going to order again,” Mr. Cai said. “We’re not going to survive.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

[Updated] During Town Hall, Mayor announces city's interest in re-acquiring former P.S. 64

Mayor de Blasio and outgoing City Councilmember Rosie Mendez co-hosted a Town Hall last night at P.S. 188, The Island School, on East Houston Street.

EVG regular Peter Brownscombe shared these photos and this one item of particular interest:

During the proceedings, de Blasio said that a mistake had been made in the past and his administration would take steps to reacquire the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C.

The Lo-Down was there, and here is the full P.S. 64 quote:

…the decision made a long time ago by the Giuliani administration was a mistake. For the Giuliani administration to put that building into private hands failed miserably, and we’ve seen the negative effect that has had on the community. So I’m announcing tonight, the city’s interest in re-acquiring that building. We are ready to right the wrongs of the past and will work with Council member Mendez and her successor (almost certainly Carlina Rivera) to get that done.

The mayor did not expound on this.

Some background on this ongoing story. Developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property from the city in 1998, had reportedly been pushing de Blasio's administration to remove a stop-work order that has been in place since 2015.

According to public records, Singer is continuing to retain lobbyist Jim Capalino, a former de Blasio ally, for the remainder of 2017.

Among Capalino's lobbying targets: the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development and the Office of the First Deputy Mayor. Capalino, according to a New York Daily News story in March 2016, steered $50,000 to de Blasio after pushing the city to lift the deed restriction at the Rivington House. (The mayor said in August 2016 that he has cut off contact with the lobbyist in the wake of multiple investigations into his administration, per Politico.)

It was previously reported that Singer has a signed lease with Adelphi University, with hopes of having students move in by the fall of 2018. That move-in no longer seems plausible given the current state of the building.

Preservationist groups and other residents have been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return of the landmarked building to use as a cultural and community center.

Updated 6:30 p.m.

DNAinfo has a comment from Singer's spokesperson.

...Singer has no intention of selling the building, according to his spokeswoman, who said the property is appraised at $60 million and that the owner has already poured $80 million into upkeep.

"Singer has absolutely no plans to give the 'building' back," spokeswoman Nicole Epstein wrote in an email. "The city is trying to be a bully here."

... and you can watch the full 3-hour Town Hall here...

Previously on EV Grieve:
'Misinformation' cited as DOB issues Stop Work Order at the former PS 64; community meeting set for Sunday afternoon

At the rally for the former PS 64 today at City Hall

Friday, October 6, 2017

Mayor and Mendez team up for Town Hall meeting next Thursday (Oct. 12)

Mayor de Blasio's Town Hall Tour 2017 comes to Council District 2 next Thursday (Oct. 12).

The Mayor is hosting the Q-and-A session in collaboration with District 2 City Council Member Rosie Mendez at PS 188, 442 E. Houston St. (at Baruch Drive). The Town Halling starts at 7 p.m.

If you want to attend, then you need to RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday (the 10th). You can RSVP right here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

ICYMI — Mayor forms Office of Nightlife

In case you didn't see this news from Tuesday night... when Mayor de Blasio arrived at House of Yes in Bushwick to announce the formation of the city's Office of Nightlife, where a soon-to-be-appointed Night Mayor will reign.

Per DNAnfo:

The new appointee will field complaints and mediate disputes between nightlife establishments and city and state agencies, as well as residents with complaints and concerns.

"[Nightlife] is part of the magic of New York City," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, flanked by former Ramones drummer Marky Ramone and jazz double-bassist Ron Carter, at the Wyckoff Avenue venue. "Where the culture happens is essential. Without the venues, the culture simply can't exist."

The administration is in the process of interviewing candidates for the job, which is expected to be filled by the end of the year.

The Office of Nightlife will have an estimated annual budget of $407,000, including $37,000 for office space, supplies and computers, as well as $370,000 to pay the Night Mayor and an assistant director of the office, according to a financial impact statement.

"The office will be led by who someone who will undoubtedly be more popular than me and will wield tremendous power," de Blasio said.

As those de Blasio fans at the Post noted:

Despite the presence of community boards and the city’s own Department of Small Business Services, the mayor believes another layer of government is needed to deal with quality-of-life issues and to help keep struggling clubs from going under.

Gothamist has more on the creation of this Office here.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A campaign stop for Mayor de Blasio in Tompkins Square Park

Mayor de Blasio stopped by Tompkins Square Park today as part of a campaign stop ... where he was joined by Carlina Rivera, who is running for City Council in District 2...

The NYC primary election is Tuesday. The Lo-Down has a voter's guide on all the candidates running for City Council in districts 1 and 2 here. As for the mayoral race, The Villager endorsed Sal Albanese, who emerged as de Blasio’s most serious opponent.

Photos by Derek Berg