Public Transit and Livable Streets

A more robust, efficient and fully-funded public transportation system is key to sustainable growth for our community, and for the city and region as a whole. At the same time, there are simple things we can do to make our city's streets safe for pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike. With more frequent subway and bus service, with safer and more better-planned streets, we can have both a metropolis that really works, and neighborhoods that are more livable day-to-day.

Dark days, and brighter ones

The waning days of 2014 have been dark ones for New York City. The killing of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu made real the worst imaginable fears for those who put their safety on the line to serve our communities. Reactions to their murders highlighted tensions among New Yorkers – around how we understand the challenges of public safety and policing – and have risked setting us against ourselves.

Just a few weeks earlier, here in the 39th Council District, we lost 14-year-old Mohammad Naiem Uddin in a traffic crash that reminded us that our efforts to improve traffic safety and reduce speeding have not yet done enough.

Still, as the year turns, I remain truly grateful for what we’ve done together. Democracy can be messy, even painful. We don’t all agree on how to understand the problems, and certainly not on the solutions. But I am genuinely glad about what we’ve achieved together in New York City in 2014. While much of the rest of the country is stuck in a place of political polarization, we have moved forward in tangible ways to make lives better for many New Yorkers. Read more »

Next steps toward Kensington/Windsor Terrace Street Safety

Last week, many of us joined memorial services for Mohammad Naiem Uddin, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident at E. 7th Street & Caton Avenue. As our community came together for the Uddin family (you can make a contribution to support the family, organized by the PS 130 PTA), the call for action was clear: we must do all we can to make sure this does not happen again.

I’m writing to let you know the steps we are taking – to honor Naiem’s memory – toward safer streets in Kensington/Windsor Terrace and beyond:

Read more »

Participatory Budgeting Assemblies Kick off with Streets and Transit

By Neil Reilly, PB Disitrict Committee member, and past facilitator for the Transit Delegate Group

On October 14, the 2014-15 cycle of Participatory Budgeting in our district kicked off at the New York Transit Museum. Participatory Budgeting is a process by which residents make suggestions, craft proposals, and then vote on how their councilmember allocates his or her discretionary funds for capital projects. 

Read more »

Locals and Officials to Brainstorm Improvements for Gritty Fourth Avenue

DNAinfo
01/14/2014

Fourth Avenue is an "unwelcoming" thoroughfare with a lifeless streetscape, and new luxury highrises aren't doing much to improve it.

Those are a few of the gripes local residents shared in a recent survey about Fourth Avenue, the gritty, industrial stretch on the western edge of tree-lined Park Slope where several residential towers have sprung up in recent years.

The Park Slope Civic Council will present the survey results at a Tuesday meeting where locals and elected officials will brainstorm an action plan for improving Fourth Avenue.

City Council members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin are scheduled to present their visions for the avenue's future, and residents, business owners and community groups will share their top priorities for the busy street. Read more »

A safer Albemarle Road

You asked. They listened.

The stretch of Albemarle Road in Kensington (between Ocean Parkway & McDonald Avenue) is a big safety concern for our community. Speeding is prevalent, putting pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers at risk. This year alone, there have been ten crashes on this corridor, including a two-car collision at East 2nd Street just last week.

After a year of community advocacy, I am happy to announce that New York City Department of Transportation has put forward a plan to improve safety along the street. Read more »

Remembering Sammy Cohen-Eckstein

I'll be honest. I wasn’t sure I could attend the Park Slope Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assembly on Thursday night. Like so many friends and neighbors, I was still shaken in the hours after the funeral for Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, who was hit by a van on Prospect Park West on Tuesday. It feels like our whole community was punched in the gut.

No words are going to help us comprehend this tragedy. But I wanted to share a little of what I’ve been thinking. Read more »

Residents Bring Ocean Pkwy Petition to Governor

NEW YORK, NY - Earlier today, Council Member Brad Lander, Kensington neighborhood residents, and transportation safety advocates, delivered the ‘Our neighborhood is not a highway’ petition directly to Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office. The petition calls on the New York State Department of Transportation to sign-off on a safety plan to address crash-prone intersection at Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway, where a pedestrian was killed earlier this summer. Read more »

City should help foot bill to spread Citi Bike program, Councilman Brad Lander says

NY Daily News
07/31/2013

Citi Bike appears to be stuck in first gear, and one City Councilman says it’s going to require an injection of city cash to make sure that the popular cycling initative doesn’t stay docked in Manhattan and north Brooklyn.

The program, launched in May, has been funded entirely through sponsorship agreements with privately-run companies, including a $41 million, five-year commitment from Citigroup.

But the city government is going to need to get involved — and quickly — if the more than 300 docking stations and their bright blue bikes are to be pedaled across a wider swath of the city, says Councilman Brad Lander, who was recently honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for creating a way to allow his constituents to vote on how to spend $950,000 in City Council funds.

The Brooklyn pol said he would use capital funding to make sure the bikes — which are now limited to Manhattan south of 59th St. and northern Brooklyn — keep rolling into his central Brooklyn district.

“It’s a piece of public transportation infrastructure,” he said. “I’d be glad to allocate some city capital to expanding bike share stations.” Read more »

Eyes on the Street: Bike Contraflow Over the Gowanus

StreetsBlog
07/26/2013

Reader Keith Williams, who blogs at The Weekly Nabe, recently got a few shots of the brand new contraflow bike lane in progress on Union Street. This project will add a sorely needed westbound bike connection across the Gowanus Canal — part of a route that jogs from Degraw, down to Union, then back up to Sackett.

The contraflow lane on Union is notable for a few reasons.

One, it came out of Council Member Brad Lander’s 2012 participatory budgeting process. In the end it wasn’t paid for with Lander’s discretionary funds (other projects got more votes), but because Lander put out the call for ideas, it got NYC DOT’s attention. So, chalk one up for community-based planning. Read more »