Thursday, December 29, 2011

Building Collapse at Columbia and Degraw

We are still waiting for more detail about the cause of the collapse although it seems likely due to the work on the Flushing Tunnel Project.  We've also inquired about steps that are being taken to ensure the safety of nearby buildings and how the schedule for the project will be affected.

A full demolition of the building was ordered by the NYC Department of Buildings and the work is in progress.

A statement released by the DEP is available here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Next Bus Please" - Brad Lander Releases Report on Study of B61 Bus

Council Member Brad Lander invites you to attend a press conference next Monday to present their recently completed report about the B61 bus.  The report, titled “Next Bus Please: Improving the B61 Bus” summarizes data collected by community volunteers and presents suggestions for improving service.  

Time: 9:00am
Date: 5 December, 2011
Location: 4th Avenue/9th Street Bus Stop, Brooklyn

Saturday, November 26, 2011

DOT OK's Signal at Summit & Columbia

The Department of Transportation notified Community Board 6 of their determination that a signal is appropriate at the intersection of Columbia Street and Summit Street as a result of the change in traffic patterns due to the work on Van Brunt.

This letter is to inform you that we have determined that the intersection of Columbia Street and Summit Street has met our criteria for signalization under the existing traffic conditions created by the DDC Columbia Street Reconstruction Project's Maintenance and Protection of Traffic (MPT), which includes a reversal of Summit Street between Van Brunt Street and Columbia Street, resulting in additional traffic entering the intersection in question.  The signalization study was undertaken in response to community requests.

We have asked the DDC contractor to implement a temporary traffic signal according to our standards at this intersection and to maintain it for the duration of the project MPT.  Please note that we have also instructed them to remove the signal once the MPT is removed and Summit Street is restored to its original westbound direction.  We would appreciate your assistance in communicating to the community the temporary nature of the installation.

Hopefully, we'll see that signal installed soon.  It is important to note that the signal will be temporary. However, it is gratifying that DOT has finally acknowledged the importance of traffic control along this overloaded route through our community. Next we just have to get the police to enforce the truck route regulations.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time to Clean Up Port Trucking Industry

As you may have heard, change is afoot on the port. Phoenix Beverages has replaced American Stevedoring as the operator of the Red Hook Container Terminal.

What haven't changed are CoWNA's concerns about the port: the salt pile, truck traffic and pollution. The Brooklyn Eagle recently published a letter from CoWNA about the pollution issue:
The port is an environmental asset for New York. On balance, it pollutes less than other ways of transporting goods to our region. But the port is a dirty business for the Columbia Waterfront and Red Hook.

One of our biggest problems is port truck pollution. Many port trucking companies misclassify their drivers as independent contractors and force them to buy their own vehicles. They pay the drivers so little that they can only afford the oldest and dirtiest trucks.

The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association and our allies in the Coalition for Healthy Ports believe it is time to clean up the port trucking industry.

Phoenix Beverages, the new port operator, could be another important ally in this fight. Or it could be an obstacle. The good news is that the company has a record of negotiating with the community and is even committed to decreasing pollution from its private truck fleet. Here's hoping that Phoenix continues to be a good neighbor.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reminder: Participatory Budget Neighborhood Assembly

There will be a public meeting to kick off the Participatory Budgeting process hosted by Brad Lander tomorrow evening 6:30pm at PS 58, 330 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens.

Councilmember Lander will present information on the budget funds and residents will brainstorm project ideas and select budget delegates.

More information here and we hope to see you at the meeting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Update on Traffic Controls for Columbia Street

COWNA received a letter from DOT this month in response to our repeated request for a traffic signal on Columbia Street which was the site of a fatal traffic accident this year.  The letter states that "field evaluations and engineering reviews" for two intersections were completed in August 2010 and and January 2011 and that DOT concludes that signals are not warranted.  DOT will not initiate a new study for a minimum of 18 months.

Belinda Cape, of State Senator Dan Squadron's office, has been monitoring this for us.  She reports that signals and all-way stops were last denied at Columbia and Carroll on 8/25/2010 and at Columbia and President on 1/13/2011. 

New requests will be considered 18 months from the end of the studies: therefore the dates of eligibility for further study are: President and Columbia,7/13/2012 and Columbia and Carroll, 2/25/2012.

