THE COMMUTE: This week we are taking another look at the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). On Monday we discussed major problems thus far: confusion, not enough SBS stops, and inadequate service on New York Avenue. We discussed actions taken by some local elected officials. Yesterday we shared some rider and operator reviews gathered from an email, the media, and transit discussion groups on the internet. Today we will share a few more reviews and draw some conclusions.
Archive for the tag 'knapp st'
THE COMMUTE: Yesterday, in Part 1, we provided some media coverage from NewsChannel 12 and NY 1 showing rider frustrations with the new B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). That is not to say that everyone is unhappy about it. As I predicted, those traveling long distances who can make use of the SBS stops will save time and be pleased. You can never please everybody. The question remains: Will more riders be helped or hurt by this new service?
THE COMMUTE: Select Bus Service (SBS) on the first route in Brooklyn, the B44, is now one week old. I have not yet had a chance to observe or ride the SBS or the B44 local, so at this time I can only offer second-hand information.
As to be expected, there was much confusion resulting from the elimination of the Limited service, which has been replaced with SBS; removal of some Limited stops, which became local stops only, and the rerouting of half of the buses from New York Avenue to Rogers Avenue. Bus riders were informed of the start date through automated announcements on the buses during the week prior to implementation. Not enough information was given to avoid confusion.
Downed Electrical Line Causes Early Morning Power Outage For 7,700+ Con Ed Customers In Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach
As many as 7,724 Con Edison customers along a broad swath of Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend and Manhattan Beach were left without power this morning after an electrical line snapped.
The first reports of power outages hit the utility company at 7:16 a.m., a Con Edison representative told Sheepshead Bites. The company was able to respond quickly, bringing power back online for 7,523 customers within 20 minutes. But another 201 customers, largely in Manhattan Beach, remained without power until 9 a.m.
The outage affected thousands of households between Avenue R and Oriental Boulevard, and between West 7th Street and Knapp Street. While most saw service restored quickly, Plumb Beach and Manhattan Beach residents from Voorhies Avenue to Oriental Boulevard, and from Pembroke Street to Brighton 11th Street saw the longest delays in restoring electricity.
Con Edison said a downed power line caused the outage, but has not yet said where the power line was, or what caused it to fail.
If you know the location of the downed power line, please share with us in the comments.
UPDATE (11:51 a.m.): Con Edison just informed us that the downed power line was on East 19th Street, just north of Voorhies Avenue. They still could not say what caused it to go down.
THE COMMUTE: After two years of delay, and five years of planning, the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) finally made its debut yesterday along Nostrand Avenue. Limited stops at Avenues L, R, S, V, W, Y and Z are no longer in effect since the Limited has been discontinued, so do not wait for one. You now either have to take the local or walk to the closest SBS stop.
Select Bus Service payment machines have started popping up on Nostrand Avenue, Emmons Avenue and Knapp Street ahead of the kickoff for new express service that will replace the B44 Limited.
The machines are a key feature to the new service, allowing for off-board fare collection that MTA officials say save time on the bus. Riders are expected to pay their fares at the machine before boarding, and are given a receipt. The system is largely an honor system, with occasional inspectors serving hefty fines to fare dodgers if caught.
The new service will replace the B44 Limited, offering service from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg via Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue. The buses are extra long, and will have separate bus stops from the existing B44 stops, as well as dedicated bus lanes for a portion of the route (in Sheepshead Bay, there will be a dedicated bus lane south of Avenue X). The stops will have sidewalk bulbs to allow for safer boarding.
Much like the B44, the new B44 SBS will make a loop from Nostrand to Shore Parkway to Knapp to Emmons and back as its southern terminus.
According to the MTA, as reported by Streetsblog, the service is set to begin on November 17. The MTA is eyeing a second route in the area, running from Bay Ridge to East New York, via an avenue in Homecrest.
Russ Salzberg, more affectionately known as “The Sweater,” has been a New York City sportscasting mainstay for 25 years. A New York Daily News report reflected on Salzberg’s success and his humble Sheepshead Bay roots.
Those most familiar with the 62-year-old Salzberg know him for his work on New York Giants and Yankees post-game reports and for his local special event television sportscasting activities. Despite all his success, including a long run working the mid-morning show with legendary WFAN host Steve Summers in the 1990s, Salzberg credits all his success to his father Lou, Brooklyn and the streets of Sheepshead Bay.
“I’ve been there 25 years since…What you see is who I am. I’m just Russ Salzberg from Avenue V and this is how I see it. I owe everything, all my success, to Brooklyn,” Salzberg told the Daily News.
In touring the area, Salzberg recounted his memories of the neighborhood that shaped him:
And it all started here in “V Park,” next to 2886 Avenue V of the Sheepshead Bay projects where he was raised and learned to play the sports that became his life.
“My old man was a track worker for the Transit Authority,” he says, walking into the park. “And all my pals here were working-class. Tough, funny, street-smart, loyal, no BS.”
He stands in the asphalt softball field, gazing at this Brooklyn laboratory where he created a helluva good life. “I played softball, stickball, football, hockey here,” he says. “We shot hoops over there. We met girls there on the benches at night. I learned all there was to know about life right here.”
Sometimes he would come here alone, imagining he was a big leaguer, and do a play-by-play aloud. “‘The count is 3-and-2 with two out in the bottom of the ninth with Salzberg at the dish. And here comes the pitch…’”
Salzberg also remembered how his father helped build the Amity Little League fields located at Knapp Street and Avenue V.
