Life In The Big City

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Greenfield’s Deal Allowing Pre-Payment
at Boro Park Meters Goes Into Effect

Councilman David G. Greenfield’s deal to allow Boro Parkers to pre-pay meters on 13th and 18th Avenues went into effect in late December. Drivers are now allowed to pay the meters up to four hours in advance. This means that drivers will be allowed to pay at 3:00 pm on Fridays for meters that require payment until 7:00 pm.
This deal with the Department of Transportation (DOT) builds on Greenfield’s successful effort whereby he previously got the DOT to agree to pre-payment of meters on 16th Avenue.

In addition, other areas in Boro Park and Midwood will be studied over the course of the next year at the request of Councilman Greenfield, Senator Simcha Felder, and Assemblyman Dov Hikind. This deal is critical for many shomer Shabbat drivers and their guests who cannot feed the meter once Shabbat begins on Friday. In the winter months, Shabbat begins as early as 4:00 pm, preventing most residents from parking on the major avenues, thus exacerbating Boro Park’s parking crisis. This solution has added hundreds of new parking spots on Friday in Boro Park.

Greenfield is one of the premier advocates for drivers in New York City. This past July, Greenfield’s historic muni-meter legislation went into effect citywide. Greenfield’s law has three parts: it allows drivers to pre-pay New York City’s muni-meters up to one hour before the meter regulations go into effect, it forces meters to shut off and not accept payment when the driver is not required to pay for parking, such as in the evenings, and it shuts down muni-meters when they runs out of paper receipts. Additionally, Greenfield passed the law that gives drivers a 5-minute grace period before being ticketed for Muni-Meter violations, and passed a law that ended the need to affix impossible-to-remove neon window stickers for alternate-side parking violations.

Greenfield is a long-time advocate for accommodating the needs of Orthodox Jewish constituents. Greenfield and Community Board 12 have an agreement with the DOT to only do major road repairs in the summer to help avoid traffic issues. Recently, Greenfield and the Community Board negotiated an end to 13th Avenue construction on Fridays, and most recently Greenfield secured funding in the budget to open four community libraries on Sundays to serve the needs of the community.

$1.8m in State Funding Acquired
to Advance Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway

More than $1.8 million in State funding was granted through the New York City Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) on December 16th in order to advance three resiliency and open space projects along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. The Greenway, an in-development 14-mile landscaped route for pedestrians, runners, and cyclists, will connect neighborhood parks and open spaces from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge. The capital allocation, which comes from the New York State Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, with funding under Title 11 of the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, will go toward the creation of Columbia Waterfront Park as well as providing integrated flood protection for Red Hook and industrial areas in Sunset Park.

City Pumping $3.4 Million
into Renovating Scarangella Park

One of the Bensonhurst-Gravesend area’s largest playgrounds will be getting a whole new look, thanks to $3.4 million in funding that will go toward a major renovation of the recreational space, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports.

Councilmember Mark Treygerand State Senator Diane Savino announced on December 4th that they have each secured funding to renovate and redevelop Scarangella Park. Scarangella Park is bounded by Avenue U, Avenue V, West 13th Street, and Stillwell Avenue.

“The funding is part of a larger effort by elected officials to focus attention on neglected recreational areas in Southwest Brooklyn”, Treyger said.

Elected officials recently announced that Lafayette Playground, located just across the street from Scarangella Park, will undergo a $5.4 million facelift as part of the Parks Department’s Community Parks Initiative.

The Community Parks Initiative will pump $130 million in capital dollars to renovate smaller parks around the city.

The plans for Layafette Playground also call for participation from the local residents. Community members will be encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions for the redesign plans.

The renovation work will give residents in the
Bensonhurst-Gravesend area two beautiful parks to enjoy, officials said.

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Eric Adams Announces
$13 Million Investment in Brooklyn Schools

On October 8th, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announced the investment of over $13 million in
70 schools throughout Brooklyn, focusing
on STEM education and technology initiatives. This money is allocated from his Fiscal Year 2016 funds, and represents the largest apportionment of the Borough President’s capital budget. He made the announcement inside the auditorium of PS 193 Gil Hodges in Midwood, which is set to receive a $250,000 allocation to outfit its STEM/Technology Exploration/Demonstration Lab, a multidisciplinary learning space for a diverse student population, of which 25 percent do not speak English as their first language. Borough President Adams highlighted the impact that education projects he is funding will have across Brooklyn in schools ranging from elementary
to higher education, including public, charter, parochial, and private institutions.

First New NYC Subway
in 50 Years Nearing Completion

The first two-mile section of the Second Avenue subway is expected to be finished by the end of next year, CBS News reported. The section, which will run between the existing F Train station at 63rd Street and Lexington Ave, and 96th Street and Second Avenue, is scheduled to open in December 2016. The project cost roughly $4.5 billion dollars, nearly a third of which came from the federal government.

The subway line was first proposed nearly a century ago, in 1919, but it began in earnest only in 2007.

“We are about 84, 85 percent done,” Michael Horodniceanu of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) told CBS News. “And the next 15 percent are probably the toughest one to accomplish because we’re talking about integrating a brand-new line with something that goes back 100 years.”

The Second Avenue subway marks the first major expansion of the New York City subway system in 50 years. The agency says that there has never been an urban project like this conducted in such a densely populated area, with 100,000 people per square mile in the area.

The MTA has launched an aggressive community outreach program to show that the mythological subway will someday actually exist.

Two Men Dream of a Pedestrian Bridge to Manhattan

Two New Jersey men think they have the solution to Jersey City’s overwhelmed PATH system: a pedestrian bridge from New Jersey to Manhattan, the New York Daily News reported.

Jeff Jordan, a Jersey City-based architect, and Kevin Shane, a crowdfunding specialist, have launched a website aimed at building the Liberty Bridge, a pedestrian span over the Hudson River from Jersey City to Battery Park.

The bridge would feature a walking lane and separate bike lane, which would both be partially enclosed to protect users from
the elements.

It would also offer “a park-like experience to those who want to make the Liberty Bridge a destination — providing a 200-plus foot view over the Hudson unlike any experience before,” the website said.

The bridge would feature retail and coffee shops, solar panels, wind turbines, free wifi, grassy areas and benches. It would also offer elevators, stairs and ramps, to ensure full accessibility for people with disabilities.

The pair concede that the Liberty Bridge is years away from reality, but Shane has created an online petition to hype it to New Jersey governor Chris Christie as well as Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio.

 

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