Archive for the tag 'belt parkway'

Plumb Beach Bike Path Destroyed By Hurricane Ida

The bike path in 2009, just days after it was hit by a nor’easter. This unsalvageable section was ultimately ripped apart and covered in sand and gravel, and has stayed that way since.

It looks like we’ll be going our fourth consecutive summer without the Plumb Beach bike path, which was destroyed by a nor’easter in November 2009.

But, if all goes according to plan, cyclists will finally be able to enjoy uninterrupted rides from Emmons Avenue to the larger Jamaica Bay Greenway by fall, as the Parks Department has confirmed that they anticipate construction to begin this August.

“We are concurrently in the process of registering funds for the project, and awaiting approval from DEC. The scope of work includes the reconstruction of eroded portions of the asphalt bike path. The two segments we will address comprise a total of approximately 450 linear feet. We anticipate construction to begin at the end of August 2014,” wrote Parks spokesperson Meghan Lalor in an e-mail to Sheepshead Bites.

To strip the bureaucratic speak, what it basically means is that money is in the pot for the construction, and they’re working through the red tape to ensure all relevant agencies are on board.

Lalor noted that it’s too soon to say whether the project would be done in-house by the Parks Department, or bid out to a contractor (which could potentially delay the process).

Cyclists have made the dangerous decision to ride on the Belt Parkway rather than dismount or walk through sand.

It’s been a long road in getting a mere 450 feet of asphalt put down. It was destroyed when Hurricane Ida – by then a nor-easter – made landfall in 2009. The waves not only battered the bike path, but diminished several feet of sand from the beach and exposed the Belt Parkway to flooding (a problem that was addressed only mere days before Superstorm Sandy).

In 2010, the city pulled a fake-out, getting the strip ready for repaving… and then calling it quits and vanishing.

Relief seemed to be in sight in 2012, when $9 million in improvements to the area were unveiled, including long-term fixes at Plumb Beach and the development of Brigham Street Park. Then-Councilman Lew Fidler told Sheepshead Bites that some of those funds would cover the bike path repair, yet the Parks Department later said that, in fact, none of the allocated funds would be put to the reconstruction.

Finally, last summer, Fidler informed Sheepshead Bites that he had allocated $450,000 in the Fiscal Year 2014 city budget specifically for shore up the bike path and laying new asphalt. While most Parks projects take three to four years from funding to completion, Fidler predicted – correctly, it seems – that this project would move more quickly.

Source: NYCDOT

On one night between Monday, May 12, and Friday, May 16, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Division of Bridges will close lanes of the eastbound Belt (Shore) Parkway bridge over Mill Basin to restore the asphalt on the roadway surface.

Lane closures will be in effect from 11:01 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. the following morning. One lane of traffic will remain open at all times. A variable message sign will be installed to alert motorists.

For all NYC non-emergency services, including inquiries regarding NYCDOT construction projects, dial 311. Be prepared to give your name, the borough of the project, and a return phone number.

Source: retrofresh! via flickr

Source: retrofresh!/Flickr

Sixteen months have passed since Superstorm Sandy, and the damaged lights on the Belt Parkway from Knapp Street to Mill Basin remain in the dark. But not for much longer if the Department of Transportation keeps its word.

According to a Daily News item last week, the city will begin bringing lights back to the area in April. It’s a $400,000 project that should be covered with federal funds, and the project is slated to be completed in May.

“This is a huge problem, especially due to the potholes, which made it difficult for motorists,” City Councilman Alan Maisel told the paper. “It’s outrageous.”

Of course, the DOT’s word is hardly its bond. The DOT had previously promised then-Assemblyman Maisel and his Council predecessor Lew Fidler that the lighting situation would be permanently fixed by fall of 2013 – and that temporary lighting would be provided in the interim. Neither of those things happened.

Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo has stated at meetings the she was told by the DOT that the plan for temporary lighting was ultimately nixed because they required gas generators. The city did not want to dispatch employees to keep them stocked with gasoline.

Source: retrofresh! via flickr

Source: retrofresh!/Flickr

When Superstorm Sandy struck the neighborhood in October 2012, it was lights out on the Belt Parkway near Plumb Beach’s exit 9. Literally.

