Brooklyn Heights: Cops to
Ticket Speeders Who Aren't "Speeding"
The 84th precinct hears lots of complaints about speeding, but often finds
that drivers aren't breaking the 30 mph speed limit. The DOT is considering a
15 mph speed limit for Brooklyn Heights' narrow brownstone streets, but the
precinct plans to act now by ticketing drivers for speeds above what officers
find 'reasonable or prudent."
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Mall Takes a Hit
One of New York's most successful business streets took a hit recently
when the city replaced Fulton Mall's brick paving with conventional asphalt.
Brooklyn Borough DOT Commissioner Joanne Foulke called it a gut-wrenching
decision." Now Downtown Brooklyn's best pedestrian space looks, like any
other street. Ironically, the Regional Plan Association's recent blueprint for
a revitalized downtown calls for more cobbled streets.
Boerum Hill: Community
Businesses and residents along Atlantic Avenue are fighting a McDonald's
proposal for a drive-thru restaurant that would bring more cars and pollution
to the brownstone neighborhood. Because a walk-in store would fit better with
existing stores and homes, T.A. has asked the city's Board of Standards and
Appeals to reject McDonald's application for a zoning variance.
Co-Op City: Auto-Dependent
Designs Threatens to Implode:
Years ago, Co-op City hastened the Bronx's decline when residents of old
neighborhoods moved into new auto-dependent homes. Now the city's largest
housing development is in trouble because of its auto-dependent design. A new
J.C. Penney, multiplex theater, and Home Depot are planned, but residents are
wary of the traffic that will be created. Maybe once the whole thing seizes
up, businesses and residents will see the benefits of setting up shop in
transit-friendly areas like the Hub and Fordham Road.
Madison Avenue Bridge:
Described in City Cyclist's September 1994 Bridges Special Report as the
worst Bronx-Manhattan crossing, the Madison Avenue/138th Street bridge
sidewalk has finally been resurfaced. The sidewalks are now smooth as a baby's
bottom. Work is underway on the roadway surface.
Tribeca: Greener Greenwich
Community Board One and the city's Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have
finally agreed on a plan to narrow Greenwich Street and create a vibrant
pedestrian plaza. Real estate developers had originally provided $9.1 million,
but the city spent the money on other projects. The outraged Board agreed to a
scaled-down $2.8 million version. CB 1 plans to hold public hearings by June.
Union Square: Park
Expanding, Piece by Piece
DOT is expanding Union Square into Union Square West in order to give the
Greenmarket space to operate while the MTA rehabs the subway station. The city
has already narrowed the roadway at 17th Street and plans to close a vehicle
lane in the next few weeks. As we reported in our March/April issue, the DOT
has plans to turn Union Square West into a pedestrian space, but is waiting
for Community Board Four to decide what it wants before conducting traffic
studies. TA. is working with local businesses to reach a compromise within the
next few months.
Harlem: Community Board
Wants to Ravage City College Campus
City College has closed St. Nicholas Terrace between 135th and 140th Streets
to work on a utility tunnel, and Community Board Nine doesn't like it. The
board wants to re-route traffic down car-free Convent Avenue, the heart of the
campus. The board's goal: to harass the university in order to speed up
Hillside Avenue Bus Lane
Dead in Water
The Transit Authority loses more than $250 million a year because its buses
sit in traffic behind cars and taxis. In late 1994, the agency proposed a new
"New York Bus Lane" that allows buses to move and trucks to unload,
but discourages cars from entering. The feds even agreed to pay for a test on
Hillside Avenue. The catch? The City Office of Management and Budget won't
accept the money because it would make the budget look bigger.
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Shades of Robert Moses:
Greenbelt Threatened Again
Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari announced recently a plan
intended to improve the Island's severe congestion problems. His proposal
calls for new road connections, extensions, widenings, and realignments, but
offers no recommendations for mass transit services, express bus lanes, or
other measures that could reduce the number of miles Island residents drive.
Worst of all, the plan would pave undeveloped Greenbelt property.
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