DOT has active study for Columbia and Summit for a temporary signal - we should be hearing the results of that shortly.

Columbia Street Reconstruction Update

Update received from Community Board 6:

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has advised of an upcoming Night Work Operation that will involve closure of Van Brunt Street from Union Street to President Street (Southbound traffic) during the night.
  • Southbound trucks on Columbia Street will be detoured onto Congress Street, then southbound on Hicks Street.
  • The street closure/detour will be in affect on or about Wednesday, October 19, 2011 through Wednesday, October 26, 2011, from 9:00pm to 5:00am.
  • Van Brunt Street will be open to all traffic during the day and non-construction hours.
The DDC notice is available here.

CB6 further noted the following schedule for completion of  the remaining work (keeping in mind that, with respect to the Columbia Street Reconstruction, things don't usually go according to plan).

  • Completion of the Sewer along Van Brunt Street (between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue): end of December 2011.
  • Completion of the Water Main along Van Brunt Street (between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue): end of February 2012.
  • Completion of Curb, Sidewalk, and Roadway surface of Van Brunt Street (between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue): end of April 2012.
  • Re-opening of Van Brunt Street, removal of the detour at Van Brunt Street/Hamilton Avenue/Summit Street and the restoration of two-way traffic along Van Brunt Street: end of April 2012.
  • Completion of work on Summit Street (between Columbia and Van Brunt Street): end of June 2012. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Participatory Budgeting for $1M capital funding

Council member Brad Lander, along with 3 other NYC Council members, is spearheading a new approach to allocating money for capital projects out of the members’ discretionary funds.  Known as Participatory Budgeting, the initiative involves district residents directly in the process of developing project proposals, working with city agencies, and voting on which projects will get funded.

The process makes budgeting more transparent and responsive to community needs.  Please take a few minutes to read the NY Times article about  it and visit Brad Lander’s web page for Participatory Budgeting.

The process involves a series of public assemblies and there are opportunities to volunteer in many capacities.  Please volunteer, participate and help make this unique initiative a success! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Columbia Street Waterfront Fall Festival

The annual Fall street festival hosted by Carroll Gardens Association is scheduled for this Saturday, September 10, from 11:00am to 6:00pm.  Come join the festivities and enjoy shopping, music and food in our own main street.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Emergency BQE Repairs: Expect Jams on Columbia

Thanks to Belinda Cape at Dan Squadron's office forwarding this information:

Due to emergency repair work on the cantilever section of the BQE, one of the eastbound (northerly direction) lanes is shut down. Repairs are scheduled to start tomorrow and may take a few days.

While work is in progress, the ramp from Atlantic Avenue will be closed. Furman Street will be opened to 2-way traffic and traffic agents will be on hand to help direct traffic over the temporary route.

Expect heavy congestion due to this and increased traffic on Hicks and Columbia Streets. Exercise additional caution when biking or walking in the area.

Friday, August 26, 2011


We have received emails from our local representatives regarding preparedness for the approaching storm. You can view information on their websites.

Thanks to Daniel Squadron's office for sending out links to the Office of Emergency Management severe weather site and a link to NYC's Hurricane Guide.  You can also find information on his website.

Brad Lander's office has set up a very informative web page here.  It contains an evacuation zone map as well as detailed information about evacuation centers and planning for the storm.
We've found the city's OEM website 'evacuation zone finder' to be extremely slow in response.  Lander's map is better and a good evacuation zone map is posted by WNYC.

Another essential site for authoritative information is the NOAA.  Their Hurricane Irene website is heaven for data geeks.  See probability maps for winds and storm surge there, but please follow directives issued by the local authorities.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Help Improve B61 Service

Councilman Brad Lander writes...
Our office is looking for volunteers to help improve the service of the B61 bus. By collecting data on B61 performance, our office is seeking to determine what can be done to help improve the speed of the B61. We are collecting ridership data to assess:
  • The number of riders who use the B61
  • Which bus stops have the highest and lowest ridership
  • Which buses are the most chronically delayed
  • How the closure of the Smith-9th Street subway station is impacting B61 riders' commutes
  • Where "bunching" of buses most frequently occurs along the route.
Our office will provide volunteers with the necessary field sheets to record their data. Volunteers will collect data on Monday-Thursday from July 11-28. Morning shifts are 7-9am and evening shifts are 4:30-6:30pm.
If you want to help -- and every bus rider in our neighborhood should! -- then get in touch with Matt Green at the councilman's office. He's reachable at 212-788-6969 and

