If you live in building 1, you know how dangerous it is to cross the long, unprotected crosswalk along Grand Street on your way to Fine Fare. The light isn’t long enough to make it all the way without sprinting, and with no pedestrian island, and cars making turns from every direction, you’re left on your own in the middle of the street.
And if you live in building 2, you know how bad the sight lines are crossing Madison the short way. Cars often don’t see, or ignore, the first crosswalk. Especially when a city bus is parked at that bus stop, drivers can’t even see the first stop light and traffic sign, and head straight through the crosswalk to settle under the second stop light by building 2’s driveway.
After years of complaining, we’re going to do something about it. Leo Hoenig of the house committee has alerted NYC Department of Transportation of these dangerous crossings, and the issue has been placed on the agenda of CB3’s transportation committee meeting on Thursday, October 20. A transportation committee endorsement would push this issue to the full community board, and an endorsement there would compel DOT to analyze the intersection.
What we know about these kinds of bureaucratic procedures is this: the more people show up, the more likely you get what you want.
So please, if you’ve ever crossed these streets and cursed a driver, if you’ve ever been afraid to send your kids to the store or to school by themselves because of this dangerous intersection, take the time to come Thursday to make sure our community leaders understand how important this is to you.
The Henry M. Jackson Playground, on the corner of Henry and Jackson Streets across from Fine Fare, has been fenced off and reconstruction has begun on schedule. The $1.7 million facelift as part of the Mayor’s Community Parks Initiative started planning in 2015 with community input, plans were finalized earlier this year, and construction is expected to take 1 year.
Existing facilities — basketball, handball, and seating — will be retained in approximately the same arrangement. Note that the playground easy of this park belongs to NYCHA and is not part of the reconstruction.
State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office is sponsoring a community meeting Tuesday evening to discuss “ways to improve bus service in your neighborhood.”
One item on the agenda that’s always of interest to East River cooperators: increasing bus service on Grand Street. The MTA has in the past rejected the idea of adding more M14A service, but a new idea on the table would bring the more-frequent M14D around to stop at Grand and Lewis before terminating under the bridge at Columbia Street.
The M21 already makes this loop around — too infrequently — so the bus stops already exist. The M14D could come down the FDR Access Road as usual, but instead of making a right on Delancey, continue south along the FDR to Grand Street. After a stop at Grand and Lewis, the bus could continue straight to Delancey, make a left under the bridge, and be right back on track.
Do you think that’s a good idea? Bad idea? Have another idea? Join representatives from the MTA and our local representatives’ offices:
Tuesday, November 17
Manny Cantor Center
197 East Broadway
Henry Jackson Playground — just across from Fine Fare — is due for a renovation with funds from the mayor’s Community Parks initiative. The Parks Department will be presenting initial plans for the redesign at next month’s meeting of CB3’s Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs, & Waterfront Committee:
Thursday, February 12 at 6:30pm
BRC Senior Services Center 30 Delancey Street (btwn Chrystie & Forsyth Sts)
Approval of previous month’s minutes
Parks presentation: Henry Jackson Playground design concept plan
Parks presentation: ESHS: Soccer field design
Parks presentation of public art exhibits at Ahearn Park
Presentation of design for the renovation of the East River Park – East 6th Street soccer field and track
Requested support for 9th Annual Dance Parade, 5/6, 8th Street / Saint Marks, culminates at Tompkins Square Park (3-7 pm)
Last year, Joe Hanania posted a petition to get the MTA to increase bus service to our coop, either by adding M14A buses or by having the M14D make the same loop around Grand Street that the M21 does.
The Lo-Down brings us the MTA’s response, saying the bus service to Grand Street is just fine as it is. The chief of operations planning at the MTA responded that bus service is determined by ridership counts, and their analysis shows that the balance between M14A and M14D buses is consistent with the number of riders.
Joe Hanania argues that because there are so many more M14D buses, that Grand Street residents coming home may get on the D and then walk across Delancey rather than wait for an A, so the ridership counts shouldn’t be the only gauge.
And Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who lives here on Grand Street himself, has also nudged the MTA to bring more M14A buses to the area.
The Lo-Down has renderings and info about the first buildings that will go up as part of the massive Essex Crossing development. Old buildings should start coming down this spring, and shovels may hit dirt this summer, but don’t expect this all to be over for another ten years.
Meanwhile, Curbed reveals that plans for underground parking have been scrapped by the DOT, citing concerns that adding a significant number of cars to the neighborhood would exacerbate a traffic problem already caused by the Delancey Street/Williamsburg Bridge thoroughfare.
Here are the first four building designs:
Site 2 is the big one, on the southeast corner of Essex & Delancey. This is where the 14-screen movie theater will go, as well as the updated Essex Market. The tower will be 24 stories with close to 200 apartments.
Site 1 will take up the parking lot between Essex and Ludlow on Broome Street. An annex of Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum will face Essex Street, with other commercial spaces facing Ludlow and Broome. The 14-story tower will have 55 condos.
Site 5 is the one part of the project that touches Grand Street on the block between Clinton and Suffolk. A large supermarket is planned for the Grand Street commercial space (this is right across the street from Seward’s Fine Fare), a public park sits along Broome Street, and the 15-story tower will contain 211 apartments.
Site 6 sits east of Clinton Street between Broome and Delancey. The 14-story tower contains 100 apartments for low-income seniors. Grand Street Settlement is expected to run programs for seniors, and a health care clinic may take up residence on the first and second floors.
Michael Marino of Friends of Corlears Hook Park has posted a petition in support of a resolution to have the Department of Transportation look for ways to increase the safety of pedestrians crossing Cherry Street to use Corlears Hook or East River Parks.
Crossing Cherry Street is problematic for several reasons: there’s no stop sign for cars turning from the FDR Drive access road and there is very little visibility around the corner and around cars that are parked in no-parking spaces. A stop sign, a crosswalk, a speed hump, parking enforcement — any one of these could make a huge difference.
The resolution has been approved by the CB3 traffic committee, and will be voted on by the full board on January 29. The resolution does not specify any one remedy, but asks the DOT to investigate the area and take appropriate action. Your voice will go a long way to move this issue forward.
Next steps: NYC Parks will develop a plan and schematic that will be shared at a CB3 meeting this spring; later in the spring will be another meeting about how community members might collaborate to program events and activities at the park.
Thanks to Michael Marino of Friends of Corlears Hook Park for keeping us abreast of these developments.
The Henry M. Jackson Playground sits just barely outside our coop’s boundary, across Jackson Street from Fine Fare and behind the old public school-turned-upscale condos (someday) on Madison Street.
There’s a wide-open space for basketball, a great urban mural, handball, and other playground equipment — all of which, apparently, due for an upgrade as part of the Community Parks initiative recently announced by the de Blasio administration.
The NYC Parks Department is looking for community input to help redesign and renovate the playground and facilities; an open meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway, 6th floor.