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Archive for the tag 'dot'



City Councilman-elect Mark Treyger expressed concern that muni-meters could be the target of identity thieves bent on stealing money from unsuspecting motorists. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Treyger wants the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install additional security around muni-meters in light of an identity theft scam that targeted the meters on Long Island.

As the world gets increasingly more digitized, the risk of identity theft grows as credit cards are flashed for the most mundane tasks. The Daily Eagle relayed the details of a New York Times report that proves this point:

Earlier this month, police on Long Island arrested five suspects, including a husband and wife, who allegedly planted cameras in ticket vending machines at Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) stations hoping to record customers’ credit card numbers as they purchased tickets.

The New York Times reported that authorities discovered the hidden cameras hidden in several LIRR ticket vending machines. As soon as the attempted identity theft was discovered, authorities quickly warned LIRR customers to check their credit card and debit card accounts for signs of unauthorized activities…

The identity theft ring was busted when two of the suspects returned to an LIRR station in Sea Cliff to retrieve the hidden camera, authorities said.

The suspects who were allegedly behind the scheme, Valer Zaharia, 38, his wife Teodora Zaharia, 27, Niculae Petre, 45, and Dorin Husa, 37, have been charged with identity theft and could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The cameras were also found in Metro-North stations in Westchester.

The news of this particular identity theft scam has led Treyger to leap into action, demanding that the DOT increase security around the meters.

“When New Yorkers use their credit card on city muni-meters, they need to be confident that the city is doing everything possible to protect them,” Treyger told the Daily Eagle. “Identity theft is a serious crime, and it can happen to literally anyone. You can never be too careful. Criminals are getting smarter and smarter, and we must be using cutting edge technology to our advantage to protect New Yorkers.”

In the meantime, whenever using your credit card in public now, I recommend that you squish your body as close as possible to the machine to make sure that no camera or other tricky onlookers get a clear view of your digits.

Hilna Discount Tires at the Corner of 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

Hilna Discount Tires at the Corner of 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is forcing Louis Gellman, owner of Hilna Discount Tires (86th Street and Stillwell Avenue) to pay $30,000 to repair the cracked sidewalk in front of his business. Gellman believes that the MTA is responsible for the fractured sidewalk claiming that MTA construction vehicles and tremors caused by the overhead D train caused the damage.

The DOT will soon fix the fractured pavement and send a bill to the beleaguered business owner, but, according to a Brooklyn Daily report, Gellman is outraged and believes he is getting screwed over by the city.

“It’s the most insane thing I ever heard of. They leave their trucks on the sidewalk, the poles are vibrating all the time, and you’ve got veins coming out on the sidewalk,” Gellman told Brooklyn Daily.

Like all property owners, according to the law, Gellman is required to pay for maintaining the sidewalk. He was allowed to request reimbursement from the MTA, but they denied him the money claiming that the sound levels from the train’s brakes, measured at 65 decibels, were within acceptable levels.

As for Gellman’s claims that construction workers had parked their heavy vehicles on the sidewalk, possibly damaging it, MTA spokesman Charles Seaton released the following statement.

“We find no evidence that New York City Transit was working at that location when the damage occurred,” Seaton said.

Gellman, though, had photos to prove it, although the MTA denied it anyway.

While Gellman is continuing to fight the city he has thus far had no luck in successfully pleading his case.

“I’ve got all these agencies telling me, ‘It’s not our problem, you own the property,'” Gellman told Brooklyn Daily. “I’m trying to stop this and can’t get anyone to help me.”

Source: Jaszek Photography via Flickr

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), seniors account for 38 percent of pedestrian fatalities, yet represent only 12 percent of the population. The reasons for this discrepancy, they say, are the lack of “complete streets.”

What are complete streets, you ask? Well, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition, “complete streets are designed and operated so they work for all users—pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.”

Essentially, they are the sort of streets that are neatly organized with sensible traffic flow, clear traffic signs and wide walking spaces that compliment bike lanes so pedestrians and bikers aren’t getting in each other’s way.

