Author Archives

Greg Lewis

MTA should enact 14th St. Select Bus Service sooner—and install a new busway—for L train repairs spillover

Front of m14A bus With the L train reconstruction set to begin next Friday, April 26, evening and weekend frequency of L trains will be reduced to just three per hour. In order to help riders seeking other means to travel 14th Street—and to help avoid a crush of for-hire vehicles—I’ve written to the MTA and DOT urging them to enact SBS as soon as humanly possible (instead of in June, their current plan)… Read more

B.P. Brewer calls for halting construction on 200 Amsterdam Ave. tower

Woman speaks on street in front of crowd holding signs about zoning NEW YORK – Tuesday morning, April 9, 2019, I joined advocates and elected officials to push to stop construction on the residential tower by SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America at 200 Amsterdam Avenue. Last month, the New York State Supreme Court ordered the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to once again review the Department of Buildings (DOB) approval of the building to ensure that it is “in accordance… Read more

Charter Revision Commission begins drafting proposals in four areas

room full of people at Charter 2019 Manhattan Hearing The 2019 Charter Revision Commission—which will recommend proposals to be placed on the November ballot—has completed a series of “expert forums” on four topic areas it will focus on. Having narrowed focus after hearing from experts and the public (at hearings last fall), the commission will now draw up specific proposals in these four areas, and hold hearings on them in each of the five boroughs on those drafts later this spring.

Single-use plastic bags banned as part of budget deal

a hand holding plastic bag walking in the street As part of the new budget, state leaders passed a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags at most retail and grocery stores (restaurants are exempted). A provision was created for localities to impose a 5¢ fee on paper shopping bags, with revenue to be split 60-40% with the state environmental fund and the locality. (Council Members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin are sponsoring the paper bag fee for New York… Read more

State budget passes with measures to raise funds for the MTA

room full of people for a public hearing about congestion pricing plan The state budget just passed in Albany includes two measures which will provide desperately needed funding to the MTA… Congestion pricing.  A congestion pricing plan—the first in the nation—will impose a fee on most vehicles when they enter Manhattan south of 61st Street, with revenues to be directed mostly to the MTA. I’ve supported congestion pricing as a way to reduce the clog of traffic in the business district and… Read more

Helping retailers transition to new electronic system for WIC payments

WIc program card with vegetables on the front The federal WIC program (“Women Infants Children”) for low-income parents is moving into the digital age. A new system called eWIC will make it easier for participants to redeem benefits and for retailers to get paid by the government. Retailers must obtain new  EBT (eWIC) machines and complete training for the new system by April 30. Staff in my office, in partnership with the New York State Department of Health,… Read more