Tuesday, Aug. 24: Trees, Bikes, Governor

A short newsletter today as we work on some longer pieces.

Kathy Hochul was sworn in as the Governor of New York. Mayor refuses to mandate NYPD to get vaccinated, for now. CitiBike is expanding east of Prospect Park and now is soliciting locations for bike stations, and street trees are in need of some TLC. Enjoy the lovely evening and remember to stay out of the way of pesticide-spraying mosquito-killing trucks on Thursday.

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Caring for Brooklyn’s “Urban Forest,” One Tree at a Time

Caring for Brooklyn’s “Urban Forest,” One Tree at a Time

Billy Richling • 3 min read

Nonprofits are seeking to both care for and raise awareness of the importance of New York City’s “urban forest,” which buffers the city against the threats from heat and flooding, absorbs carbon, and makes streets and parks more attractive.

DOT Solicits Feedback for Citi Bike Expansion in Bed-Stuy, Ocean Hill, Crown Heights, and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

DOT Solicits Feedback for Citi Bike Expansion in Bed-Stuy, Ocean Hill, Crown Heights, and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

Billy Richling • 2 min read

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is now soliciting feedback for an expansion of the bikeshare program in the neighborhoods of Bed-Stuy, Ocean Hill, Crown Heights, and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. The agency plans to role out docks in the new locations sometime in 2022.

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Question for the Mayor:

Jake Offenhartz, Gothamist: You announced this [vaccine] mandate with teachers, but the NYPD, which obviously has a lot of contact with the public, is still less than 50% vaccinated. What steps do you think need to be taken to increase that rate? Have you considered withholding overtime from unvaccinated cops? And going forward, why not implement a vaccine mandate here?

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, Jake, you have heard me use a phrase and then make that phrase come to life. I keep saying we're climbing the ladder. And we have been very consistently in this town, climbing the ladder in terms of more and more ways of getting people vaccinated. Incentives and mandates. And we're going to keep doing that.

But I'm also someone who believes in sequencing and what we needed to do first, of course, was health care workers. And then the State came in with that mandate, which was tremendously helpful. Our next focus was on schools for obvious reasons of both the sensitivities of supporting our kids and families, but also the calendar. School starting so soon. We're going to be looking to the next steps soon.

But the bottom line is we're going to look at a variety of options. I do know to the great credit of Commissioner Shea, he has made very passionate, personal appeals to all officers. And Dermot Shea is someone who joined the force in 1991 and came – went from patrol officer all the way up to commissioner. And he’s saying very personally to officers, you need to get vaccinated. He went through hell with COVID himself. He can testify personally. So, he's working very hard to increase that number.

And I remind everyone, it's not just getting an officer vaccinated or a public employee vaccinated. It has an impact on their whole family and makes their whole family safer. But Jake, we are looking at all alternatives. And we will keep updating people as soon as each one is ready.