Life In The Big City


Mayor de Blasio Releases One New York:
The Plan for a Strong and Just City

The de Blasio administration just recently released its latest project, “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” a comprehensive plan for a sustainable and resilient city for all New Yorkers, that addresses the profound social, economic, and environmental challenges ahead.

OneNYC builds on prior long-term sustainability plans for New York City, expanding on the critical targets established under previous plans, as well as on the de Blasio administration’s work over the last 16 months. Growth, sustainability, and resiliency remain at the core of OneNYC. But with the poverty rate remaining high and income inequality continuing to grow, the de Blasio administration added equity as a guiding principle throughout the plan.

The plan recognizes New York City’s role and responsibilities as a regional hub, and calls on the city’s partners to work together on shared goals for building a strong region. The plan follows months of engagement with thousands of New Yorkers across the five boroughs – including through an online survey available in seven languages, dozens of community meetings, a phone survey, and meetings with hundreds of civic organizations and local and regional elected officials. In the coming months, the de Blasio administration will continue the conversation with residents, civic leaders, and elected officials to refine initiatives and encourage civic engagement. New Yorkers can also share their thoughts and priorities at

The plan pursues the vision of a stronger, more equitable, more sustainable, and more resilient New York City, and includes over
200 new initiatives, with over 80 specific new metrics and targets.

The report includes the following plans:

•   All New Yorkers will live in neighborhoods that promote an
active and healthy lifestyle.

•   New York will continue to be the safest among large U.S. cities.

•   New Yorkers will continue to accept no traffic fatalities on
New York City Streets.

•   By 2050, New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions
will be 80 percent lower than
in 2005.

•   New York City will send zero waste to landfills and have the best air quality among all large U.S. cities by 2030.

•   All New Yorkers will benefit from useful, accessible, and beautiful open spaces.

•   Infrastructure systems across the region will be upgraded to adapt to enable continued services.

The full report can be viewed at

Midtown’s Nordstrom Tower Set to Surpass
1 World Trade Center

One World Trade Center, the massive downtown beacon planned as the tallest tower in the city, might become just the second tallest, after a Midtown developer decided to supersize plans for his own tower, the New York Daily News reported.

The new building, planned for 57th St., is slated to stand at 1,795 feet, making it
19 feet higher than One World Trade Center. The property, located at 217 W. 57th St., is expected to draw the “who’s who” of global millionaires and billionaires.

Developer Gary Barnett of Extell Development, who has already successfully built one luxury tower on 57th St., is heading the project, at 217 W. 57th St., which will have a giant seven-floor Nordstrom department store on the lower levels.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat designated One World Trade as the city’s tallest building in 2012, and would have to do the same for the 57th St. tower, if the project proceeds as planned.

Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture, an architecture firm associated with some of the world’s tallest buildings, is said to be involved in Barnett’s project. The firm is best known for designing the world’s tallest building, The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which will be more than 1,000 meters, or 3,280 feet, tall.

The 57th St. building is one in a string of giant structures planned just south of Central Park. Park advocates have long been opposed to the spate of new towers, saying that it will cause long shadows over the park.

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Agudath Israel Advocates for “Level Playing Field”
in School Safety for Yeshivot

On April 14th, at a school safety rally sponsored by the New York City Council, and then at a City Council hearing, Agudath Israel leaders advocated for
Introduction 65, a proposed amendment to the New York Administrative Code. This legislation, if passed, would require the New York Police Department (NYPD) to assign school safety officers, upon request, to nonpublic schools. Currently, these assignments are only mandated for public schools.

At the rally, held in front of City Hall, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel, addressed a crowd comprised of nonpublic school representatives, council members and community leaders. He said that Introduction 65 levels the playing field in safety for nonpublic schools by giving them equal access to school safety officers who are trained by the NYPD. These officers, while unarmed, work in full uniform and are in direct radio communication with the NYPD. Having them on premises may deter potential attackers, or give the school an edge in combatting an attack in progress.

Later that day, as one of several invested community leaders, Agudath Israel representative and Education Affairs Associate Dovid Tanenbaum, testified at the City Council hearing in favor of Introduction 65. He stated, “There is no legal or constitutional basis for denying this protection to the close to 250,000 children, or almost 20 percent of New York City students, who attend nonpublic schools.”

Introduction 65, sponsored by Councilmember David G. Greenfield, enjoys strong support from council members, with 46 out of 51 members already signed on. The hearing was a joint meeting of three key committees – the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, the Committee on Education, and the Subcommittee on Non-Public Schools – and it gave community advocates the opportunity to air their concerns, share ideas and demonstrate their endorsement of the amendment to these legislators.

NY State Police Launch Safety Campaign Aimed
At Teen Drivers

New York State Police launched a weeklong traffic safety campaign this past month aimed at minimizing crashes involving teen drivers. The campaign was run under the name “The Empty Chair,” referring to high school seniors who were tragically killed in road accidents and will thus not be present on graduation day.

The campaign targeted specific laws regarding speeding in school zones, the use of seat belts and child restraints, cellphone use while driving, underage drinking and impaired driving.

Troopers used both marked State Police vehicles and
unmarked cars.

According to figures from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2,524 teenagers between ages 13 and 19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 in the United States. The fatal crash rate per mile driven for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 or older.

Hikind Calls For Immediate Remedy To Dangerous Potholes On Ocean Parkway

Assemblyman Dov Hikind
(D-Brooklyn) says he’s a
great fan of the NYC
Department of Transportation,
but wonders how they could have skipped Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway when making
post-winter repairs.

“It’s like a mine field,” said Hikind, whose office has been receiving complaints from constituents about the seriously dangerous conditions on Ocean Parkway in Midwood. “We’re looking at a potentially disastrous situation out there. These potholes are causing drivers to suddenly move over into adjoining lanes to avoid the potholes, creating the likelihood
of accidents.

“It’s already been several weeks since the snow ended and Ocean Parkway is a major thoroughfare, so I urge the DOT to continue their good work and take care of Ocean Parkway expeditiously. We appreciate all of the DOT’s hard work after a particularly tough winter, but we need to get this taken care of.”

Hikind’s staff members visited the areas where the potholes were reported by constituents and photographed them to make it easier for the DOT to immediately locate the most dangerous spots.


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