An example of a “complete street.” Source:

New Yorkers can sense when they aren’t on a “complete street.” Incomplete streets are the sort of narrow sidewalks that barely accommodate two-way foot traffic, have winding twists and no clear intersections that promote safe crossing. According to the DOT, the lack of complete streets present a real issue for seniors:

A recent report by AARP showed that 40% of adults over 50 reported inadequate sidewalks in their neighborhoods, and 50% reported they cannot cross streets safety. The report also revealed that many people would walk, bicycle or ride the bus if these conditions were improved.  Challenges that frequently affect people’s mobility as they age include declining vision, reduced physical fitness and flexibility, decreased ability to focus attention and increased reaction time.

For the DOT, the need to proliferate the city with “complete streets” will become a pressing issue within the next decade as 2025 the population of older adults will double, likely leading to an increase of pedestrian accidents. Because of this, they are advocating community involvement and awareness in “complete street” policies and planning. Here is some relevant information:

Attend a DOT forum or workshop about transportation or neighborhood planning.  Visit our event calendar or view upcoming events on Facebook. Participate in your community board’s transportation committee. (Find your community board).

Check out resources like the National Complete Streets Coalition, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU.

An emergency meeting. Photo courtesy of the Workers Justice Project/Proyecto Justicia Laboral

For more than 12 years, a center in Bensonhurst provided a myriad of services for day laborers and undocumented workers. The laborers depended on the center to keep them off the streets and help connect them to employers. Officials depended on the center because it helped to ensure the safety of the laborers and employers.

When Hurricane Sandy destroyed the space, it forced everyone to start from scratch.

Continue Reading »

Thanks to the Brooklyn News for pointing out the erroneous email the DOT sent out regarding parking meters tomorrow:

Earlier today the New York City Dept. of Transportation sent out an email that parking meters will be suspended tomorrow, Nov 7th. However, that is not the case, it took the DOT 2 hours to realize they made a mistake in their email blast. DOT has sent a second email confirming PARKING METERS ARE IN EFFECT tomorrow.

Source: Nigel Cox via Wikimedia Commons

From the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield is working closely with the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to make sure that a number of street resurfacing projects underway across the district are completed in a timely manner with as few disruptions to the community as possible. This is part of Greenfield’s focus on ensuring that the 44th Council district, which includes Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst, receives the government funding, services and resources its residents deserve.

Repaving work is being completed this week along 46th Street between 8th Avenue and 18th Avenue in Boro Park, where crews have been working to resurface this important stretch of road – one of the bumpiest in the entire neighborhood. In addition, work has been completed or is planned for along 43rd Street from 14th Avenue to McDonald Avenue, 56th Street from 16th Avenue to Dahill Road, 58th Street from 18th Avenue to the dead end abutting Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School and 59th Street from 16th Avenue to 23rd Avenue. The end result will be smooth, newly-resurfaced streets that are safer and easier to navigate for all residents, especially drivers, cyclists, and bus riders.  As work progresses, signs will be posted alerting residents of any temporary parking restrictions on their block. Anyone who does receive a ticket after their vehicle has been relocated by DOT crews to another block should contact Greenfield’s office for help fighting it.

“I am proud to have worked with the DOT to identify our worst streets and schedule them for summer repair in order to minimize the impact it has on residents and businesses. It is important that the city continues to invest in our infrastructure including local streets to protect our quality of life and make sure the neighborhood is well maintained,” said Greenfield.

The New York City budget includes $125.2 million for street repaving in Fiscal Year 2013, which began on June 30. In addition, the Brooklyn Borough President contributed $2.2 million for street repaving in Fiscal Year 2013, an increase of about $600,000 from the prior year. As co-chair of the Council’s Brooklyn Delegation, Greenfield worked closely with Borough President Marty Markowitz to make sure that street resurfacing was adequately funded in the budget, and that streets in poor condition in Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst are included in the repaving schedule for the upcoming year.

The current projects come on the heels of the completion of two major local resurfacings: 50th Street, which was long known as the worst stretch of road in Boro Park, and Avenue P, which had been the source of many complaints from Midwood residents. These two important projects were included in the DOT’s spring resurfacing program earlier this year after Greenfield personally questioned DOT officials about the condition of streets in his district and urged them to be fixed immediately. While there is generally a backlog of streets around the city that are awaiting repairs, Greenfield encourages any resident with suggestions for road repairs to contact his office at (718) 853-2704, especially if the poor street conditions are creating a safety hazard.