And then those lights stayed out for 15 months, despite promises given by the Department of Transportation to local elected officials to install emergency lighting until permanent repairs could be made.

Now Councilman Alan Maisel, who replaces Lew Fidler, has picked up the torch, firing off a letter to the DOT demanding repairs be made and pointing out that the situation is made even more dangerous thanks to the “pitted … moonscape of potholes, cracks and uneven surfaces.”

I probably would’ve gone with the “Edward James Olmos of highways,” but maybe that’s why I’m not an elected official.

Here’s the letter in full:

February 18, 2014

Commissioner Polly Trottenberg
NYC Department of Transportation
55 Water Street
New York, NY 10041

Dear Commissioner Trottenberg:

Since Hurricane Sandy, a significant section of the Belt Parkway, in the area around Exit 9 and Plumb Beach, has been without regular road lighting of any kind. This is a dangerous situation that has only become more dangerous in the past month and is in need of both a temporary and permanent solution.

It is my understanding, based on correspondence with the office of your predecessor, that flood waters had damaged underground electrical cabling, the repair or replacement of which was being undertaken but that more time was needed. At the time, I had been told that these repairs would be completed before the fall of 2013. Therefore, I had requested, as did my predecessor in the Council, emergency lighting for the interim and we were told that such lighting would be provided. Yet, the highway remains dark – the repairs have not been completed and the interim lighting has not been introduced. That is an intolerably dangerous situation for motorists.

Yet, now the situation has actually become even more dangerous. After the recent cycle of snowstorms and plowing efforts, the surface of the Belt Parkway has become pitted in a moonscape of potholes, cracks and uneven surfaces. This alone is dangerous and, as I am sure you are already aware, in need of attention. However, when combined with the absence of lighting, so that a motorist might be unable to see or avoid upcoming road hazards, the danger to all concerned is multiplied.

I believe it is imperative that emergency lighting, run off generators, be introduced to this section of the highway until permanent repairs to the lighting system can be made. This is now more urgent than ever and I ask that it be addressed as expeditiously as possible. Thank you.

Sincerely,
ALAN MAISEL
Councilman-46th District

bridge

The Belt Parkway’s lunar-like surface will see some love this weekend, but that means potential trouble for late night commuters.

As the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) continues to address damage to the highway from the active winter season, crews will be resurfacing key portions of the Belt Parkway between Knapp Street and Flatbush Avenue.

Beginning Friday evening, two of three westbound lanes will be closed between 8:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 8. During these work hours, eastbound drivers can use Exit 9A towards Knapp Street and Sheepshead Bay while westbound drivers can use Exit 11N for northbound Flatbush Avenue or 11S for southbound Flatbush Avenue and the Rockaways.

These partial closures will allow for a targeted resurfacing of areas requiring maintenance, including both milling and paving in only one evening in each direction. This one-day process eliminates any rough roadways for drivers and speeds the reopening of this stretch of the Belt. During this project, motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible and use alternate routes.

This work marks the first of several targeted, overnight maintenance efforts along the Belt planned for the coming weeks, and details on those will be announced as they become available. This resurfacing comes as DOT roadway crews ramp up their seasonal pothole and street maintenance work as part of their continuing response to this season’s heavy snow. Already this year, DOT has addressed more than 61,000 potholes across the city, including nearly 17,000 in Brooklyn and more than 24,000 on arterial roadways like the Belt.

Gerritsen

As the flier above shows, there will be late-night lane closures on the westbound Belt Parkway at Gerritsen Inlet every night this week, from Tuesday to Friday, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

There will also be lane closures on the eastbound Belt Parkway on Thursday night, during the same time period.

Consult the flier above for more information.

Source: MovieClips

Source: MovieClips

THE COMMUTE: Last week, Sheepshead Bites reported on legislation being considered by the City Council to lower the speed limit on city residential streets narrower than 60 feet wide from 30 mph to 25 mph. It is a compromise to legislation proposed by City Councilmember David Greenfield to lower the citywide speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph. The City Council is currently revising the language of the law, which they hope to enact before Mayor Bloomberg leaves office.

Continue Reading »

The misinformed sign. (Source: DNAinfo).