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge Park Access Improvements

On Thursday, July 7, representatives from NYC Department of Transportation presented proposed alterations to the intersection of Atlantic Avenue, Columbia Street and Furman Street in order to increase safety for the large number of pedestrians and bicyclists that cross this intersection due to the opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

More than a year ago COWNA requested improvements to this intersection as part of our comprehensive survey of Columbia Street safety needs. Other neighborhood groups and elected officials have also pushed for improvements. Thanks are due to DOT for working hard to bring this proposal before our community, presumably as quickly as they were able to.

Image from DOT
The proposed changes will improve the experience of getting to the park. However, it falls far short of a comprehensive solution to the problem of providing convenient and safe access to one of New York's newest and most compelling public spaces.

The central failing of the proposal is its acceptance of the existing traffic conditions around the BQE entrance at Atlantic and the existing truck access to Pier 7. We all know that a significant contributor to the congestion around the intersection of Atlantic, Hicks, Furman and Columbia is drivers taking shortcuts on Hicks, Furman and Columbia to avoid the BQE. Any plan to improve pedestrian safety should have included a thorough analysis of these traffic patterns and measures to reduce the bypassing traffic. At the most dangerous intersection, the ramp from Atlantic to the eastbound BQE, the proposal suggests mainly new signage. This is hardly likely to result in a significant improvement.

At the truck entrance to Pier 7, the proposal includes only providing better sight lines. What really should be acknowledged is that the pier entrance is just in the wrong place. It should be moved to the intersection of Columbia and Congress, where there are already gates, and signalized. This would also allow the creation of a safe pedestrian crossing at Columbia Street and Congress, which is convenient for people approaching from Cobble Hill. The current proposal recommends introducing a new crosswalk at the BQE westbound entrance which puts pedestrians in conflict with vehicles exiting the BQE onto Columbia.

The proposal includes two welcome changes: widening of the sidewalk curving into the park at the south side of Atlantic by shifting the bike lanes into the street and changing the B63 bus route to eliminate the U-turn. Unfortunately, the bike lanes will be protected with jersey barriers, a distinctly second-rate configuration which will probably remain in place for years, slowly deteriorating.

This is essentially a 'painted-on-the-street' proposal and should be considered no more than a temporary placeholder approach until a worthy design that appropriately prioritizes and serves the park-going public is created.

Neighborhood Meeting

Please join the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association for our summer

Thursday, July 21, 2011
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

On the agenda:
Helicopter Noise
Columbia Street Safety
Campaign for Healthy Ports
Fix the Ditch
Nominations for Board Positions

Jalopy Theater and School of Music
315 Columbia Street
Between Woodhull & Hamilton

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brooklyn Greenway Summer Benefit Party

Support the Greenway at New Views 2011: Festa D'Estate!

Thursday, June 16th   6:00PM-9:00PM   One Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative's summer benefit party, New Views 2011: Festa D’Estate, will be held Thursday, June 16th, 6:00PM-9:00PM at One Brooklyn Bridge Park overlooking Pier 6, with spectacular views of the harbor and lower Manhattan. Special guests of honor include Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez and NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

According to BGI Co-Founder Milton Puryear, “Our guests of honor this year are responsible for the two most significant project milestones in the development of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway: Congresswoman Velázquez’ securing of $14.4 million in federal funding for the project and Commissioner Sadik-Khan’s commitment to sponsor and build the Greenway. And now it is happening!”

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is the 501(c)3 non-profit coordinating the planning, implementation and long term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, a 14-mile waterfront bicycle and pedestrian route stretching from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge.

This year's benefit party will be a family-friendly Italian summer feast (Festa D'Estate), featuring a variety of food from some of Brooklyn's distinctive Italian restaurants, including Casa di Campagna; Caselnova, the neighborhood trattoria; Enoteca on Court; Fornino Park Slope; Lioni Fresh Mozzarella & Italian Heroes; Marco Polo Ristorante, and more.

