Third Avenue Bronx-Manhattan Bicycle Superhighway. Cycling is a healthy, zero-emissions form of transit and allows residents and visitors to experience our City in an entirely new way. Although the West Side of Manhattan has continuous dedicated bicycle lanes along the Hudson River, the East Side lacks a safe and efficient bicycle corridor. As the next Mayor, Aaron will build a bicycle superhighway that spans the length of Third Avenue in Manhattan. This superhighway will continue into the Bronx, along Third Avenue, and ultimately connect with the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Gardens, and Van Cortlandt Park. This bicycle superhighway will have barriers and traffic control measures to protect the safety of cyclists and pedestrians alike. Aaron’s plan for this Third Avenue Bronx-Manhattan Bicycle Superhighway will foster urban sustainability, ease congestion, and improve our way of life.
Ban Gas Guzzlers. We must take back our streets from polluting cars that have overtaken our way of life. Other cities have already taken action to reduce congestion and improve air quality. Central London, for example, has been designated an Ultra-Low Emission Zone while most of greater London has been designated a Low Emission Zone, each of which impose restrictions on the types of vehicles allowed. As the next Mayor, Aaron will establish Ultra-Low Emission Zones, where only electric vehicles and hybrids will be allowed. The first Ultra-Low Emission Zones will be located in congested areas such as Manhattan below 96th Street, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO. Aaron will also establish Low Emission Zones which would allow only fuel-efficient vehicles. The first such Low Emission Zones will be located in neighborhoods such as Prospect Park, Forest Hills, and Astoria. Aaron’s plan to ban gas guzzlers in these zones will make New York City a beacon of progressive energy policy and a more attractive place to live, work, and visit.
Establish Electric Vehicle (EV) Lanes. Transportation accounts for well over 30% of our annual carbon dioxide emissions and our roadways are congested. Aaron proposes dedicating lanes exclusively for Electric Vehicles, which would allow for expedited and clean transit in and around Manhattan. Aaron will negotiate with the Biden Administration to seek federal funding for these EV Lanes and his other environmental initiatives, so that New York City can become the example for environmental protection for the rest of the country. These EV Lanes would encourage New Yorkers to purchase clean electric vehicles, and all New Yorkers would benefit from cleaner air.
Waste Reduction. Perhaps the greatest threat to our environment is the amount of unnecessary waste we produce. We use far too many disposable cups, plates, and utensils in our food service establishments, and most of the time these materials are not even recycled and, instead, are sent to a landfill. We must enact incentives for businesses and consumers to reduce the amount of overall waste that we generate as a community.
Reduce Food Waste. As much of 40% of food in New York City is thrown away. With so many people struggling to make ends meet, this is a tragedy. Aaron will require that food that would otherwise be discarded be donated to food banks and homeless shelters instead. In addition, we need to more effectively manage inedible food waste. Food scraps that are left to rot in landfills emits harmful methane gas; therefore, Aaron will implement mandatory composting rules for businesses, restaurants, and grocery stores in New York City.
Sustainable Tourism in our City. One of Aaron’s top priorities is to revive the economy and bring back tourists to our City. We must, however, encourage a new model of sustainable tourism. Our streets have been clogged with double-decker tour buses, and our skies have the near-constant hum and exhaust from helicopter tourist traffic. We must place dramatic additional limits on these activities, which pollute our air and clog our streets. As we rebuild the City’s vital tourism industry, we can safely attract visitors to enjoy an even more compelling experience while improving the quality of life for residents who live and pay taxes here.
Storm Resiliency. We must commit to major capital investments in preparation for major storms and the undeniable realities of Global Climate Change. As a long-time resident of New York City, Aaron has experienced the effects of climate change firsthand: His building was flooded during Hurricane Sandy and was closed for more than three weeks. In addition, one of his friends in Lower Manhattan lost all of his belongings when his ground-floor apartment was inundated with floodwater, and many more lost their homes in the aftermath as well. Rather than sit idly by and wait for the next storm, the City must implement proactive measures to protect our residents and our coastline.