November/December 1996, p.10-11
Fulton Ferry: Park Coalition Sues Port Authority. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition has filed suit against the Port Authority to stop them from leasing a historic Brooklyn pier to a lumber company. The coalition, which is trying to preserve Brooklyn's waterfront and ensure public access, claims that the PA shouldn't be leasing to a lumber firm because lumber sales isn't a maritime business - a restriction that the PA'S charter limits it to. The PA is also claiming that it isn't subject to environmental laws, an idea that Brooklynites obviously have a problem with.
Western Bronx: New North-South Bicycle Route. At the October T.A. Bronx Chapter meeting, city bike planners said that a bike lane connecting the Moshulu-Pelham Greenway to the Macombs Dam Bridge is under consideration. The lane would extend along Goulden Ave. to University Ave. to E.L. Grant Highway to Jerome Ave. to the bridge. Traffic counts are being performed to see if the lane is feasible.
Northeastern Bronx: Moshulu-Pelham Extension Planning Starts. The Parks Department is starting to work with the community to plan a federally-funded three-prong bike connection from the Moshulu-Pelham Greenway to Orchard Beach, City Island and the Westchester line. If connected to the DOT'S proposed Macornb's Dam Bridge Bike Lane, cyclists will be able to ride from Manhattan to Westchester on dedicated bike lanes and paths.
Midtown: 47th Street Diamond District Ped Improvements. Forty-Seventh Street is the center of the U.S. diamond industry, but you wouldn't know it walking down Sixth Avenue. In an attempt to give the area a more distinctive feel and improve pedestrian conditions, the Diamond District Merchants Association, the Manhattan Borough President's office and the City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have teamed up to redesign the streetscape. The result will be wider sidewalks on 47th street, corner sidewalk extensions (neckdowns) and distinctive light pylons with illuminated "diamonds" on top on the neckdowns. The project will allow the district's true colors to shine.
Lower West Side: Abate says Hudson Park Cost Estimates in Outer Space. A new report by State Senator Catherine Abate's office shoots a hole in the State Government's proposition that a park along the West Side will be too expensive to build without significant commercial development. By comparing the state's cost estimates to similar NYC Parks projects and independent estimates, Abate's office found that a park could be built from Chambers Street to 59th Street for $113.7 million less than the State's $294 million estimate. The difference would more than cover the $81 million the State claims it needs to raise from commercial development, allowing the construction of a pure park.
West Village: It Keeps Going and Going and Going. The Hudson Street Bike Lane will not be painted until the 1.2 mile Hudson Street reconstruction project, which started over five years ago, is finished. The latest delay is a tardy order of custom-ordered pipes. Barring further underground surprises, the street should be done and bike lane created by late November.
Northern Queens: One-Way Bridge Tolls Would Tangle Traffic. MTA Bridges and Tunnels study revealed that one-way tolls on the Throgs Neck, Whitestone and Triborough would result in increased traffic and pollution and less revenue. Neighborhoods near toll-free bridges on the East River, the study says, would bear the brunt of the diverted traffic. Bridges and Tunnels President Michael Ascher said that the study puts the question of one-way tolls to rest. But the issue remains a cause celebre for the Daily News editorial page and other centers of populist know- nothingism.
Richmondtown: Greenbelt Threatened. Concern over a road by-pass has readied new heights in this historic neighborhood. Community groups contend that Borough President Guy Molinari's road building plans threaten a local greenbelt and will lead to a torrent of new traffic from the south shore of the island, where plans are afoot for massive road building and sprawl-type development.
Statewide: No Bike/Fed Staff For NJ. In October, T.A., the Tri-State Trans- portation Campaign and 20 other NJ cycling and civic groups sent a letter to Governor Christie Whitman calling on the cycling Governor to order the NJDOT to hire a cycling advocate. The position has been vacant since June, but despite the need for someone within the bureacracy to coordinate the myriad local initiatives, the State DOT Commissioner has not been willing to make the effort to hire one person.
Lower Hudson Shore: New Transit. While New York City chokes on traffic and can't get its act together to build the one mile 42nd Street trolley, New Jersey Transit is starting construction on its visionary 26 mile Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit System. It will connect Bayonne to Ridgefield via the waterfront with links to Manhattan ferries. The first 9.2 miles are scheduled to be built by 2000, with the remainder to be built by 2005.
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