Archive for the tag 'belt parkway'

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.

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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?

bridge

The borough of Brooklyn has a serious bridge problem, as 240 of them, which is more than half, need serious repairs, according to a new report. The New York Daily News is reporting that some of the worst bridges in the borough include the seven bridges along the Belt Parkway that are in the process of rehabilitation.

Of the 240 Brooklyn bridges cited for serious repair, 15 were designated as “fracture critical” and “structurally deficient” by the Federal Highway Administration. Bridge expert Barry LePartner told the Daily News that analysis such as this spells bad news.

“Every time you see a bridge classified as structurally deficient and fracture critical it means that bridge could fall at a moment’s notice,” LePartner said, ““It’s extremely dangerous for people going over these bridges.”

The Daily News reported that in the time of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s reign as mayor, the federal government has given New York City $6 billion for bridge repair with an estimated $1 billion designated for Brooklyn. A majority of that money has gone to the Brooklyn Bridge ($500 million) and the seven bridges of the Belt Parkway ($365 million) but experts say that more money and effort are needed to repair and restore many of the crossways, many of which were built over 70 years ago:

A large number of the bad bridges date back to the 1930s and 40s, and take years to fix.

For example, it has been four years now since the city undertook a $365 million project to rebuild seven crumbling bridges along the Belt Parkway. Those crossways carry an estimated 150,000 cars a day through Brooklyn and Queens to John F. Kennedy Airport and Nassau County to the east, and to the Gowanus Expressway and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the west.

Those bridges are located at the Paerdegat Basin, Gerritsen Inlet, and by Bay Ridge Ave., as well by the Fresh Creek Basin and Rockaway Parkway in Queens.

Councilman Lew Fidler told the Daily News that the city was working to repair the bridges but that the issue is serious and costly.

“We all know those bridges are the worst of the worst. Those bridges have launched the careers of so many personal injury lawyers,” Fidler told the Daily News.

Photo By Erica Sherman

Photo By Erica Sherman

Plumb Beach is considered one of the most vulnerable stretches of coastlines in the city, and the overall sand replenishment and long-term restoration effort undertaken by federal and city officials is being considered as a model for rehabilitating Sandy-devastated areas. NY1 is reporting on the progress and the specifics of Plumb Beach, an effort expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Previously, we reported on the Army Corps of Engineers work on Plumb Beach, noting that the first phase of the operation, which was sand replenishment, had been completed. Phase two involves the construction of two terminal groins and one offshore breakwater and the installation of 1.2 acres of beach grass. Army Corps engineer John Knight described the purpose of the stone groins to NY1.

“The eastern groin right there acts as a catch for sand movement along the beach, keeps the sand and the protection in place on the shoreline itself,” Knight said.

The report also described how, as work continues, the project is laying the foundation for other shore restoration projects needed following Sandy:

Officials say the work here needs to be replicated in Sandy-devastated areas.

“This was a success story. It’s a wonderful model for the type of work that we must do,” [Representative Hakeem] Jeffries said.

“It’s going to allow us to do this very similar work in the Rockaways, which we already started with 4 million cubic yards of sand that will be laid there, and very shortly after that, right here in Brooklyn’s Coney Island,” Jeffrey said.

To see video of the construction effort being undertaken by the Army Corps, click here.

bridges

Source: DOT

Who would have ever imaged that the Department of Transportation’s ambitious Seven Bridges project would be ahead of schedule? Way back when the project began in 2009, our readers and community leaders expressed concern that the seven-year plan would stretch into the long haul.

But, gift of gifts, the reconstruction project is one year ahead of schedule, according to DOT authorities.

In an e-mail update on the project, their outreach team wrote:

Miscellaneous punch list work remains, but no restrictions of traffic are anticipated outside of the daily, permitted lane closures through the completion of the project in October 2014. NYCDOT would like to thank the public and motorist for their patience and we are glad to report that the project is a year ahead of schedule.

The agency expects to hit the latest milestone on Wednesday, August 21, when they will announce all major work is officially complete on the first three bridges: Paerdegat Basin, Rockaway Parkway and Fresh Creek Basin, covering the bridges between exits 11 and 14.

