park slope stoop cyclists in prospect park

After a cyclist struck and killed a pedestrian in Central Park, the 78th Precinct is rolling out ways to get cyclists in Prospect Park to slow down and stop for pedestrians at lights. Park Slope Stoop attended the precinct’s local community council meeting last night, where the cops said they’re going to set up portable stop signs and pedestrian-activated signals manned by officers during the day starting Saturday, October 4.

When cyclists stop at the signs, officers will remind them to stop for pedestrians at the signals and give out a flyer noting the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. Eventually, Captain Frank diGiacomo said, if cyclists don’t stop for pedestrians, cops will pull out their radar guns and start giving out tickets.

“A summons blitz is just going to piss off a bunch of people, so education first,” he said. “But we’ll go there if we have to.”

Prospect Park Safety in the Spotlight Again Following Deadly Crash in Central Park [Park Slope Stoop]
Photo via Park Slope Stoop

newtown creek wastewater plant park

The city is building a methane gas recycling facility on land it promised for a park 10 years ago, according to community group The Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee. The group supports the facility but is demanding the city move it elsewhere, Brooklyn Paper reported.

“It does not look like we are going to get any of the open space they promised us,” at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at 329 Greenpoint Avenue, pictured above, a member told the paper.

The Department of Environmental Protection said they put the gas facility, which includes “an 18-wheeler-sized mechanism” to produce energy from sewage and compost, as close to the plant as possible. The site between North Henry and Humboldt Streets will be a fenced off construction site till 2016. 

Activists: Newtown Creek Gas Plant Squashes Park Promise [BK Paper]
Photo by Google Maps

dep building conversion brooklyn bridge park 1 92014

Brooklyn Bridge Park is revamping its old water main testing building at 99 Plymouth Street into a community center and park facility, and park officials held a ceremony yesterday to kick off the building’s renovation. The $3,600,000 conversion will bring a community room, a classroom for environmental education programs, two public bathrooms, a locker room, a kitchen, maintenance space for the park and basement storage. The classroom will also feature a 600-gallon aquarium where children can interact with marine life.

When renovation finishes next summer, the new structure will have a 28-foot-wide glass entrance facing Plymouth Street, and the back entrance will be a floor-to-ceiling glass wall facing the park, the Manhattan Bridge and the waterfront. The exterior brick walls will be painted gray, and the highly visible interiors will be contrasting bright blue and white. Stalco Construction and Architecture Research Office are leading the renovation of the 11,300-square-foot site.

We got a look inside the building, which is completely gutted. The brick facade has been repointed, and the building already has new windows. Click through to see more photos and renderings.

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Yesterday the restored war memorial in Saratoga Park was unveiled at a moving ceremony with an honor guard and local politicians. The field behind the statue, draped in a gold cloth until the end, was dotted with flags in memory of the 106 locals who died in World War I. After speeches by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Council Member Darlene Mealy and others, the names of the dead were read out loud and Mealy placed a wreath at the foot of the statue. A bugle played taps and the gold cloth was drawn up to reveal it.

It was so hot in the sun we worried someone would faint of heat stroke, but luckily no one did. (more…)

east river state park beach 92014

The shoreline area of East River State Park in Williamsburg reopened today. The deteriorating waterfront has been spruced up with more beach sand, a new kayak launch and a wall of reclaimed granite blocks around the edge of the lawn. The state spent $526,000 restoring the park, which was flooded during Hurricane Sandy and has lost several feet of beach to erosion in recent years.

The state also added new plantings, removed invasive plant species, installed dry wells to collect storm runoff, and created channels in the waterside rocks to prevent fish from getting trapped on the beach during low tide. Assemblyman Joe Lentol and Council Member Steve Levin joined State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey (pictured), Regional Director Leslie Wright and several other individuals who have played a critical role in the park’s creation and continued development to celebrate today’s reopening of the shoreline area of the park to the public. Check it out at Smorgasburg tomorrow!

somers-memorial-090414

The dedication ceremony for the newly restored Victory and Peace World War I memorial in Saratoga Park — now draped in a blue plastic tarp behind a fence so it is not visible — will take place at noon on Wednesday, September 10. Speakers and attendees will include veterans, service members and residents of the community.

Bed Stuy resident and former marine Brian Hartig of Brownstone Detectives, who let us know about the date, has researched the lives of some of the 106 men honored on the statue and contacted the descendants of 22 of them. So far, a great-niece and a great-great niece and nephew of one of them plan to attend the event. “As a Marine who’s fought in a war, myself, this is another passion of mine,” he told us.

All the servicemen honored on the statue were born and raised in the neighborhood. World War I was “a devastating event for Stuyvesant Heights,” said Hartig in a statement he prepared about the unveiling. (more…)

saratoga-war-memorial-5-081314

The war memorial in Saratoga Park has been restored! A reader tipped us off the finish line might be in sight. “Big news!!!” he emailed. “The Victory and Peace statue is resting on the pedestal again behind the chain-link fence!!!” When we stopped by recently, we could see the pedestal and the honor rolls of World War I dead on each side through the green fence, but the statue wasn’t there yet.  (more…)

pier-6-1-080614

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. has released 14 proposed designs for the two remaining housing developments on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the focus of a controversy over affordable housing in the park. The proposals will be discussed at a board meeting today, reported The Wall Street Journal, and the winner will be chosen around the end of the year. (more…)

Brooklyn Bridge Park is doing better than expected financially, so building affordable housing in the park is now feasible, according to a long story in The New York Times about the controversial proposal and the politics of the groups that oppose it. A jump in housing prices and park use have filled the coffers of the park, which is supported by private development on the park grounds. (more…)

Prospect Park Lake composite

A Look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Because it was so carefully planned and executed almost 150 years ago, Prospect Park today looks as if it had always been there. Which, of course, was the whole idea. If you don’t know the park’s history, you could easily think that all that needed to be done was to enclose the park with a fence, cut some roads and pathways, build a couple of bridges, follies and a grand entrance or three, and mow the lawn. But in reality, Prospect Park is as constructed as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Both look real, and permanent, and in effect, are, but every aspect of both the park and Hogwart’s School has been carefully thought out and crafted.

After Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted finished Central Park in 1857, Brooklyn wanted a grand park too. The two cities were still fierce rivals, while also co-dependent on each other. Brooklyn’s city fathers came up with a park committee whose president was one of Brooklyn’s leading citizens, James S.T. Stranahan. The committee gave the job of designing the park to Egbert L. Viele, the Charlie Brown of landscape engineering. He had been the Chief Engineer of the Central Park project until Olmsted and Vaux came up with a better design and replaced him. (more…)

brooklyn bridge park pier 6

A judge today will hear a motion to block the city from selecting a developer to build housing towers on two remaining empty lots on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Neighbors are suing the Brooklyn Bridge Park corporation to require them to perform a new environmental impact study to replace the one that was done in 2005, reported The Wall Street Journal. (more…)