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NYC Service and the Citizen’s Committee for New York City are giving out grants to help neighborhood groups spruce up their communities. The Love Your Block program awards $1,000 grants and allows groups to partner with the departments of transportation, sanitation and parks to beautify streets. The city will help with things like graffiti removal, repairing signs and streetlights and free mulch for tree pits.

Applications are due by November 7 and projects need to be started between April and June. Since the program began in 2009, 225 grants have been given out. Find out more about the program here.

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Officials will break ground on the long-delayed Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Plaza on Thursday. The project will create a 25,000 square foot plaza on Myrtle Avenue between Hall Street and Emerson Place.

The plan has been in the works for many years; community meetings to develop the design began in 2010. This stretch of Myrtle has two lanes, one for regular traffic and a service road on the east-bound side. The revamp will shorten the service road from four blocks to two (a narrower road will remain between Hall Street and Grand Street Avenue) and will create a plaza with trees, plantings, public art, a water fountain and programming space.

Once completed, the space will be maintained by the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, which will coordinate with local groups to organize events there. Construction should last between 12 and 18 months. More renderings after the jump.

Myrtle Plaza Design Is Finally a Go [Brownstoner]
Delays for the Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Plaza [Brownstoner]
Inventing the Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Plaza [Brownstoner]
Renderings via Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

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When we biked down Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn Heights today, Department of Environmental Protection workers were tearing up the road to repair the sewers. Workers onsite told us that they expect the project to take anywhere from three to six months. They also said they’re going to repaint the bike lane that runs next to the courthouse.

Later in the year, they plan on doing work on Red Cross Place and the southbound section of Adams Street, next to the Brooklyn Bridge approach. This section of Cadman Plaza East is closed to traffic. Cyclists who take it to get out of Dumbo will have to find an alternate route for the next few months.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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.

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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.