Join Us to Celebrate Bob’s life



Celebration of Bob’s Life
Saturday, May 4th, 2019, 2p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hartley House
413 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
Robert Paul Kalin
(February 28, 1954 – January 22, 2019)
A quiet and humble person, he never sought, nor wanted recognition for the work he dedicated his life to. His presence in our neighborhood will be deeply missed.


Bob Kalin, worked at HCC for 40 years. He was employed as a long time tenant organizer and advocate for low-income tenants in Hell’s Kitchen. Sadly, he passed away on January 22, 2019.

Throughout the years, Bob trained dozens of tenant organizers at HCC, housing advocates and tenants throughout the City.  He also developed a viable ‘plan of action’ to help elderly tenants clean out their cluttered apartments to avoid evictions. Bob worked tirelessly – advocating for generations of Hell’s Kitchen tenants and their families to prevent eviction and get needed repairs. He was well known for his activism in the tenant community and was a strong advocate of tenant rights. Bob was unrelenting in the fight to preserve affordable housing in our neighborhood.

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Another safety improvement on W42nd Street and 8th Avenue

Step by step this intersection is getting better, although it is so bad, you can hardly notice the progress !


Pedestrians crossing at the north of the intersection, now have the priority, while the turn signal for eastbound motorists who make a left turn on 8th Avenue has been moved to the end of the cycle .

As a result, most conflicts between cars and pedestrians will be eliminated. A similar treatment on westbound W42nd Street at 9th Avenue resulted in a 53% reduction in injuries over 5 years. Thank you DOT for these life-saving changes.

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M42 Bus: from Pokey to Presto in 2019?

Improving bus service in New York city is a key prerequisite to the success of congestion pricing . From giving more commute options to residents who live in transit deserts, to speeding up the current buses in Manhattan, this is a priority for both MTA and DOT.

DOT recently announced its ” Better Buses Action Plan – 2019” where the  M42 has been selected as one of the first corridors to be improved. Features will include painted dedicated bus lanes, priority signals for buses, and restricted or signalized left turns, as well as delivery bays for long distance buses and business deliveries.

Apokey awardnyone who has ever tried to cross 42nd St. on a bus will not be shocked to learn that the M42, running from river to river, is the “Pokiest” bus in town. It runs a staggering 3.2 mph, enough to win for the fifth time in the 15-year history of the awards and draw an unflattering comparison.”3.2 miles an hour, slower than a chicken, which runs at up to nine miles an hour. So much, much slower than a chicken runs, does the M42 move,” said Jaqi Cohen of the Straphangers Campaign.

It is very good news for our neighborhood, where so many seniors depend on the bus and so many residents live on the far west side and use shuttles to connect to the subway. This could really make a dent in the shuttle congestion on the corridor.

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Congestion Pricing Passes! Traffic Safety will improve

Rejoice! Our lives are about to get better, from a congestion, air quality but also safety standpoints.

London implemented congestion pricing over 10 years ago and reduced its road traffic by 15%. in 2015, Lancaster University Management School studied the effect Congestion Pricing had on traffic safety and concluded that it reduced crashes leading to fatalities and injuries by 40% in the congestion zone and 13% in the adjacent counties The  study attributes these remarkable results to the fact that with less congestion, trips are more predictable and thus less stressful for drivers.

Applying these findings to New york city, CHEKPEDS found that congestion pricing could reduce fatalities by 71  and injuries by 17,000 over the next two years in New York City, if congestion pricing was implemented.  This would move up by years our reaching the goal of Vision Zero at no cost to the city.

Of the top 10 legislators whose constituents would benefit the most from congestion pricing, Queens representatives are in 4th and 5th positions , three more are from Brooklyn and one in the Bronx, showing that Congestion pricing really benefits all New Yorkers

Top 10 legislsators - live saved-1-31-2019

Beware of exemptions:

The current plan provides exemptions for emergency vehicles as well as vehicles carrying persons with disabilities. It also gives a tax credit to drivers earning less than $ 60,000 annually.

Many categories of users have started to clamor for exemptions. The law requires that the plan raise $ 15 billions for the MTA to fund public transit . It means that each exemption will require lawmakers to find a compensating revenue , and the easiest way will be to increase the fees.  Also every exemption claimed by residents of the cordoned zone, will open the door for outer boroughs’ residents to claim the same one. Residents in the cordoned zone are on average wealthier than others.

Consider the fact that every exemption will put more motorists on the road and decrease our chances of a safer city . This in itself,  should be a powerful motivator to shut the door on any exemption.


Click Here for the full research 

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Join us at Transit Center – Neighborhood Empowerment Project

As usual Open Plans founders are ahead of the game. This new initiative explores  how  monolithic agencies with many silos could enroll nimble and motivated local people who have a more holistic view of their streets in order to improve their productivity and response time.

empowerement project

This approach was embraced by corporations long ago in order to improve their customer service, but it is very foreign to our government. Join us for an evening of challenging  ideas that may well be the start of another street revolution

Join Open Plans for the launch of “The Neighborhood Empowerment Project

Thursday April 18, 2019 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Transit Center
1 Whitehall Street , 17th Floor


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It is a new day on our streets: New york will be the first American city with congestion pricing

The Congestion pricing plan has been included in the governor’s budget after garnering sufficient support to pass in the State legislature. There are still many hurdles ahead of the final budget and law, including all the wrangling by special interests looking for exemptions and control.

What comes out may not be ideal, but the principle will be established and a giant step toward better streets will have been taken. It will be up to this and future mayors to use this free space to improve streets for people on all fronts, rather than let vehicles come back and choke us again.