“My old man built these fields. He graded the earth, planted the grass, put up the fence. It was called Bedford Bay Little League then. He’d get up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, come down, cut the grass, chalk the lines, and by 8 he was coaching my team. And then because my brother was mentally handicapped, he created a league just for handicapped kids. My father was hard as nails, with a heart of pure gold,” Salzberg said.
Tragically, Lou Salzberg died at age 47, three years after the Transit Authority forced him to retire over his bad heart. Salzberg reflected how difficult his father’s loss was for him:
Voice cracking, he smooths his natty suit and shrugs. “He died at 47,” he says. “That wasn’t his worst day. That came three years earlier when the TA forced him to retire because of his bum ticker. Lou Salzberg was a very proud guy. Take away his job and it ripped out his soul. I learned my work ethic from him.”…
“Just one,” he says. “That my old man never got to see me succeed. Because of all the great people I’ve met, my father was my one true hero.”
This was a great piece by the Daily News and really interesting for people obsessed with listening to WFAN like I am. Growing up in the 90s, I remember fondly listening to humorous antics of the “Sweater and the Schmoozer” on summer days before the Mike and the Mad Dog took over at 1 p.m. To check out the rest of the story, which includes Russ’s story of how he broke into broadcasting, click here.
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?
When it comes to sewage spilling into our waterways, people might not really want to know – but they should. The New York Daily News is reporting that while sewage plant operators are required to report spills to health authorities right away, many wait for long spells and often give incomplete reports.
When a sewage spill happens, by law, a sewage plant is required to notify the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) within two hours and the public at large within four hours. Despite this, the Daily News has learned that many spills haven’t been properly reported in a timely fashion:
The agency recently started posting untreated sewage spills on its website to warn the public. The latest report, posted Friday, lists spills — including a 1,000-gallon spill that flowed into Flushing Bay near College Point, Queens — from as far back as May 8.
But most of the entries failed to report the volume of the spills.
A new law passed May 1 requires municipal sewage plant operators to report spills to health officials within two hours and the public within four. But many plant reports are filed late and incomplete, showing “unknown” spill volumes, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
For instance, a spill into Paerdegat Basin in Flatlands, Brooklyn, on June 28, and another into the Harlem River in the Bronx on July 15, failed to report the volume of the spills.
The DEC estimates $36 billion is needed over the next 20 years to repair and upgrade sewer systems at 643 municipal treatment plants in the state.
For those interested, the only two spills reported in Kings County were both at the Red Hook facility in early June – and none at the local Coney Island Wastewater Treatment Plant on Knapp Street. The DEC (and the Daily News, for that matter) does not make it easy to find the reports on their website, but after some prodding they turned up here, as a downloadable spreadsheet.
Recently, New York State received $340 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to upgrade and fix the state’s sewage plants, like our own Knapp Street poop factory. The sum given by the EPA is a drop in the bucket compared to the $36 billion needed.
The failure of sewage plant operators to report on spills in a timely and full fashion also adds to the overall growing paranoia over the cleanliness of the beaches and waterways in the local area. Earlier in the month, we reported on a Natural Resources Defense Council study that measured cleanliness of the ocean water at Brighton Beach and Coney Island. The study pointed to the sewage overflow problem which amounts to 30 billion gallons annually in the city.
New York State received $340 million dollars from the federal Environmental Protection Agency last week to upgrade sewage and drinking water plants to protect against future storms like Superstorm Sandy. Local City Council candidate Mark Treyger, running for the 47th District covering Coney Island and Gravesend, is calling on the state to steer those funds to the Coney Island Sewage Treatment Plant on Knapp Street, saying it needs it the most.
Of the $340 million, most of it – $283 million – is earmarked specifically for sewage plants. The funds are part of a the Sandy emergency relief package approved by Congress at the beginning of the year, and are aimed at making upgrades that would keep raw sewage contained instead of discharging into public waterways – as is the case during heavy rainfalls when the plants’ tanks overfill.
Treyger said in a press release that the local plant should be a high-priority for the state because of its vulnerable location and its trouble grappling with Superstorm Sandy. The press release said:
“Coney Island was one of many New York communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. During, and in the immediate aftermath of the storm, people who were unable to evacuate, as well as those who quickly returned to their homes, did not have access to clean drinking water or reliable sanitation services,” said Treyger.
The Coney Island Waste Water Treatment Plant, located on Knapp Street, was hit with a cascade of problems during Hurricane Sandy. Water from Shell Bank Creek came over the bulkheads and flooded the building. Flood debris clogged vital parts of the plant and power was lost and to make matters worse. To compound the problems a 72 inch outfall pipe had been previously shut down for repairs.
“Our part of coastal south Brooklyn – not just New York and America’s playground – is particularly vulnerable to future natural disasters. In the event that another storm, of similar or even greater magnitude to Sandy, hits our area, we must be prepared. I strongly urge New York to use the money given to us by the Environmental Protection Agency to, among other critical projects, expedite desperately needed sewer upgrades in Coney Island.”
But the state says that the $283 million, which will be dispersed to municipalities throughout the state, is but a drop in the bucket to make the repairs needed. EPA officials are directing municipalities to request additional funds via grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and FEMA.
Representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the city’s sewage treatment plants, told Sheepshead Bites that the Knapp Street plant was just one of many that took damage. They said 10 of the city’s 14 sewage treatment had some degree of damage and service issues, but they were all at 100 percent functionality as of February 10. They added that the funds from the EPA are being coordinated through the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, and that the DEP had not yet received details about the allocation.