Report to Community Board 6

February 13, 2008

Kavanagh to Introduce Block the Box Legislation: Assemblymember Kavanagh will be introducing legislation to create a more effective mechanism for preventing vehicles from blocking intersections in New York City, commonly known as “blocking the box.” Presently, blocking the box is classified as a moving violation for which only police officers and a small number of traffic enforcement agents can issue tickets. The bill I propose would classify blocking the box as a parking violation, which would enable all 2,800 of the City’s traffic enforcement agents to issue tickets for this offense. Moreover, because the new tickets would not be moving violations, traffic enforcement agents would issue them without substantially extending the amount of time a vehicle remains in the intersection, simply scanning the windshield registration sticker and dispensing the ticket without having to obtain and record the driver’s license.

“Blocking the box” is a prime cause of gridlock, and it consequently adds significantly to pollution in New York City. In addition to decreasing congestion and pollution, this legislation would increase safety at street crossings for all pedestrians, especially children, seniors, and the mobility impaired. The bill is supported by Mayor Mike Bloomberg and has a majority sponsor in the Senate, Senator Andrew Lanza.

Kavanagh Reviews Soil Test Results for Stuy Town Ball Fields: On January 24th, Assemblymember Kavanagh attended a follow-up meeting to discuss the recent testing by Con Edison, the City Department of Health and the State Department of Environmental Conservation. While there have been concerns about contamination in the Stuyvesant Town ball fields, the tests indicated that the soil does not need to be removed. Assemblymember Kavanagh continues to closely monitor the testing, and the precautions being taken to protect our community’s health.

Supporting Tenant Associations: Assemblymember Kavanagh works closely with local tenant association leaders to support resident initiatives throughout the 74th Assembly District. Kavanagh recently met to congratulate two new tenant association presidents within Community Board 6—Anna Estronza, of 344 East 28th Street, and Geraldine Rosa, of Straus Houses. Kavanagh also worked with the Waterside Tenants Association to support and promote elections that were held on January 31st. Assemblymember Kavanagh looks forward to working with the new slate of board members in all three developments in the upcoming year.

School Overcrowding at PS 116: Assemblymember Kavanagh joined Congresswoman Maloney, other elected officials, Principal Hsu, the PTA of PS 116, community leaders and parental advocates at a meeting to voice concerns about the overcrowding at PS 116. Assemblymember Kavanagh continues to closely follow the issue and looks forward to reviewing the Department of Education’s proposals to address this serious problem.

Congestion Pricing Update: The NYC Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission, created by the Legislature in July 2007, has made its final recommendation, with some key alterations to the congestion pricing plan proposed by the Mayor in the spring of 2007. The proposal will now be reviewed and voted on by the New York City Council. If approved by the Council, the plan will proceed to the legislature in Albany for consideration, possible amendments and a vote by each house. In preparation for consideration of the plan, the Assembly has asked the MTA to release a new 5-year capital budget and to specify how revenues from congestion fees and other charges would be spent on mass transit.