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.