Guests will also enjoy Italian wine compliments of Scotto's Wine Cellar , Peroni beer compliments of Phoenix Beverages , and San Pellegrino waters and soda compliments of Manhattan Beer Distributors …and great raffle prizes too, featuring a selection of fine Italian wines compliments of Tony DiDio Selections, as well as gift certificates from Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Enoteca on Court and Marco Polo Ristorante.

Attire is casual yet festive and, for the youngsters, Pier 6 playground is just steps from the party. Tickets start at 2 for $150 and can be purchased online at . All tickets will be held at the door. If you would like more information about this event, please contact Brian McCormick at 718.522.0193 or

Safety on Columbia Street

We received the following letter from the DOT in response to our letter regarding safety on Columbia Street:

Following is the text of our letter to DOT:

12 May 2011

Mr. Joseph Palmieri, Brooklyn Borough Commissioner
New York City Department of Transportation
16 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11241

Dear Commissioner Palmieri:

The pedestrian that was struck and killed at the corner of Summit and Columbia Streets on March 31st this year is yet another sad reminder of the hazards of our main street. As all local residents know, Columbia Street is dangerous. There are a number of factors that make this so:

1. The section of Columbia Street between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue is particularly narrow, with parking on both sides. Vehicles cannot pass each other, but often try to do so. This contributes to congestion and accidents.

2. A lack of loading areas in the commercial strip results in double parking, causing further congestion.

3. Because we are near the port and the manufacturing areas of Red Hook, truckers often use Columbia Street as a shortcut to avoid using the less convenient legal truck route on the BQE.

4. Drivers seeking a route around the congestion in the BQE ‘trench’ exit at Atlantic Avenue, travel down Columbia Street and return at Hamilton Avenue.

5. The reconstruction work on Van Brunt Street has been going on for years with no clear end in sight. The designated local truck route of DeGraw Street and Van Brunt Street, was formerly two-way, but is now one-way southbound. Northbound traffic must divert onto Columbia Street via a complicated series of turns.

6. Poor sightlines exist at most intersections due to parked cars. This is especially true at the stop signs at President Street and Summit Street.

7. There is substantial pedestrian traffic crossing Columbia Street to reach the playground and Urban Meadow on President Street.

We expect significant increases of pedestrian and bicyclist activity in the coming months as the weather improves and more people visit Brooklyn Bridge Park. This activity will only increase as the Park is built out. Our neighborhood has several new apartment buildings and more developments are underway, increasing the number of residents who will be walking to the stores along Columbia Street and Union Street and visiting our local parks and gardens. It is now more important than ever that the safety of our residents and visitors be assured.

We met with DOT representatives and representatives from many of our elected officials and Community Board 6 in March of 2010 and issued a list of requests and recommendations. We are heartened by the progress being made on many of the requests. However, our number one priority remains taking every measure to make Columbia Street safer and, in particular taking measures that address the increasingly dangerous stretch of Columbia Street between DeGraw Street and Hamilton Avenue.

We therefore make the following recommendations to DOT:

· “Daylighting” intersections on Columbia Street between DeGraw Street and Hamilton Avenue.

· Signalizing intersections on Columbia Street south of Union Street.

· Installing “gateway” signage at DeGraw Street and Columbia Street sending a clear message to vehicles to “Slow Down - Thickly Settled Area” or similar language.

· Posting the maximum speed limit signage on Columbia Street between Atlantic Avenue and Hamilton Avenue.

· Studying the feasibility of adding more loading zones to lessen the impact of double parked delivery trucks.

· Installing pedestrian bulb-outs at the Degraw Street and Columbia Street intersection to alert all vehicles of the narrower street geometry on Columbia Street south of DeGraw Street. This will have the added advantage of signaling to trucks that the truck route does not continue on Columbia Street south of DeGraw Street once the designated truck route is back in service.

We look forward to working with you on these recommendations in a renewed effort to effectively address the dangerous conditions on Columbia Street.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red Hook Jazz Festival at Urban Meadow

All things BQE - Cobble Hill Association General Meeting

For more information about the two major initiatives for the BQE in our area, please attend the following meeting.  It is an opportunity to meet our neighbors and begin working toward building support for the BQE enhancements.  