“It is an ongoing battle to keep our streets smooth and safe, and I will continue to fight so that we receive our share of city resources. My thanks to the DOT for its hard work, both this summer and throughout the year. We are making real progress on our goal of improving the condition of our local streets,” added Greenfield.

Source: Marlith via Wikimedia Commons

The Department of Transportation has asked for companies to submit Statements of Qualification if they are interested in managing and operating the city’s parking meters.

Companies will have to run a designated number of parking spaces to be considered and have $100 million in collateral. There are about 80,800 on-street parking spaces up for grabs.

Based on the responses from businesses, a decision will be made as to whether or not the project will take foot.

A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said that the city would keep control of meter rates and violation enforcement, according to Voz Iz Neias.

Statements are due July 31.

bad street needs repair

Source: Miguel Tremblay via Wikimedia Commons

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield has successfully fought to have two of the worst stretches of streets in Brooklyn, which have long been a source of frustration for residents, included in the city Department of Transportation’s upcoming spring and summer repaving schedule. Greenfield received the good news today when Brooklyn DOT Commissioner Joseph Palmieri notified him that both 50th Street in Boro Park and Avenue P in Midwood and Bensonhurst will be completely resurfaced over the next few months.

Greenfield personally showed Commissioner Palmieri the extremely poor condition of these streets during a recent tour of the district, and again demanded that they be repaved during a City Council oversight hearing last week on the condition of New York City streets.

According to the Commissioner’s office, Avenue P between 65th Street and Ocean Parkway will be repaved by early June, and 50th Street between 8th Avenue and 18th Avenue in Boro Park will be repaved in July to minimize the impact on the main thoroughfare.

“I am thrilled that the Department of Transportation agreed to my many requests over the past two years to repave both 50th Street and Avenue P. My thanks goes out to Brooklyn Commissioner Joe Palmieri for taking the time to personally inspect streets throughout my district with me and to Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn for agreeing to include these two in the upcoming repaving cycle. This is great news for everyone who uses these streets, especially drivers and cyclists who are tired of dodging potholes as they travel through the area. I look forward to the completion of this project, and will continue to work with the DOT on other necessary repairs to help make our streets safer,” said Greenfield.

Residents are asked to report any other streets that are in need of repairs or other transportation-related matters, such as problems with signage, to Greenfield’s district office at (718) 853-2704.

Muni-Meter Initiative

Less tickets with roll-over parking minutes

Brooklyn drivers may finally get a reprieve from parking tickets with a bill aimed at clarifying the issue of roll-over paid minutes at muni-meter spots, something that local Assemblyman William Colton has been working towards for some time.

The bill states that drivers who purchase time from a muni-meter parking spot can keep the receipt and use remaining time on another muni-meter spot in the city. The transferred receipt must be for spaces that are equal or lesser value than the original paid spot.

Colton attempted to introduce  similar legislation in February but it did not go far because the City Council wanted a crack at leading the initiative.

Residents had already thought that roll-over minutes were allowed, but received parking tickets when they attempted to use leftover minutes, as previously reported by the Bensonhurst Bean.

The bill has the backing of Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg. Quinn told the NY Post that the bill is “plain and simple. You buy the time, you get to use it.”

Colton said that he’s “pleased the council is finally responding to concerns many of my constituents have been raising for some time.”

The following is a press release from the office of City Councilman David Greenfield:

Greenfield Demands DOT Repave Worst Local Streets and Stop Permitting Repaved Streets to Be Cut Up

Brooklyn – Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) yesterday questioned New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) officials over the unacceptable conditions of several local streets and urged the DOT to have them repaved immediately. Greenfield’s comments, which came during a City Council oversight hearing of the DOT aimed at examining the state of the city’s roads, focused on several streets in the district that have long been the source of frustration for local drivers. Specifically, Greenfield called on the DOT to ensure that 50th Street between Fort Hamilton Parkway and 20th Avenue, 46th Street between 13th Avenue and 17th Avenue, and Avenue P between McDonald Avenue and Ocean Parkway are immediately repaved so that they are safe and passable for motorists and cyclists. Continue Reading »

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