Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Livable Streets

Open Plans Brings on Three New Hires in Fight for Livable Streets

12:01 AM EDT on October 4, 2021

(from top) Sara Lind, Robert Green and Carl Mahaney have joined Open Plans.

A lawyer with extensive policy expertise who ran for City Council, a messaging guru with deep roots in city media, and an activist (who is also an architect) have joined the staff of Open Plans, the not-for-profit that advocates for livable streets.

Sara Lind
Sara Lind

Sara Lind — who left a prestigious law firm to begin a career in public service, first leading to a stint as secretary of Community Board 7, then running for a Council seat on the Upper West Side — is Open Plans’s new director of policy. In that role, she’ll roll out new policy initiatives and work with the incoming administration, elected officials and not-for-profits to effectuate those plans.

Robert Green — a marketing and communications strategist and film and television producer — was hired as director of strategic communications. His job will be to promote Open Plans’s messages and raise its profile on the city and national scene.

Carl Mahaney — the principal of an architectural firm, UWS parent, and safe-streets tyro — is the new advocate for StreetopiaUWS, the progressive community group that has been fighting for livable streets, safety infrastructure for cyclists (especially in and around Central Park), and the pedestrianization of Broadway (with some successes, as Streetsblog reported here and here).

The hires signal a big push in front of the new mayoralty and City Council on the part of the 22-year-old organization, which has used tactical urbanism and grassroots advocacy in order to advance a variety of active-transportation and safe-streets initiatives.

Robert Green
Robert Green

Open Plans was the driving force of the first protected bike lanes in New York City (along Ninth Avenue in Chelsea) and many streetscape changes on the Upper West Side including the first UWS protected bike lane (along Columbus Avenue). It has played an important part in the open-streets movement.

Its affiliate, Streetfilms, has created more than 1,000 films on street safety and biking, by highlighting developments around the world. (Full disclosure: Open Plans is the parent company of StreetsblogNYC and StreetsblogUSA.)

Carl Mahaney
Carl Mahaney

“With our new hires, we can more deeply engage with lawmakers and policy leaders inside New York’s government,” Open Plans Chairman Mark Gorton said in a statement. “Open Plans is iterating and proactively solving issues so New York City can build the ability to manage streets as public spaces and transform deadly car sewers into social spaces for kids and neighbors.”

Gorton is a major proponent of the idea that New York City needs an Office of Public Space Management in order to take advantage of advances in urban “placemaking” and to devolve responsibility for neighborhood amenities away from distant, centralized bureaucracies. The idea gained traction on the mayoral campaign trail, with several candidates, most notably Maya Wiley, voicing versions of it.

The hires join Chief of Strategy Lisa Orman and Director of Public Space Advocacy Jackson Chabot, and reflect a growing commitment by Gorton to affect change, including recent hires at Streetsblog and the funding of an upstate organizer for Transportation Alternatives.

Thanks for reading!

Register or log in to continue.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

MAP QUEST: See Exactly Why Sammy’s Law Would Be So Crucial for the Boroughs

Ironically, one of the most dangerous roadways — East Gun Hill Road — is in the district of the Assembly Speaker who reportedly opposes Sammy's Law.

June 8, 2023

Welcome to Streetsblog’s New Website!

You can spend all day clicking around on our glistening new website. Get started here!

June 8, 2023

Thursday’s Headlines: Don’t Look Up Edition

The big and only story yesterday was the end-of-days feel that blanketed the city all day. Plus, someone has to defend Sarah Meyer!

Hunger Strike Day 2: Gov. Hochul is ‘Sympathetic,’ But Won’t Pressure Heastie on Sammy’s Law

The governor expressed sympathy for the mothers who are holding a hunger strike to protest the Assembly’s inaction on Sammy’s Law — but she declined to condemn the body's leader, Speaker Carl Heastie.

June 7, 2023

The Fires This Time: There is No Plan to Limit Driving During Health Emergencies Like This One

City officials admitted on Wednesday that they have no plan to deal with pollution like the city is experiencing today — not even an emergency health protocol to require mandatory carpooling.

June 7, 2023
See all posts