You Are Invited to the
Spring, 2011 General Meeting
A fascinating look at the construction of the BQE “ditch”
that runs through our communities by historian Francis Morrone
Update on plans to reconstruct Triple Cantilevered Roadway
 and Future
How to “Fix the Ditch” – a presentation of the NYCEDC/
Starr Whitehouse “BQE Enhancement Study”

Time: 7:30 P.M.
Date: Monday, May 23, 2011
Place: Long Island College Hospital
Conference Room A
Enter at main entrance 339 Hicks (at Atlantic)

All members of the public are invited. No admission charge.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Join State Senator Squadron, Congressman Nadler, Congresswoman Velazquez, State Senator Montgomery, Assemblywoman Millman, Councilmember Levin and Councilmember Lander
at a 
Rally to End Tourist Helicopter Noise in Brooklyn

Sunday, May 15 - 1:00PM
Pier 6 Brooklyn Bridge Park
(at the end of Atlantic Avenue)

Join your neighbors, community leaders and local elected officials to rally to end all tourist helicopter flights from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport.  Brooklynites from DUMBO to Red Hook have put up with this nuisance for too long!

Rain or Shine!
Questions? - please contact
Senator Squadron's Office
718-875-1517 or

Friday, April 29, 2011

Reminder: COWNA Social This Sunday at MikNic Lounge

The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association
Invites you to our Spring Social

Meet your Neighbors and Get Involved
Sunday, May 1
4 - 6 pm

MikNic Lounge
200 Columbia Street at Sackett Street

Happy Hour Drink Specials!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Columbia St. Tree Brigade - Saturday 4/30/11 - 10 AM

Come help beautify the community and protect local trees by participating in the "Columbia Street Tree Brigade" this Saturday, 4/30/11 starting at 10am. We will be focusing our efforts this time around on Columbia St. between Union and Hamilton (last year's events covered Atlantic to Union).

Mulch and tools are being generously provided by the Partnership for Parks. Donations of used newspaper and cardboard are more than welcome - as this can be used for extra weed protection!

All ages are welcome - last year the kids loved it!

Saturday, 4/30/11
10 AM - until supplies run out
Meet at Woodhull and Columbia

The Columbia St. Tree Brigade is a project of the COWNA environment committee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Census: Columbia Waterfront Booming

From CarrollGardensPatch:
The Northern section of Columbia Street, between Degraw Street and Atlantic Avenue, has seen a 24 percent increase in population growth, which is one of the biggest increases anywhere in Brooklyn. The section between Degraw Street and Hamilton Avenue grew by 4 percent, which is more than nearby Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens.

DOT Says "No Thanks" to Red Hook Trolley

From The L Magazine:
Last year we got really excited when the city's Department of Transportation set aside some cash and contracted transportation consultants to look into a plan to install streetcars in Red Hook to connect the isolated 'hood to the Smith-9th Street subway station and Downtown Brooklyn. But according to a DOT report released last week (PDF here) the project isn't viable.
Read the rest here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Join Us at Our Spring Social

The EDC has released the final report on the BQE Enhancement Study.  Have a look then join us for an informal gathering to meet your neighbors and discuss the study.

 Rendering by Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects


Meet your Neighbors and Get Involved
Sunday, May 1
4 - 6 pm

MikNic Lounge
200 Columbia Street at Sackett Street

Happy Hour Drink Specials!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Deal Reached on Shore Power for Cruise Terminal

New York finally catches up with Juneau, Alaska and will implement the provision of shore power for ships docked at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Two years of negotiations and diligent attention to the issue by our elected officials and local activists have resulted in a deal in which the EDC and the New York Power Authority will subsidize a portion of the cost.

More detail about the agreement can be found in today's NY Times article.

Apparently the delays in reaching agreement centered around establishing a rate for the power and then figuring out who would pay for it. To put it into context, 28 cents per KWH is around 3 times the residential rate. The cruise ship operator will pay 12 cents and the balance will be picked up by the EDC and the NYPA. We find it hard to believe that so much time was wasted over figuring out who would pay for this. Using the numbers in the NY Times article, cruise ships are expected to visit the terminal about 40 times next year. If each ship has approximately 2,000 passengers (the capacity of the QM2 is 3,000) that works out to 80,000 passengers. If the cost of shore power is $1M over diesel, it represents an additional cost of $12.50 per passenger. Surely the cruise ship operators could pass this trivial amount along to their customers without compromising competitiveness.

