Fall 2003, p.25


Little Progress at Grand Army Plaza
I read your article in the Daily News from July 7, 2003 regarding the Grand Army Plaza crossing from the park to the library. I use that cross walk every day and was hopeful when we saw that work started. Unfortunately all the good work that went into it did little good. The island where one has to wait for the light to change in the middle of six lanes does not provide any more protection than the old one did. The cross walk and the ramps still do not line up and the sequencing of the light is such that one is stuck in the middle of the six lanes crowded on a very small section of concrete while cars whiz by behind and in front. So far this has not been an improvement just an additional inconvenience during the fruitless construction. Is there hope for improvement? Unfortunately it is all poured in concrete and I am it sure cost a lot of money.
-Heinrich Spillmann

Queens Greenways Inaccessible!
Are there any plans to connect the Queens Greenways? As a Queens resident near Forest Park, I have no real safe means of getting to the other Greenways with my children unless I buy a bike rack and drive to them.
-Betty in Forest Hills, NY

T.A. Response: The Department of City Planning is developing plans for the Queens East River Greenway, which would run between Hunters Point and the Flushing Bay Promenade, and the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway, which would run from Coney Island to Little Neck Bay. However, these are just plans, and it is up to the Parks Department to build the projects. We recommend writing to Parks Commissioner Benepe, encouraging the Parks Department to build more car-free greenways. Commissioner Adriane Benepe, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10021.

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Vendor Boxes Still Block Sidewalks
Hi. I'm the pesky T.A. member who complained about all the boxes on the northeast corner of 96 and Broadway. Here's the progress report: almost nil. Of the 17 boxes formerly there, there are now about 14. So about three were removed. Yikes. I noticed that the DOT put papers on each indicating action to be taken, including removal of the boxes. What has happened? Someone has removed the papers. Talk about an ineffective technique.
-Maxine Spector

DOT Response: When we looked on September 9th, there were eight news racks on that corner. It is possible that more have been placed there in the interim. Also, just to clarify the process: the DOT does not have the right to remove news racks until after adjudication by the Environmental Control Board. The "papers" you have seen on these news racks mean that we have issued notices of correction and the cases are on their way to Environmental Control Board; but the process takes time.

T.A. Response: Unfortunately, it is true that the Department of Transportation is constrained by a law that requires the agency to follow a tortured procedure to remove each illegal box. See the www.nyc.gov/dot  for the full description of the process.

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Hey Brooklyn Drivers: Slow Your Roll!
I was wondering how to file a petition for having speed humps installed on East 5th Street between Avenues M and N in Brooklyn. There are so many children in this neighborhood and the speeds in which cars travel are ridiculously high. Even when drivers are backing up to retrieve a spot, they zoom backwards down the street with excessive speeds. Many of our neighbors have expressed an interest in these speed bumps and elected me to find out the procedure for obtaining them. I would appreciate your prompt reply as we have been lucky thus far and no one has gotten hurt.
-Donna Karim

T.A. Response: The best way to get speed humps is to get your community board and city councilmember to request them separately. To get your community board to request, present it with a petition from a big list of neighbors. Call the community board office and explain what you want. It might not say that you need the petition, but we think it is worth doing anyway since it shows a high level of support for speed humps.

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The photo captions on page nine were switched. The picture on the upper right is Yeshiva and lower left is 59th Street and 5th Avenue.

The article on "The Hours" toll report by Komanoff and Ketcham states that, "only 2% of Brooklyn and Queens residents would pay more than $50 a year in tolls." It should say that the study found that the 98% who do not commute on a free bridge would average only $50/year.

The Word on the Streets

Thank you to the many readers who send letters in response to Transportation Alternatives Magazine, the T.A. E-Bulletin or www.transalt.org. Feedback from readers is hugely helpful.

We encourage all readers to send us comments. E-mail info@transalt.org; mail to 115 W. 30th Street, Suite 1207, New York, NY 10001; fax 212-629-8334; or submit a comment through our Web site. We look forward to hearing from you!