Monday: Join Us for a Fond Farewell to Streetsblog NYC Reporter Noah Kazis

Brace yourselves, Streetsblog readers, and enjoy the journalism of Noah Kazis while you still can. On August 1, Noah will be departing Streetsblog and moving on to Yale Law School in the fall.

We will be welcoming Stephen Miller as our next NYC reporter shortly thereafter. Stephen is currently finishing his master’s degree in planning at Pratt and has written previously for Greater Greater Washington. You may have spotted his byline on Streetsblog NYC this summer, and you may also be following him on Twitter. We’re thrilled to have him covering the local livable streets beat full time.

Noah at his immaculate workspace.

Next Monday we’ll be throwing a little going-away party for Noah here at Streetsblog world headquarters on Lafayette Street, but before I get to the details I’d like to share a few thoughts on Noah’s work at Streetsblog and his contribution to the movement for sustainable transportation and livable streets.

I knew Noah was a keeper the night in January 2010 when we covered the release of plans for Select Bus Service and protected bikeways on the East Side. It was a momentous story, the big reveal for the biggest street redesign project, in terms of sheer length, that NYC DOT had taken on. Noah and I watched the presentation, interviewed a few key players, and headed to our respective homes, where we worked on the story together, chatting remotely, until after midnight. We got it wrapped up and ready to go for the next morning.

Noah has never let up in the two and half years since. His flair for teasing out telling details from the depths of complex studies, RFPs, environmental impact statements — you name it — has generated one high-impact story after another. For an early piece on the massive “sarcophagi” bollards surrounding the Atlantic Terminal LIRR entrance in Brooklyn, Noah dug up NYPD’s counterterror standards for “High Tier” potential targets and let his measuring tape tell the tale of anti-pedestrian overkill. The Brooklyn Paper duplicated Noah’s results. And now, a few years later, those monster bollards are coming down.

There are many storylines where Noah’s coverage really stood out, and I would like to acknowledge a few of them here.

His pieces on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement have called out the hypocrisy of the Cuomo administration’s rush to build an oversized, cars-first, double-span bridge — no questions asked — while making up excuse after excuse to avoid building transit infrastructure as part of the project. No other reporter has provided the level of scrutiny and skepticism that Noah has.

In a series of posts last year about the Department of City Planning’s off-street parking studies, Noah managed to get access to sensitive draft documents that portrayed an agency at odds with itself. Some passages showed a serious attempt within the department to close loopholes in the limits on off-street parking in Manhattan, while other passages, backed up with sloppy data, seemed to originate from a faction seeking to undermine those limits. When the final documents were released, the shoddy analysis was gone and the sustainability-minded reforms remained.

Noah’s post pointing out the political and public support for protected bike lanes in East Harlem, at a time when DOT seemed to be retreating from the project, was a critical piece of advocacy that helped move street safety forward in a neighborhood that really needs it. A few months later this major complete streets project was back before the Community Board, and a handful of NIMBY business owners haven’t been able to stop it.

We’ll be celebrating Noah’s greatest hits and his full body of work at Streetsblog next Monday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m. on the 13th floor of 148 Lafayette Street. Please RSVP by Friday if you would like to join us for some drinks, snacks, and conversation on the roof deck as we give Noah a proper sendoff.

Everyone at Streetsblog, Streetfilms, and OpenPlans wishes him the best, and we know the equanimity and keen analytical mind that he displayed here will enable him to flourish as he embarks on his law career.

  • JamesR

    Best of luck, and a big thanks, to Noah. 

  • Thanks Noah for such great work. And thanks Ben for great coverage here of what Noah has covered!

  • J

    Good luck, Noah! Thanks for all the hard work you’ve done.

  • summer

    I know you don’t need luck, but I’m wishing it anyway.  Your reporting and work rate have been superlative.  I doubt I’m being presumptuous in saying you’ll be sorely missed by Streetsblog readers.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve admired and relied on Noah’s reporting; he leaves big shoes to fill. Unfortunately I cannot make the going-away party, but look forward to joining the Streetsblog team in August. Congratulations, Noah, and best of luck in law school.

  • Albert

    Ben, thanks for the “Brace yourselves.”  It helped soften the blow.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you all for the kind words, especially Ben’s extremely generous ones. They mean the world. It’s the rare Streetsblog story that isn’t made better by the insights and tips of our commenters and the only ones that haven’t been dramatically improved by Ben’s editorial vision are those written while he’s on a rare day off.

    To everyone I’ve worked with these two and a half years: See you on Monday. 

    To Stephen: See you in the comments section…

  • Gibson Dunn

    Noah, please touch base with us a few months before graduation.

  • Iris W.

    [Sigh of relief.]

  • Christa

    Congrats Noah!

  • Good luck!  You’ll be missed.

  • bill b

    Noah good luck in New Haven.Try out  Louis Lunch hamburgers !

  • Guest

    Hopefully Noah will come back to us, better equipped to get the NYPD to shape up!
    Good luck!!!

  • Ben Kintisch

    Noah
    You’re a great reporter and I admire all of your fine writing and thorough research. We. (the loyal streetsblog readers) will miss you. Good luck and boolah boolah.

  • Alon Levy

    Good luck with your studies, and farewell; Stephen Miller will have big shoes to fill.

  • Miles Bader

    nooooooooo

    (but seriously, SB is one of the absolute best transit-oriented blogs out there—they actually do research, and even do stuff!—and Noah seems to be behind many of the best articles…)

    oh well, I guess Yale law school is great preparation for going deep-cover…

  • HamTech87

    Thanks for the great reporting!

  • Noah, I’ve appreciated your excellent writing and reporting. Best of luck with your studies.

  • Andrew

    This is terrible news! (For us, at least.)

  • Severin

    As an la.streetsblog reader who occasionally checks in here I must say I’ve enjoyed reading Noah’s articles.

  • KeNYC2030

    I’ve worked with Noah on a number of stories, either as a writer or as a source/interviewee.  He’s been absolutely terrific, and his journalism for Sblog has consistently achieved a very high standard. I share the hope that with a law diploma in hand, he’ll apply the same doggedness and 
    intelligence  to expanding the rights of vulnerable street users. 

  • Eric McClure

    Champagne corks are popping over at 9 PPW.  Good luck, Noah, and thanks for your terrific work at Streetsblog.

  • Congratulations to Noah on your next step. Your reporting will be missed. Streetsblog: Noah is a big loss, but Stephen is a great gain. I know him as a #bikenyc friend, and I’ve learned a lot about complete streets just from our informal conversations over recreational rides (and a lot of food, of course) over the last year. He’s thoughtful, smart, and has a sense of humor on top of that — good stuff for the indispensable resource that is Streetsblog.

  • Ian Dutton

    Noooooooooo!

    Thanks for the hard work Noah – it’s hard to describe what kind of impact it has had on the work we do. Best wishes and good luck, and we all hope to see you again.

  • Guest

    Come to Elm City Cycling meeetings the second Monday of every month in New Haven at 6:00pm in City Hall.  We could use your expertise!

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, I never read this whole article because the bit before the jump made me think that party details were coming at a later date, so I didn’t click “read more.”  When it seemed to me that details never came, I thought there’d been a decision not to have a party.  Oh well.  Farewell, Noah, sorry I missed your sendoff.  I’m sure you’ll make the most of Yale, and I look forward to your even more potent contributions to a more livable world.  

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