Kalman Yeger and Yoni Hikind, the two candidates vying to replace 44th District City Councilman David Greenfield, who is stepping down once his term ends in January, separately proposed projects that each say would add greatly to the district’s quality of life.
Hikind, the son of Boro Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind unveiled his “Cleaner Streets” proposal, which would do away with alternate side of the street parking, and replace the street sweeper vehicles with state-of-the-art efficient street vacuumers.
“The issues of traffic congestion, parking availability, street cleanliness and associated violations are all issues that New Yorkers share,” said Hikind. “What do these problems all have in common? Alternate-side parking. Alternate-Side Parking regulations were put into effect by the Department of Sanitation in the 1950s, allowing large street-sweeping vehicles to clean sidewalks from accumulative trash while requiring motorists to rotate parking positions. But a DOT survey, conducted while alternate-side parking was suspended, found that the regulations increase congestion. It also found that uncleaned streets appeared neither cleaner nor dirtier.
“Alternate-side parking may have been a great solution 60 years ago, but today’s street conditions require us to look at alternatives, so that’s what I’ve done. Growing up in Midwood and Boro Park, I’ve witnessed the stress created by forcing people to double-park and then move their cars. Traffic congestion is bad enough during rush hour. Alternate-side parking eliminates half of all available area parking. And I think most of us would agree that streets aren’t much cleaner when alternate side is in effect. Nevertheless, Kings County continues to see about 10,000 new cars each year, so things are only going to get worse.”
Hikind said the street vacuumers are much better instruments for effectively cleaning streets while simultaneously alleviating city drivers from alternate-side woes.
“Large capacity vacuumers don’t necessarily require moving cars to reach trash, and sweepers have proven to be imperfect cleaning tools (since they tend to scatter pieces of trash). Revamping the city’s street cleaning fleet can potentially eliminate traffic congestion, restore parking availability at peak hours, and reduce unfair penalties on citizens all the while leaving behind cleaner streets,” said Hikind.
Hikind said the street vacuumers idea has already proven itself feasible in Toronto, Montreal, Baltimore, Atlantic City and Paris, and is pitching for a pilot project to start in his district.
“The solution I’m proposing is cost-effective and will ultimately save money for the City as well as our residents,” said Hikind. “Best of all, New Yorkers will love it. Cleaner streets, less traffic, less hassle. As city councilman, these are some of my goals. And with G-d’s help and some hard work, we’ll get there.”
Yoni Hikind’s complete “Cleaner Streets” plan can be found at yonihikind.com/cleanerstreets.
Not to be outdone, Yeger, the Democratic and Conservative parties’ candidate, said he is committed to not only continuing to allocate funds for neighborhood parks, but to fund brand new parks throughout the 44th Council District.
“With Succos [Jewish holiday] right around the corner, people in our community know how important it is for our children to have a place to play,” Kalman said. “I am committed to continuing Councilman Greenfield’s tradition of renovating our existing parks, and also to actively seek land where we can build brand new parks for our children.”
Specifically, Kalman proposed that New York City fund the purchase of vacant lots for development as new parkland.
Greenfield, who handpicked Yeger to get the Democratic Party line in the Nov. 7 general election, said his protegé played an important role in his securing more than $35 million in city funding to renovate every park in the district, which includes Borough Park, Kensington, Bensonhurst and Midwood.
“From the design of the new parks to the community scoping meetings, to the grand openings, Kalman played Kalman worked with me every step of the way in renovating all 13 parks and playgrounds in my district,” said Greenfield, adding Yeger main importance in securing the funds was in being a member of Community Board 14. .
Specifically, Yeger proposed that the city fund the purchase of vacant lots for development as new parkland within the district.
“Our community has both, amongst the most children, and the lowest park area in the entire city. Now that Councilman Greenfield has begun the process of funding every park for renovation, I will not only finish the job, but I will seek out space and funding for brand new parks,” said Yeger. “We need more parks to accommodate our community’s rapid growth, particularly since so many in our community are children.”