The Columbia Waterfront neighborhood thanks Nydia Velazquez, Daniel Squadron, Brad Lander, their staffs and the other public officials who worked so hard to achieve what we hope is a successful first step toward establishing shore power throughout the ports of New York and New Jersey.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Scourge in the Waterfront: Helicopter Noise

It's bad enough that we suffer the nuisance of the giant salt pile, truckers ignoring the truck routes to use narrow Columbia Street and drivers attempting to avoid BQE congestion.  Now we must suffer the incessant noise of helicopters toting tourists around the harbor.

The flyovers on Saturday and Sunday occurred at roughly 3 - 5 minute intervals.  It may be that the milder weather has made this problem more apparent here.  It is not a new issue, however.  See this article in the Brooklyn Heights Blog, this statement from EDC and their helicopter sightseeing plan.

Take note that the plan requires helicopters to take off to the south and maximize distance from Brooklyn Bridge Park and not fly over Brooklyn.

To register complaints about the noise, call 311.  It helps to identify the helicopters, if possible.  This shouldn't be too hard, some of them seemed to be flying at an altitude of only a few hundred feet.

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Hosting Spring Party

Join fellow greenway supporters for food and wine from Brooklyn Winery, beer from Brooklyn Brewery, live music from MUNY artist Gabriel Aldort and more! And, weather permitting, Brooklyn Winery's expansive courtyard will be open to help celebrate the arrival of spring!

An array of unique Brooklyn-themed raffle items will be featured, including a Brooklyn Historical Society family membership, gift certificates to Brooklyn Winery and Film Biz Prop Shop, your own custom designed hat from Hats by Nadege, a bicycle necklace crafted by Karen Overton and more!

Guests can also learn about the BGI & Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB) collaborative project engaging students from International High School in the greenway planning process. RAB bicycle jewelry, including bracelets from inner tubes, earrings & necklaces from small bicycle parts will be on sale to support this joint endeavor.

More information and tickets Questions? Contact Brian at

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Giant Salt Pile Returns to Columbia Street

After a noisy weekend's work, the salt pile at Columbia and Kane street has been restored to its pre-winter state: looming over the neighborhood and contributing a thin layer of fine powder over nearby cars, windowsills and rear yards.

If you are fed up with this nuisance and the apparent disregard with which the salt importer treats our neighborhood (leaving the pile uncovered for weeks at a time and loud noise from machinery throughout the night) you can do the following:

Sign the petition at:

Call 311 and register a complaint.

Contact our elected officials:

Brad Lander, Councilmember for District 39 (718) 499-1090
You can also send him a message at his website.

Steve Levin, Councilmember for District 33 (the port itself is in District 33) (718) 875-5200
You can also reach him via his website.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Urban Meadow CSA Registration Open for 2011 Season

The Urban Meadow Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) is pleased to announce share availability for the 2011 season, which will run from the first Saturday in June through the last Saturday in October. If you're interested, please hurry and get in contact, because we expect slots to fill up quickly!

The cost of a share is $450 for the season and includes a delivery of vegetables each week from Ant Hill farm. Please note that a small number of subsidized shares are available. Inquire about membership or any other details using the links and information below.

Check out the new Urban Meadow CSA website here for more information.

The membership flyer link, including contact info, is here

Info on our partner farm is here

The new Urban Meadow CSA twitter account is here

And finally, more info on CSAs can be found here at Just Food's website

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Business at New York Ports Spikes 16%

From The New York Times' City Room blog:
Statistics released by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey showed that after a particularly dismal year in 2009, cargo container traffic -- imports and exports combined -- increased by 16 percent last year at ports both in New York City, including Staten Island and Red Hook, Brooklyn, and in New Jersey, including Newark, Elizabeth and Bayonne.
Read the rest here.

Columbia Street Greenway Cleanup

March 12, 10:00AM

Please join Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and their friends at Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association for the first monthly clean-up of the year along the Columbia Street segment of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. Tools and gloves provided, all ages welcome! Meet at Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s office, 145 Columbia Street, on Saturday, March 12th. Clean-up runs 10:00AM-12:00PM.

