Kalman Yeger, the Democratic Party candidate for the vacant 44th City Council District seat, this week released a four-point plan to reduce traffic congestion in Borough Park.
Meanwhile, his opponent Yoni Hikind, received praise, but not an endorsement from Public Advocate Letitia James for his idea that could utilize modern street cleaning technology to do away with alternate side of the street parking.
Yeger, in a sponsored post on The Yeshiva World website, called for among other things, a taxpayer-funded Borough Park Shuttle similar to programs the Downtown Alliance in Manhattan runs and to the well-known Seagate Shuttle, which travels between Borough Park and Seagate.
“This is an environmentally friendly plan because it will encourage drivers to leave their cars at home, and use the shuttle for local trips. It’s also good for our local economy because it will enable consumers to stay local and shop local,” Yeger said in the post.
Other parts of Yeger’s four-point plan includes allowing the local Community Board to weigh in before the City issues street closure permits for non-emergencies, like planned utility work, filming, street festivals and street milling; getting the NYPD to allocate more traffic control personnel; and getting the city’s Department of Transportation to do a traffic study.
Yeger did not return emails or texts for a copy of the plan or to answer any questions regarding cost and/or implementation of the plan.
Meanwhile, James’ office said the public advocate is intrigued with Hikind’s idea to utilize state-of-the-art efficient street vacuumers instead of the outdated street sweeping rigs the city currently uses. The street vacuumers would in effect rid the city of its dreaded 60-year-old alternate side of the street parking rules, along with saving city residents hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in parking tickets.
.According to Hikind, the current street sweeping trucks tend to scatter rather than remove pieces of trash from the curbside. The new state-of-the-art machines are capable of moving around parked cars and actually vacuum up the garbage and soot.
Thus far the new technology is utilized in Toronto, Montreal, Baltimore, Atlantic City and Paris. Hikind proposes a pilot project in the district to see how the new technology works and James agrees.
“We must find a way to expand available parking spaces and reduce traffic, while also keeping our streets clean and safe. This idea to utilize street vacuumers is worthy of exploring through a pilot project in some neighborhoods in New York City,” said Anna Brower, spokeswoman for Public Advocate Letitia James.
Hikind said James’ interest in the idea only highlights its’ legitimacy.
“We’ve said from day one that we will work relentlessly to come up with ideas that can improve the lives of residents in our neighborhood. We committed from day one to out-of-the-box thinking that can yield creative ideas for accomplishing this simple goal. There’s no doubt that when my Cleaner Streets plan was announced it immediately resonated with most members of the community because it tackles such central quality of life issues,” said Hikind.
“With gratitude to Letitia James, I can say that I’m reinforced and resolute in my mission to practically implement this pilot program as soon as I enter elected office. I’m looking forward to a New York City with cleaner streets,” he added.
The district includes Borough Park and parts of Flatbush, Midwood and Bensonhurst. The general election is Nov. 7.