Meanwhile, work will soon begin on the dismantling of the next batch of bridges, eventually seeing the replacement of the Nostrand Avenue Bridge, Gerritsen Inlet Bridge, Mill Basin Bridge, and Bay Ridge Avenue Bridge.

Click to see illustrations of proposed Nostrand Ave Overpass

As we wrote in 2010:

The plans show the DOT is emphasizing increased safety, traffic flow, design aesthetics, and environmental protection as they go forward with the project.

Though the three bridges currently being worked on are the largest projects, commuters and boaters will likely experience the largest impact at the Mill Basin Bridge. Built circa 1940, the drawbridge has a 35-foot clearance. The new bridge will be a fixed structure with a 60-foot clearance. Lanes will be expanded by half a foot, and safety shoulders will be added in both directions. A new fender system will be installed to protect the bridge substructure from marine traffic.

Sheepshead Bay residents will also see benefits from the Nostrand Avenue overpass renovations. Currently the support columns of the three span structure blocks the view of car traffic underneath. The proposal aims to turn it into a single span, removing the supports to improve sight lines. Nostrand Avenue will be widened and realigned. Meanwhile, on the Belt itself, the road will be widened to provide safety shoulders, parapets will be installed, and the corrugated metal guide rails will be replaced with a reinforced concrete median.

The DOT has also made some alterations in response to community concerns. In Bergen Beach, residents complained that the new roadway configuration made visible to residents the rapid succession of headlights from the vehicles. The DOT has installed 392 feet of 6-foot-tall “glare fencing” to respond to the concern:

glare-fencing

Source: DOT

What do you think of the new bridges, and how the DOT has managed the project?

Photo by Allan Shweky

I understand why the girl (center) is wearing a 1-UP shirt. (Photo by Allan Shweky)

Masters of poise and balance gathered together to ride across the city on unicycles for the third annual Unicycle Festival. Sheepshead Bites reader and “Friends of Ocean Parkway” blogger Allan Shweky sent us some wonderful pictures of talented unicycle enthusiasts wobbling away by Ocean Parkway.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz finally declared this past Friday “Brooklyn Unicycle Day,” as talented unicyclists took part in a three-day long-distance ride. Allan described the path of the unicycle riders on his blog:

The long distance ride starts at City Hall in Manhattan, crosses the Brooklyn Bridge, and continues to Coney Island. The total distance of the ride is approximately 13 miles.

The ride was organized the Unicycle Bridge Tour. Here are some more pictures provided by Allan. Thanks for all the great stuff!

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky

Photo by Allan Shweky via screwedontheboardwalk.com

Photo by Allan Shweky via screwedontheboardwalk.com

Trees damaged and left rotting by Superstorm Sandy have finally led to a full response by the Parks Department. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Parks Department is planning to inspect and cut down thousands of trees, not only because they are dying, but because they are endangering residents.

We have previously covered the scores of dead and dying trees left in the wake of Sandy. The prevailing thought is that salt water flooded the root systems of thousands of trees across Southern Brooklyn and other parts of the city, effectively killing them. We recently noted that the Parks Department has already begun the process of removing the damaged trees across Southern Brooklyn including areas along Ocean Parkway, Shore Parkway and the Belt Parkway.

The Parks Department has laid out greater details for their plan to deal with all the salt infected trees. They plan to cut down 2,000 trees of the 45,000 they have inspected earlier in the year. They also plan to re-inspect another 4,500 in the fall. As for replacing the trees, the Parks Department said they would wait until spring’s planting season before gauging their plans. Meghan Lalor, a Parks Department spokeswoman, listed higher priorities before they launch a full scale re-planting.

“In the interim, we have been and will continue to remediate soil, as necessary, with compost and gypsum – both mitigate salt damage – to encourage the return of healthy biological functioning,” Lalor told the Daily News.

Chuck Reichenthal, the district manager for Community Board 13, covering Coney Island and Brighton Beach, was sad to see the trees go but said it was important nonetheless.

“It is a very sad time because these trees have been here for so long, but it is a necessity for safety,” Reichenthal told the Daily News. “Everybody is hoping they make replacements because this is still Brooklyn, and this is where trees are grown.”

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