To RSVP or for more info contact Brian at

Friday, January 21, 2011

Columbia Waterfront Park Visioning Meeting

This just in from the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative:
Join the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, Regional Plan Association and your neighbors as we begin the visioning for a new public open space on Columbia Street between Kane and Degraw Streets.

When the Van Brunt Street reconstruction and the Gowanus Flushing Tunnel construction are complete, an 80-foot deep area on the west side of Columbia Street is planned to become an open space element of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. It is one of three open space nodes that we are either designing or commencing the community visioning process.

On February 2nd, we will share the background research that has been compiled to date and invite you to share your ideas for the kinds of improvements and facilities that would be most beneficial to the Columbia Waterfront community.

The meeting details are:

What: Columbia Waterfront Park Visioning Meeting
When: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: The Union Street Star Theater, 101 Union Street

Please RSVP to with Columbia Waterfront Park in the subject line. We will send you a link to background information to help prepare you for the discussion on February 2nd.

Planning for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway is made possible by the New York State Department of State with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund sponsored by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

EDC Projected Increase in Cruise Ship Visits = More Pollution

The NYC Economic Development Corporation released a report last week indicating strong growth in the cruise ship industry. The report, which summarizes the results of an economic impact study, describes a significant increase in the number of ship visits between 2009 and 2010 and predicts up to 264 ship calls in 2011 involving as many as 645,000 passengers.

Besides foretelling an increase in pollution, these figures make it abundantly clear that providing shore power for visiting ships should be well within reach financially. Based on an article presented on the C40 Cities website, for cruise ships berthed in Seattle, which provides shore power, running cost per call was approximately $5,000. Granted, electric rates are lower in the Northwest. But, using these numbers, the projected 264 calls in NY would cost a total of $1.32M. That works out to about $2.05 per projected passenger. Even if the cost was 5x higher, it would total about $10 per passenger.

This is such a small amount of money that it is clear that there can be no reasonable objection to a surcharge to enable shore power. After all, no one has to take a cruise - but the residents of NYC have to live with the pollution.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No F or G Trains this Weekend

They're baaack! Shuttle buses, that is. From 11:30 p.m. Friday to 5:00 a.m. Monday, there will be no F or G train service between the Jay Street/MetroTech and Church Avenue stops. You'll have to hop on the MTA's free buses instead.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Speed Bump Slated for Congress Street

Community Board 6 announced that the Dept. of Transportation is planning to construct a speed bump on Congress Street between Columbia and Hicks. The work will be done when weather conditions permit; we expect toward spring. This action is in response to a request made last year by the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association that the DOT address a number of traffic problems along Columbia Street.

The DOT has made a few other improvements, such as additional signage regarding the truck route, increasing the parking time limit on Columbia, and 'daylighting' corners to allow for better visibility, but has not fully addressed the most pressing problem on Columbia Street: the lack of signals between Union and Hamilton which makes crossing the street hazardous. We plan to renew our discussions with DOT in the coming months and hope to see many more improvements this year.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brad Lander Releases Report on Snowstorm Cleanup Failure

Our Council member Brad Lander has released a report based on more than 400 complaints his office received following the storm. You can find a copy of it here.

In addition to the hearing today, City Council is also holding community-based hearings. The Brooklyn hearing will take place on Wednesday, January 19th, at 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall. More information is available here on the City Council Website.

More Snow on the Way: Volunteers Needed

Another foot of snow is predicted for Wednesday this week. If you are able, please pitch in and help keep the bus stops, mail boxes and hydrants clear.

After the last storm, bus riders had to stand in the street due to the failure of our agencies to clear the waiting areas of snow thrown up by the plows.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

F and G Not Suspended This Weekend

Good news ... sort of. Because of expected snowfall, F and G train service will not be interrupted this weekend, according to WNYC.

The MTA planned to suspend service between Jay Street and Church Avenue. But one to three inches of snow are anticipated on Friday and Saturday. So transit officials are postponing the suspension until next weekend.

Recycling Pick-Up Still Suspended

While walking my dog last night, I noticed a lot of my Union Street neighbors had put out their recycling. Please be aware that although garbage collection has resumed, recycling collection is still suspended, according to the 311 website. The Department of Sanitation has not yet announced a restart date.