January/February 1997, p.5

Neighborhoods

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Committee: Car-Free Prospect Park and Traffic Calming.
Getting more car-free hours in Prospect park was the number one topic at last month's Brooklyn Committee meeting. Twenty five members met at the new Rock 'n Road Bike shop to meet people and discuss how to go about getting more car-free hours. The campaign for traffic calming was also discussed. Several people volunteered to get postcards signed and plans were made to have a fun Prospect Park event in the spring.

Read the latest news about this issue.

Downtown: Atlantic Center Shopping Mail Attracts Shoppers and Motorists
The 400,000 square-foot Atlantic Avenue mall, opened in November, has already won praise for bringing life, jobs, and dollars into the heart of Brooklyn. Yet, to discourage people (especially teenagers) from socializing, the center was designed without public benches or telephones. "People come here to get good value and low prices," developer Bruce Ratner told the Daily News in November. "It's not a place to roam around."

Traffic around the center has gotten worse, and DOT plans to accommodate it by finishing a project that adds lanes to Flatbush Avenue by narrowing the sidewalks. The effect on Flatbush Avenue businesses should become apparent in the next few months.


Bronx

Soundview: DOT Promises Ramps
In response to a letter from T.A.'s Bronx Committee, DOT'S Bronx Borough Office has promised to install asphalt ramps leading to bike paths in Soundview Park. Previously, cyclists had to dismount or attempt to jump the curb. 

Pelham Bay: Century Paths to be Paved
After several requests from T.A.'s Bronx
Committee, the Parks Department has begun repaving paths through Pelham Bay Park. Much of the paving will occur on paths used by T.A.'s NYC Century Bike Tour.


Queens

Jackson Heights: 34th Avenue Bike Lane Partially Complete
DOT and the city Department of Environmental Protection have passed a major milestone towards the completion of 34th Avenue bike lane. With sewer work finished, a major section of the two-way lane was opened this fall. DOT plans to stripe the remainder in the police presence the spring. When done, the lane will run from 61st Street to Flushing Meadows Park, and will eventually be connected to the Queensboro Bridge.

Read the latest news about this issue.


Manhattan

Greenwich Village: Eighth Street Overhaul
In an effort to revitalize a major West Village street, advocates proposed that Eighth Street be narrowed and its sidewalks widened from about eight feet to Fifteen. To make the street more pleasant for the 4,000 or so pedestrians who walk down the street each hour, the Village Alliance Business Improvement District plans to add trees, planters, and historic light poles to the newly-expanded sidewalks. The narrowed roadway should also make the street safer by slowing unruly traffic.  DOT has applied for funds to rebuild the street.

Midtown: Giuliani Pulls Back on Park Avenue Ped Mall
Despite the success of the summer-season pedestrian mall on Park Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, the city has no plans to make the lunchtime traffic-free zone a permanent attraction. "It has been removed from review," a city aide told the New York Post in October. The city is making the Grand Central Partnership reapply for a temporary permit every year, although the GCP still hopes to win a year-round pedestrian mall and open a restaurant under the dingy Pershing Square Aqueduct.

Upper West Side: Call for Crackdown on West End Avenue
Tour buses, commercial vans, and trucks are illegally using West End Avenue, and State Assemblyman Scott Stringer wants the Mayor to do something about it. Calling the residential street "the highway to hell," Stringer conducted a study and found that each week thousands of commercial vehicles barrel down West End despite an official ban on such traffic. Stringer has called for Giuliani to conduct a pollution study and boost police presence to bust scofflaw truckers.


Long Island

Lido Beach: Lido Boulevard Called ''Killer Road"
Five people have been killed and 250 cars have crashed in the last four years along a 3.1 mile stretch of Lido Boulevard, and neighbors are calling for an end to the car-nage. Local activist Stephanie Kaufman told Newsday that motorists ignore the 45-mile-per-hour speed limits. Kaufman believes installing more lights won't help. Rather, she and others advocate narrowing the six-lane speedway into a 4-lane road with a median strip. Others want the traffic slowed down to 25 mph with serious enforcement by county police.