Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More details on B61 bus route split

Received from Craig Hammerman, CB6 district manager:


NYC Transit is proposing to divide the current B61 route into two shorter routes, in order to provide more efficient and convenient bus service for their customers and our constituents. The current B61 route is a long 9.7 mile route which operates between Red Hook, Brooklyn and Queens Plaza, Queens. Splitting the B61 route in Downtown Brooklyn will create two routes, the B61 and B62. Both of these routes would operate with the same total level of service as the current B61 route, but their reliability would increase because of their shorter operating distances. The new southern route, the B61, will travel from the IKEA Terminal in Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn. NYC Transit is proposing to implement these changes in January 2010.

Click here to download the full, official letter from NYC Transit, with a map of the new routes.

(Please note that those wishing to share their views of this proposal with the MTA Board will have an opportunity to testify on the morning of Monday, July 27, 2009. Details of the hearing are contained in the letter.)

Best, Craig

Craig R. Hammerman
District Manager
Brooklyn Community Board 6
250 Baltic Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201-6401

t. 718.643.3027
f. 718..624.8410

Serving the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Columbia Street District, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook

Monday, July 20, 2009

The effects of pollution on the development of children

A study just published in Pediatrics, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has reached the conclusion that there is a link between maternal exposure to airborne emissions before giving birth and the IQ of the children at the age of five. The study measured prenatal airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure (PAH), that is pollutants typically found in the emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles, in 249 mothers during the last stages of their pregnancies. Although the study was primarily conducted in low-income areas of northern Manhattan and the southern parts of the Bronx, it may seem reasonable to assume that similar pollutant levels may be encountered in or around our neighborhood. An abstract of the study can be found on the Pediatrics website:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Port Authority receives almost $11 million to launch clean air strategy at the ports of NY and NJ

The Port Authority recently received two grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency totaling $9.8 million and another $1.8 million grant from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to implement the first pieces of a Comprehensive Clean Air Strategy for the Port of New York and New Jersey.

A $7 million federal grant will help launch a $28 million program to replace pre-1994 trucks serving the port. The EPA grant money and an additional $21 million incentive fund from The Port Authority of NY & NJ will enable truck owners serving the port to replace their pre-1994 trucks with newer cleaner burning, less polluting vehicles.

About 16 percent of the trucks that frequently call at the port were built before 1994, and they contribute 33 percent of the fine Particulate Matter, 14 percent of the NOx and 10 percent of the Greenhouse Gas emissions each year. The program provides funding to replace an estimated 636 of these older trucks with newer vehicles, resulting in a reduction of approximately 118 tons of NOx, 14 tons of PM2.5, and 1,675 tons of Greenhouse Gases per year.

As mentioned previously, the Port Authority has also been given grants to provide ship-to-shore power connection at the Red Hook Cruise Terminal.

This is obviously good news for our neighborhood. However, the emissions from other vehicles, both land-based and maritime, remain a source of concern, especially if overall traffic volumes increase.

B61 bus route will be split in two

NYC Transit is planning on splitting the B61 into two shorter routes in order to achieve greater reliability along the route’s course. The B61 will operate between Red Hook and Downtown Brooklyn, and the new B62 route will operate between Downtown Brooklyn and Queens Plaza.
Implementation date is January 2010. This will be presenting this to the Transit Committee of the MTA on Monday, July 27 at 9:30 a.m. at 347 Madison Avenue, 5th floor conference room. Public comments can be made. Email publicservices [a t] and your comments will be forwarded.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Car Vandalism

There has been an increase of cars being broken into on Union, Hicks and Columbia Street over the last two months. The 76th precinct is aware of the problem and will increase patrols around the neighborhood. Please try not to leave GPS, DVD players or similar items visible in your vehicle.

Realty Ethics

One of the real estate firms advertising and doing business in and around the neighborhood, Awaye Realty, has been engaged in some rather controversial business procedures. A homeowner on Adelphi Street found out that his for-sale-by-owner house was listed by Awaye Realty without his permission:

Land Use Committee Meeting 7/16/09

The Land Use Committee will meet on Thursday, 7/16/09 at 7:00p at Mazzat Restaurant.

  1. Carroll Gardens/Columbia Waterfront rezoning - recap of recent activity, upcoming public hearings.
  2. Phoenix Beverage.
  3. Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Please RSVP

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Positive News Concerning 'Cold Ironing' at The Cruise Terminal

We received the following note from the office of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez:

A bit of good news:

EPA Announcement: Stimulus Grants for Diesel Emissions Reduction

$2.85 million going to Port Authority to reduce cruise line emissions at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (plus other projects). (View full press release here).

Thanks in no small part to community advocacy, no doubt. Let's make sure it is spent well.

Dan Wiley

Community Coordinator

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New York City Community Air Survey

The Department of Health is conducting a New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) together with CUNY/Queens College. The survey is conducted from 150 street-level sites all over New York City, and initial reports are planned to be released at the end of 2009. NYCCAS will, however, not look at individual neighborhoods, but at air quality in NYC as a whole. The air pollution measurements will be analyzed using a statistical procedure known as ‘land use regression’ which examines how pollution levels vary in relation to traffic, buildings, trees, and other neighborhood factors.

More information can be found at the following website:

Public Services Committee meeting Wednesday, July 8

The monthly Public Services Committee meeting will be held at the Post-Graduate Center on 177 Columbia Street between 7:00 and 8:00PM on Wednesday, July 8. Welcome!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Borough President's Public Hearing re: Carroll Gardens/Columbia Waterfront Rezoning

Continuing the public review process for the Carroll Gardens/Columbia Waterfront rezoning, the Borough President will hold a public hearing 4:30 P.M. on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

Location: Court Room, Second Floor, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201.

The rezoning is item 5 on the agenda. Keep in mind the time required to pass through the security checkpoint at the building.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Effects of the Gowanus Facilities Upgrade

As mentioned at the general meeting, the upgrade of the Gowanus wastewater evacuation facility will have some impact on our fair neighborhood, and in particular the Columbia/DeGraw Street intersection. The estimated total building time is four years. Traffic on Columbia and DeGraw will be affected by lane closures and periodic street closures over a period of two years and four months, starting in February 2010. The DeGraw part of the intersection will be closed for approximately 12 months, and there will be an additional lane closure on DeGraw for 14 months. However, several noise, soil and ground water test sites are planned, which very well may be of use for the neighborhood.

The plan in its entirety may be found here:

The effects on our neighborhood are mainly found in the appendixes.

Yesterday's General Meeting

We would like to thank everyone for coming out to last night's General Meeting.
- Tom Gray from Bill de Blasio's office, who was going to give an update on the salt pile, send his regrets, he had to meet with the NYPD re. an incident in Park Slope. CoWNA is going to continue reaching out to ASI, the city agencies and local officials in an effort to have the salt pile removed. If anyone from ASI reads this, we would appreciate if Matt Yates returned our calls.
- Thank you to Ellen Whelan-Wuest from Senator Squadron's office for her presentation. We are happy to report that the neighborhood overwhelmingly supports the Senators proposal for Brooklyn Bridge Park.
- And finally, thank you to Venetia Lannon from the EDC and Greg Brayman from Phoenix Beverages. After last night's meeting it is clear that many in the neighborhood have strong opinions on the EDC's plans for Atlantic basin and Phoenix' move to Piers 7 & 11. We are sorry that due to time constrains, not everyone got to speak last night. If you have any questions or comments on this issue, please leave them below.