By Council Member Mark Levine, published in the Manhattan Times.
Medical marijuana will finally be available in New York. But where will it accessible?
It is welcome news that five licenses were awarded to organizations that will be able to manufacture and distribute this treatment throughout New York State. It’s also encouraging that two of the dispensaries will be placed right here in Manhattan.Read more
New York is embarking on a building boom, and upzoning neighborhoods around the boroughs, with the laudable goal of making the city more affordable. But will it be more livable?
The answer depends, in part, on whether we plan for green space and open space to match all the new construction. With residential towers set to rise in at least 15 neighborhoods in line for new zoning, and the pace of building picking up city-wide, it's critical that we account for the infrastructure of public life. This means investing in new parks, playgrounds, street trees, and "green" features like bioswales as our city expands.Read more
Mayor Bill de Blasio captured New Yorkers' imaginations last month with his proposal to create a citywide ferry network. But look at a map of the routes and one thing jumps out: The entire West Side of Manhattan is blank.
Yes, existing ferry lines connect to Brookfield Place and Pier 79 at West 39th Street. But points farther north along the Hudson River are unserved and would remain so under the mayor's plan.
By Council Members Mark Levine, Corey Johnson and Helen Rosenthal
At its best, New York City is a place where people from all walks of life live together and interact with each other. But a new residential tower rising on Manhattan's west side tears at that tradition: the building will have separate entrances for low-income and luxury residents, ensuring that the two groups won't ever mix in the hallways, on the elevators, or in the building's gym.
Incredibly, this so-called "poor door" development is being subsidized by our tax dollars. How could this be?Read more
If your only source of information on our legal system were Law & Order, you might believe that everyone going into a courtroom to face a potentially life-changing judicial decision would have the benefit of an attorney.
You would be wrong. The right to counsel applies only in criminal court. In civil court, only those with means have attorneys – and everyone else is left to fend for themselves.
This has clear implications for the fields of immigration, bankruptcy and family law. But it is in housing court (the division of civil court dedicated to ruling on disputes between landlords and tenants) where the impact is breathtaking, with sweeping consequences for New York City.Read more
M60 Select Bus Service has improved commuting along 125th St., but should be extended west to Morningside Ave.
M-60 Select Bus Service along Harlem’s busy 125th St. corridor currently runs only between Second and Lenox Aves.
Select Bus Service has finally arrived on 125th St., and riders are already impressed. While more than 32,000 people take the M60 bus each day — mostly local residents commuting to work or school — it earned a reputation as “the slowest route in the city.”
For families without other transit options, the M60s often less than 3 mph speeds clearly made their lives more difficult and stressful.
No longer. Pre-paid fare collection, dedicated lanes between Second and Lenox Aves., buses equipped with cameras for safety and enforcement, and smarter left-turn regulations at unsafe intersections have transformed this line for the better. And the local routes that cross 125th St. remain unchanged, giving straphangers more options than ever. Better service will take cars off the road, leading to safer streets for pedestrians, and cleaner air for everyone.Read more
NYC’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been under fire recently for everything from his approach to charter schools to his parks philosophy to his refusal to march in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The common theme of these critiques is that his quest for equity and equality has already proven ineffective or misguided. Typical of this line of attack is Howard Husock’s recent Forbes editorial, “Parks, Schools and Bill de Blasio: Risking Mediocrity For Fairness.”
Husock takes aim at de Blasio’s concern over the substantial gap between New York’s marquis parks and the remainder of the city’s vast network of 1,900 neighborhood green spaces. The mayor’s interest in this issue arises from the fact that the jewels of the system — Central Park, Bryant Park and the like — are largely financed by private “conservancies” which raise millions in charitable donations to support their upkeep. Meanwhile, parks in less wealthy precincts are able to raise little or no funds from their neighbors of more modest means. The result is a two-tiered system — decried by de Blasio and his allies — with a dramatic disparity in which the poorer parks have more broken playground equipment, cracked pavement and permanently dry water fountains.Read more