July 5 - Congestion Pricing

We have come a long way since 2007 when our members were holding boards behind  Bloomberg in Times Square. Hats off to him and Janet Sadik Khan who championed the concept. And hats off to Speaker Corey Johnson who threw the gauntlet down by declaring he would do it if the State did not.


In our small way we contributed to this campaign by educating lawmakers on their benefits in their district , whether they are located  upstate or downstate and we published a research showing that 71 lives could be saved and 17,000 injuries could be avoided by Congestion pricing in New york city.

For CHEKPEDS  members, whose motto is Less Traffic = Better Streets , it is indeed a day to rejoice. And NO it is not an April’s fool post.

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750 Speed cameras added to NYC safety toolkit

cuomo-speed-cams2After four  years of heroic advocacy by Families for Safe Streets and Transporation Alternatives,  and a Hail Mary save by the joint efforts of Governor Cuomo and Council Speaker Corey Johson, the new Albany legislature has finally adopted a sensible package of bills to allow more speed cameras around schools.

The increase from  140 to 750 is a giant step and the expansion in hours from school hours only to 6a.m. to 10 p.m. and the cameras can now be placed within a 1/4 mile radius from each school, allowing them to operate at the dangerous locations where students and local residents have to cross. Thank you to Assembly member Dick Gottfried for his strong support to this common sense legislation. Speed cameras have proven to save thousands of lives in all countries and cities where they have been used.

“The data is clear: traffic safety measures like installing more speed cameras help save lives. They reduce injuries and fatalities for pedestrians, motorists, and passengers,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, who cosponsored the New York City speed camera legislation, A. 6449, which was sponsored by Assembly Member Deborah Glick and Senator Andrew Gounardes. “I believe every local government ought to have authority to install speed and red-light cameras without state-imposed limits or need to renew the law. But this bill is a big step in the right direction,” said Gottfried.
In New York City, speed cameras  are placed in school zones to protect students by photographing the license plates of speeding vehicles. The speed cameras can be operated from an hour before the school day to an hour after. The speed cameras can be operated during nights and weekends when school-related activities are taking place.
According to a 2014 study by the Department of Transportation, school zones with speed cameras reported a 63 percent decrease in area speeding and a 15 percent reduction in crashes compared to those without it.
There are now 140 cameras installed in New York City. The bill passed today would expand the speed cameras program to 750. There are roughly 1,700 schools in the City.
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True Democracy: vote for $$$

We particularly like the tree guards and the bus clocks , which both benefit such a large number of pedestrians in our district.

 Vote online NOW by clicking here

Image 3-30-19 at 5.57 PM

Vote Today!

1. Vote online NOW by clicking here

2. Vote in person at any of the following poll sites:

208 West 13th Street
Saturday, March 30, Sunday, March 31
Saturday, April 6, Sunday, April 7
11:00 AM-5:00 PM

27 Barrow Street
Saturday, March 30, Sunday, March 31
Saturday, April 6, Sunday, April 7
11:00 AM-5:00 PM

419A West 17th Street
Saturday, March 30, Sunday, March 31
Saturday, April 6, Sunday, April 7
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

441 West 26th Street
Saturday, March 30, Sunday, March 31
Saturday, April 6, Sunday, April 7
11:00 AM-5:00 PM

343 Eighth Avenue
Sunday, March 31
Saturday, April 6, Sunday, April 7
11:00 AM-5:00 PM
Monday, April 1, 3:00 PM-6:00 PM

400 & 484 West 43rd Street
Saturday, March 30, Sunday, March 31
Saturday, April 6, Sunday, April 7
11:00 AM-5:00 PM

224 West 30th Street, Suite #1206
Monday, 4/1 through Friday, 4/5
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

In order to vote, you must be at least 11 years old or in the 6th Grade and live in Council District 3.

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14th Street users deserve Fully Protected Bus Lanes



At the last meeting of Manhattan Community Board 4′s Transporation committee, the public contributed many ideas to make bus rides more effective on this corridor, especially considering the next two years of misery commuters will experience once the construction starts on the L line, after 8 p.m.

A local architect brought the hyper-realistic model of buses and boarding platforms  leveled with the doors , similar to what subway riders experience. This would speed up boarding especially for people with disabilities and shorten the trips.

Ideas proposed and adopted by the committee included a true Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan with physically protected bus lanes, raised platforms for level boarding, dedicated vehicular lanes to service truck traffic (thru and local), sanitation and pick-up/deliveries without delays to the bus service, delivery bays at the curb with a 30 minutes time slots and no commercial deliveries during peak hours. The committee also supported left turns limitations for vehicles, the use of priority signals for buses and camera enforcement for the bus lanes.

Let’s see if MTA and DOT go bold and get us a real BRT.

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Congestion Pricing brings massive benefits to everyone – please call

This is the last week of the state budget session in Albany, and that means this is our last shot to take action to pass congestion pricing in New York City. We could save 17,000 injuries and 71 deaths in the next two years and make our rides reliable while saving significant transit time. congestion pricing will help reducing asthma hospitalizations for young children by more that 30% as it did in Stockholm, and will reduce road rage and domestic abuse which increases with long and congested commute.

This is our last shot to save our streets from choking in dangerous traffic, and to save our transit system from crumbling into disrepair.After a decade of pushing and pulling, this is our best shot to make congestion pricing happen. Truthfully, there may never be a better moment than this one at all.

Will you call Assembly Speaker Heastie and Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins, thank them for their leadership, and ask they include the strongest possible congestion pricing plan in the state budget this week? the ONLY exemption we support is for people with disabilities because the subway is not accessible. 

Call Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: 518‑455‑2585
Call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie: 518‑455‑3791

We need to keep pushing — can we count on you to make those calls?

Let’s get this done.

Posted in CHEKPEDS, Clean Air, Congestion, Transit | Leave a comment