The stupid sign. (Source: DNAinfo)

Plumb Beach, the Brooklyn beach of…plumbs, has been labeled as part of Rockaway Beach, annoying anyone that knows the difference between Queens and Brooklyn. DNAInfo is reporting that a sign placed along the Belt Parkway has claimed that Plumb Beach is now part of Rockway Beach, even though the beaches are separated by different coastlines and a stretch of water.

While some might think that the sign is the result of a silly error, DNAInfo noted that there is an heir of authority behind connecting the eastern most part of Sheepshead Bay with the Rockaways:

A spokesman for the city Parks Department said the “Rockaway Beach” sign is correct, though, saying Plumb Beach is part of the new Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, which is an agreement between the city’s Parks Department and the National Parks Service.

The signage, which was put in place after Hurricane Sandy, is part of a consistent layout, and “Rockaway Beach” reflects the partnership, the spokesman said.

Is there no end to the evil and wrath of Superstorm Sandy?

A local community advocate took to YouTube to express the frustration felt by the encroaching maw that is Queens and Rockaway Beach. We have presented his unedited remarks below.

No it will not, dude. No it will not.

Four Sparrow Marsh, Flatbush Avenue near the Belt Parkway (Photo by Adrian Kinloch via Slate).

Four Sparrow Marsh, Flatbush Avenue near the Belt Parkway. (Photo by Adrian Kinloch via Slate)

English photographer Adrian Kinloch submitted a gorgeous photo essay detailing the strange fringe between the end of the city and the edge of nature, which is, apparently, a place called Southern Brooklyn. Kinloch’s dazzling photo essay, submitted to Slate, covers the areas near the Belt Parkway, Coney Island Creek, Mill Basin and Marine Park Beach and includes an interesting rumination on local history, environmental concerns and the unique way nature reabsorbs man-made objects.

One passage I found particularly interesting was Kinloch’s exploration of Coney Island Creek, where he touched on its history and the challenges the city faces in trying to clean it up:

For the barges of Coney Island Creek, it was containerized shipping, not the railways, that spelled the end of their working life. In the 1960s, their owners scuttled or burned the vessels, and they have been there ever since. Industry on the creek dates back as far as the 1660s, when Dirck De Wolfe opened his saltworks. The saltworks were burned to the ground, too, by furious locals after De Wolfe refused to let them pasture their cows nearby.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to clean up Coney Island Creek and its environs, restoring them to their original pristine state. But when I ran into some guys from the Army Corps of Engineers, they said this task is nearly impossible—if you move any of those rotting barges, all the diesel and toxic chemicals encased in the silt will escape up to the surface.

Interesting, yet depressing, stuff. To see all the images and read the entirety of Kinloch’s observations, click here.

Chair and miscellaneous objects, Marine Park Salt Marsh. (Photo by Adiran Kinloch via Slate)

Chair and miscellaneous objects, Marine Park Salt Marsh. (Photo by Adiran Kinloch via Slate)

Source: retrofresh! via flickr

Source: retrofresh! via flickr

It’s been nearly a year since Superstorm Sandy and there are still stretches of the Belt Parkway bathed in darkness as a result of the storm. CBS NY is reporting that overhead lights near Knapp Street and Flatbush Avenue remain damaged, creating dangerous driving conditions for motorists.

Since Sandy struck late last October, Sheepshead Bites has received numerous complaints about the non-functioning lights along the Belt Parkway. According to CBS, 150 lights went dark after the electrical system that operates them got destroyed in Sandy’s wake.

Councilman Lew Fidler is taking the charge, arguing that it is about time that the lights get fixed:

“This is starting to get dangerous,” City Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Brooklyn) told [CBS reporter Tamara] Leitner.

Fidler said he reached out to the New York City Department of Transportation seven months ago, but he is still waiting for the problem to be fixed.

“It’s just going to take one accident and one lawsuit,” Fidler said. “It’s going to cost the city more money than replacing the lighting from scratch.”

The Department of Transportation told CBS that they are working to bring in temporary lighting in the coming weeks. The also defended themselves by saying they can’t replace the broken lighting system until federal dollars start to roll their way.

Better late than never, I guess?

Next »