Q&A: Manhattan BP Mark Levine talks 2nd Ave. Subway, housing plan, lithium battery fires and AI


Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has a lot on his mind when it comes to the island he is in charge of overseeing. 

Among those topics are the impending extension of the Second Avenue Subway from the Upper East Side into East Harlem; Levine’s plan for utilizing at least 170 vacant lots across Manhattan to build more affordable housing; efforts to combat the scourge of fires connected with lithium ion batteries commonly found in e-scooters and e-bikes; and what role artificial intelligence (AI) will play in the Big Apple going forward.

Levine gave his thoughts on these subjects during a July 7 phone interview with amNewYork Metro.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

amNY:  On July 5, it was reported that construction is going to be starting before year’s end on the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway. The first phase, completed in 2017, extended the Q train from 57th Street and 7th Avenue up to 96th Street and Second Avenue. The second phase will further extend the line to 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in East Harlem, where it will join the 4, 5 and 6 trains. What do you see coming out of that project for East Harlem and Manhattan?