Rosie’s Office is Moving from East 14th Street
Unfortunately, we must report that our office needs to move from its location. The district office located at 237 First Ave, at the Southwest corner of East 14th Street, was also home to previous Councilwoman Margarita Lopez. Every commercial tenant in the tenant was served with a notice to vacate, including Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, who now occupies an office at 250 Broadway full-time. This suite on the fifth floor has served constituents of Council District 2 for over two decades and the displacement is sad news to Team Rosie. As the exhausting search for affordable space within the boundaries of the district continues, we will be sure to keep you updated when we relocate.
Unveiling Ceremony for PS 15’s New Playground
The Trust for Public Land and Rosie unveiled a new playground for PS 15 The Roberto Clemente School on September 20th, 2016. Rosie allocated $500,000 towards the project, while nearly $1 million playground renovation was funded through a public-private partnership, with private funds raised by the Trust for Public Land from Charina Endowment Fund. Rosie stated: “The P.S. 15 Roberto Clemente School is the beneficiary of a public-private partnership that brought a renovated environmentally friendly playground to my community in record time. This project would have needed to wait another fiscal year to enable me to allocate the entire funding. The reality is that without the partnership of the Trust for Public Land, we would not have been able to break ground when we did. The Trust for Public Land worked with DOE, the community, the school and its’ children to envision and design a recreational multi-use area. In addition, they worked with the School Construction Authority and DEP to create a state-of-the-art green playground that will benefit the community at large.”
Astor Place Plaza Construction Update
The Astor Place Plaza is back up and running after being out of commission for renovation and repairs. The Office of Emergency Management held community preparedness fair at the newly renovated Astor Place Plaza. Agencies such as NYPD, FDNY, Con Edison, the Department of Environment Protection, and the Department of Health were at the event with helpful materials and giveaways. The agencies stationed at the plaza gave important information on what New Yorkers should and need to do in case of an emergency.
The local business improvement district, Village Alliance, just finished their “Astor Alive!” weekend which was filled with performances from various groups including Theatre for the New City and the Hetrick-Martin Institute.
Also awaiting its return to its home is the Alamo Cube. The Department of Design and Construction has delayed the return of the Alamo Cube twice. Rosie’s office is currently in communication with DDC to identify the return date and schedule a Ribbon Cutting / Cube Spinning Ceremony. Details will be announced via Rosie’s website: http://www.rosiecitycouncil.wordpress.com.
Quality of Life Issues
After a relatively quiet summer, Rosie’s office has seen a slight uptick in calls/complaints about homelessness and public displays of lude behavior. We continue to work closely with the Department of Homeless Services and Breaking Ground to ensure that homeless individuals continue to be offered services in a timely manner. We continue to urge people to contact 311 and to ask that a street team be dispatched to offer services. In addition, if you see anyone who could be a danger to themselves or others, please call 911. With the installment of the LinkNYC Kiosks new issues have presented themselves. Some users of the kiosks have been charging their phones and devices. Others have been using the kiosks for unintended purposes searching for and watching lewd material. We have alerted DoITT to this occurrence. In response, DoITT has instituted security measures similar to those in schools and libraries protecting against inappropriate content. In addition, the internet browser feature will be removed. Other measures of dealing with inappropriate uses of the kiosks are being investigated and Rosie will be meeting with the DoITT Commissioner to suggested ways to address this issue. We look forward to reporting more on this soon.
L Train Shutdown
Over the last decade, the L train has become one of the busiest subway lines. Due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy the Canarsie Tunnel, that links Manhattan and Brooklyn, was damaged and is in need of reconstruction. The MTA and NYC Transit have come to a decision to select an 18 month reconstruction period for the L train Canarsie Tunnel. There are numerous proposals that have been discussed and Rosie will be taking a look to see how these alternative options will benefit and / or harm residents, visitors, and small businesses. For inquiries or questions related to the L train please contact 311. To receive assistance on a complaint regarding the MTA or NYC Transit, call Rosie’s office at 212-677-1077.
Rosie Listens to the Peopleway Proposal
On Monday, September 26, 2016, Rosie’s office attended a workshop on “The PeopleWay” at Town and Village Synagogue on E 14th Street. The PeopleWay is an initiative led by Transportation Alternatives to reconfigure street space when the L-Train shuts down in 2018. This plan intends to limit 14th street access to private automobiles while building bus lanes, protected bike lanes, and wider sidewalks for commuters, visitors and residents. The goal is to double the street’s capacity and create a safer and more efficient way to travel this important transportation corridor.
When the L-Train shuts down, there will be 50,000 people every day in Manhattan alone that must find alternative transportation. To alleviate congestion from private cars that are likely to increase on this road, alternatives to mass transit will be important to organize and coordinate. This plan hopes to increase the number of people taking transit, walking, and biking and will include multiple agencies and stakeholders in the visioning process.
In the breakout groups during the workshops, concerns brought forward by residents included: parking availability, side street congestion, small business survival, and access to transportation for seniors and people with limited mobility. It is clear improvements are needed to our pedestrian signals and our bus service. The Council will continue to look at creative proposals and suggestions to prepare for 2018.
Kips Bay Court Sale
As reported in the press, Kips Bay Court is being sold by Phipps Houses and their investment partners. The bidding process which took place in August was won by the Blackstone Group. While the purchase has not been completed yet, the closing process is moving forward at this time. Rosie and her elected colleagues understand that there will be many questions and concerns about what this change in ownership will mean for residents. Understanding what residents’ rights are, what agreements are in place, and what assistance is available if needed, as well as creating an ongoing dialogue with the new owner will be critical. Once the sale is finalized, Rosie will work with her colleagues to facilitate any needed conversations with residents and the Blackstone Group. Blackstone is the same group who purchased Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village last year.
Stuyvesant Square Park Dog Run Opens
Rosie is happy to announce that the Stuyvesant Square Park Dog Run is open for business! Rosie dedicated city capital funding to renovate the historic, landmarked fence. That work which took place over the spring and summer is finally complete! There is a new wrought iron fence and newly paved sidewalks around the east side portion of the park. The total project costs were a little over $4,000,000.00. Rosie was able to accomplish this with the assistance of Council Member Dan Garodnick and then-Borough President Scott Stringer who also allocated funding for this project. While some work is still being done, the dog run is open for business!
Exotic Animal Ban Proposed Legislation Gets a Hearing
Rosie first introduced the Exotic Animal Ban proposed legislation in April 2006 when she first took office. In the following two legislative terms, Rosie has re-introduced the bill. Currently, Intro 1233, will be receiving its first hearing in this legislative term. On October 20th, at 10am in the Council Chambers of City Hall, the Health Committee will hold a hearing on this bill. Rosie and Councilmember Corey Johnson have introduced Intro 1233 to ban the display of wild or exotic animals. There are exemptions to the bill which includes zoos, museums, conservatories, domesticated and companion animals, and animals only displayed for religious purposes. The public is allowed to testify before the Health Committee of the City Council.