07/25/14 9:00am

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PS 261 in Boerum Hill has a garbage problem, say local residents who are getting tired of seeing, and, this time of year, smelling, trash strewn in front of the school. According to DNAinfo, the school, at 314 Pacific Street, has been leaving piles of garbage bags out on the sidewalk for years. One 21 year-old woman the reporter spoke to remembers avoiding the stacks of refuse on school’s side of the street when she was just 9 years old. (more…)

07/14/14 11:30am

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A project to create a Medgar Evers campus quad by narrowing a Crown Heights street proposed 20 years ago is finally moving forward. Crown Street between Bedford and Franklin will be narrowed to one lane with no parking to create a lounge area with a big lawn where students can “lie on the grass and attend classes, lectures and concerts,” said The New York Daily News. (more…)

07/11/14 4:00pm

kosciuszko bridge renderings

The rickety Kosciuszko Bridge between Greenpoint and Queens could be replaced by this elegant-looking suspension bridge, a $770 million project that the DOT presented at a community meeting on Wednesday. DNAinfo reported that community members were concerned about how five years of bridge construction would affect their day-to-day lives. They’re worried about noise, transporting construction dirt, and whether construction could shake or damage their homes.

(more…)

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The city and a group of developers are planning to spend $3,000,000 on fancy sidewalks to demarcate the newly renamed Brooklyn Cultural District, aka the area around Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Fort Greene. The new sidewalks will have moody footlights embedded in them and, in some areas, a design scored into the tinted cement. Above, before-and-after images showing the new sidewalks. There will also be new tree pits, trees and benches.

The idea is to let people know they’re in the Brooklyn Cultural District, both The Brooklyn Paper and Crain’s reported. The sidewalk revamp will take several years.

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership helped push the proposal through the review process, said Brooklyn Paper. Half the cost will be fronted by developers who are putting up new buildings in the area. The other half will come from the city.

Do you think this will enhance the area?

Fort Greene Gets Fancy-Schmancy Sidewalks [Brooklyn Paper]
Brooklyn Cultural District Will Get a Makeover [Crain's]
Image by WXY Architecture and Urban Design via Brooklyn Paper

05/22/14 2:30pm

On Tuesday night, Community Board 2′s transportation committee unanimously approved the DOT’s plan to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Park Avenue between Navy and Steuben streets. Park has long been one of the borough’s most dangerous streets. It’s situated directly underneath the BQE and includes several parking areas in the middle of the road. Drivers often pull out of these parking areas into fast-moving traffic where nearly three quarters of drivers are speeding. The mile-long corridor has 13.6 fatalities or series injuries per mile, and a third of all crashes happen at a right angle, usually involving a driver running a red light, according to DOT data.

The DOT adapted much of its plan from one released by the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project and Architecture for Humanity in 2012. Safety improvements include painting parking lanes and a buffer on the eastbound side of the street, another parking lane on the westbound side, and painting a buffer on the westbound side to narrow it down to two lanes (from three) at Williamsburg Place. Pedestrians will also have more time to cross the street and gain some protection from barriers installed on one side of the parking areas. The city hopes to implement the new safety measures in September. You can see the full presentation here.

Image via DOT

04/24/14 4:00pm

Street safety advocates will have a chance to make their voices heard at two upcoming Vision Zero workshops in Brooklyn Heights and Flatbush. Anyone can attend and suggest street safety improvements, bike lanes, or slow zones in neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn. NYPD and DOT staff will split attendees into small discussion groups and use maps to help pinpoint the borough’s most problematic streets.

The first meeting is happening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm tonight at Plymouth Church, located at 75 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights. And next Tuesday, April 29, there will be a second workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on the second floor of the Brooklyn College Student Center at Campus Road and East 27th Street. There’s more info about the workshops on the Vision Zero page.

 

04/09/14 4:00pm

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The Department of Transportation will install a slow zone on Atlantic Avenue this month, it just announced. The speed limit will be reduced from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour, lights timed to reduce speeds to 25 miles an hour, and there will be stepped-up enforcement of the traffic laws along an eight-mile stretch. The slow zone is the first of 25 planned for New York City this year.

Part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero program, the slow zone is designed to reduce speeding and fatalities in the area. There have been 25 deaths, including 13 pedestrians, on the street between 2008 and 2012.

03/28/14 4:00pm

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Last night at Medgar Evers College, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that Atlantic Avenue is going to get safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign. The DOT will install protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, and pedestrian safety measures, according to a press release.

Although no timeline was announced for the improvements, Trottenberg said Atlantic would be among the first 50 priority corridors for safety improvements. Atlantic Avenue has long been one of Brooklyn’s busiest and most dangerous streets, and over 1,400 cyclists and pedestrians were injured by drivers on the road between 2002 and 2013.

03/24/14 4:00pm

Have you ever felt unsafe while walking, biking or driving along Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights? The Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting next week to discuss traffic safety improvements on Franklin between Atlantic Avenue and Empire Boulevard. Community members can attend and suggest ways to improve traveling on the major thoroughfare in community districts eight and nine.

The meeting will take place Wednesday, April 2 from 7 to 9 pm in the President’s Conference Room at Medgar Evers College, located at 1650 Bedford Avenue. Additional info and a DOT contact can be found here on the flyer for the meeting.

Image by DOT

02/14/14 4:00pm

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, why not show your love for your neighborhood by applying for a Love Your Block grant, which offers up to $1,000 for city residents to beautify their surroundings? In addition to the cash, grant recipients get access to city services from the Departments of Transportation, Parks, Recreation and Sanitation.

Past grantees have focused on projects like graffiti removal, vacant lot cleanup, trash collection, tree planting, traffic safety surveys and other civic-minded improvements. The Citizens Committee for New York City partnered with NYC Service to make the grants a reality. You can find the applications on the committee’s website. The deadline for submission is next Thursday, February 20.

02/03/14 9:00am

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Over the weekend, The New York Times took a look at 4th Avenue, the traffic-choked thoroughfare, above, where low-slung industrial buildings are yielding to rapidly sprouting glassy residential luxury towers. The new apartments rent for unheard-of amounts, but the avenue remains an eyesore.

With no room left to develop Park Slope, spillover — and a rezoning about a decade ago to allow tall buildings — is driving a frenzy of construction. New one-bedrooms rent for about $2,500 a month and up; a three-bedroom typically starts at about $3,200, according to a survey from Aptsandlofts.com cited in the Times story. Apartments in older walkups in Park Slope go for much less, but the luxury apartments appear to be driving up prices there too. The story quoted a young professional whose landlord recently notified her and her roommates that their rent would be going up.

“The landlord is going to renovate and, quote, ‘raise the rent substantially,’ which will make it cost-prohibitive for three young professional women who make perfectly good money to rent the apartment,” she said. “The price of a one-bedroom in one of the new buildings is equivalent to the price of the three-bedroom we’re renting now, and it’s more than I bring home in a month.” (more…)