New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and City Council Member Julissa Ferreras joined executives of Chase in Corona Plaza today to announce the launch of the new Neighborhood Plaza Partnership (NPP), a program designed as a model for providing financial and logistical support to communities to maintain clean, green and vibrant public plazas in neighborhoods across the city. Managed by the Horticultural Society (The Hort), NPP will provide local partners with affordable, high-quality plaza maintenance and horticulture care; create transitional jobs for 100 former convicts through workforce development programs with the Association for Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE NY); and provide long-term support at these vibrant community spaces. The NPP is launching with a major $800,000 leadership gift provided by Chase. With 59 pedestrian plazas installed, in planning or under construction across the city, DOT’s Plaza Program has used inexpensive, temporary materials as well as seating, planters and other amenities to convert underused areas of city streets into safe, green pedestrian spaces, providing significant local benefits and aiding area businesses, as DOT works to build out these spaces using permanent materials. For each plaza, local partner organizations provide maintenance and community programming, often relying on voluntary contributions of time and funding. The NPP will provide employment to reformed convicts and train them to maintain plantings at participating locations, creating jobs, helping stabilize New York City neighborhoods from East New York to Ozone Park to Corona and providing resources where they are needed most. Chase Global Philanthropy and Council Member Ferreras also presented a “Daily Point of Light Award” to Edgar Gutierrez, manager of Walgreens on Corona Plaza, for his efforts to engage local businesses in the creation and care of this popular plaza space.
As part of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) project to rehabilitate the Brooklyn Bridge ramps and approaches, full closures of the Manhattan-bound lanes of the bridge will be required this weekend, from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 23 to 6 a.m. Saturday, and from 9 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Monday, November 24. During these closures, all Manhattan-bound traffic will be redirected to alternate crossings, including the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, an MTA-tolled facility. Brooklyn-bound traffic will continue to access the Brooklyn Bridge normally without any lane reversal or adjustment to Brooklyn-bound traffic patterns or ramp access. This weekend closure will allow for the installation of concrete pavement and the removal of most temporary construction plates on the Manhattan-bound roadway, the latest steps in the effort to bring this critical piece of infrastructure into a state of good repair. The span’s pedestrian path, bike path and pedestrian staircase at Frankfort Street in Manhattan will remain open. As with recent weekend closures and previously-scheduled ongoing weeknight closures of the bridge during this project, motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible and use alternate routes.
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today released Sustainable Streets: 2013 and Beyond, demonstrating unprecedented progress made since the release of its 2008 strategic plan to make New York City’s streets safer, expand low-cost transportation options and make the city’s streetscapes more attractive and economically vibrant. According to detailed analysis in the report, 180 acres of former roadway in New York City have been reprogrammed for innovative uses such as plazas, expanded pedestrian medians along busy corridors and the expansion of bike lanes, part of the 365 miles installed citywide since 2007. The report, which Commissioner Sadik-Khan will deliver tonight at an event at the American Institute of Architects, presents metrics showing how New York City has become the safest big city in the nation, with fatalities dropping 30% over the last decade, as numerous safety redesigns across the city lead to significant long-term reductions in traffic crashes. The report is available at nyc.gov/dot. DOT also unveiled a new Web portal, sustainablestreets.info, which includes an interactive map that lets users view the locations of safety, mobility, pedestrian and state-of-good-repair projects implemented over the last six years across all five boroughs.
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today launched its second annual Bike to School competition—an application-based, curriculum-driven safety-education program that helps promote bicycling as a safe, healthy and fast way to get around the city. Available to middle and high schools across the city, the program builds on past DOT Bike to School Day events to promote bicycling to school. The 2014 Bike to School program will be available to five schools, which will receive a “starter kit” with curriculum materials, technical assistance to identify safer routes, the installation of bike racks and other DOT support. Selected schools also will receive $500 from the Safe Streets Fund, a nonprofit, to assist with implementing their Bike to School program. Partner organizations Bike New York and Recycle-a-Bicycle will provide additional services to the chosen schools, including safe riding assemblies, learn-to-ride training and bike maintenance classes. In the second year of the program, schools will transition to operating the program independently, while DOT continues the classroom curriculum and organizes additional events. For the third year, schools will take over the in-class curriculum and work towards hosting their own celebratory bike parade to mark the completion of the program. All New York City school can apply now via DOT’s Web site, nyc.gov/biketoschool, and applications for the 2014 program will be accepted through December 13, 2013.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Education today announced the launch of the “Beat the Street” competition, allowing local students to compete against children from around the world in logging walking trips to and from school, encouraging interest in safer streets and healthy lifestyle choices. Since the competition started here on October 15th, more than 1,000 students from two Queens schools, IS 141-The Steinway School in Astoria and JHS 210-The Elizabeth Blackwell School in Ozone Park, have competed against students in Liverpool, England, with hundreds more in London, England and Shanghai, China joining the three-week long competition in November. Each participating New York City student can simply swipe a keycard at any “Beat Box” location installed by DOT at key points along major pedestrian routes to each of the two Queens schools. Students collect points based on the number of swipes, and results are tracked in real-time at www.beatthestreet.me, allowing participants to track the contest standings from around the world, before the local competition wraps up on November 8th. Each participating school and dozens of students with top scores will receive prizes to encourage participation, and London-based contest creator Intelligent Health will provide $1,000 to the winning school in the international competition, as well as matching contributions to UNICEF to promote safer, healthier communities.
As part of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) project to rehabilitate the Brooklyn Bridge ramps and approaches, a full closure of the Manhattan-bound lanes of the bridge will be required this weekend, from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 26 to 6 a.m. Monday, October 28. During this 54-hour closure, all Manhattan-bound traffic will be redirected to alternate crossings, including the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, an MTA-tolled facility. Brooklyn-bound traffic will continue to access the lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge normally without any lane reversal or adjustment to Brooklyn-bound traffic patterns or ramp access. This weekend closure will allow for the replacement of decking on the Manhattan-bound roadway, an important part of the effort to bring this critical piece of infrastructure into a state of good repair. The span’s pedestrian path, bike path and pedestrian staircase at Frankfort Street in Manhattan will remain open. As with recent, related closures of the bridge during this project, motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible and use alternate routes.
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced the completion of a $7 million project to resurface First Avenue from 72nd to 125th streets using an innovative, thin-asphalt overlay atop the notoriously uneven concrete road at a fraction of the cost of a complete rebuilding. The 53-block project provides a smooth surface for pedestrians—including 48,000 runners expected at next month’s marathon—and makes it safer and more accessible for the 60,000 daily bus, vehicle and bike riders who cross 60th Street daily, as well as for thousands of pedestrians. Select Bus Service was launched in 2010 and the street has been redesigned curb-to-curb in phases from Houston Street, adding high-visibility bus lanes for the M15 SBS, pedestrian refuge islands and parking-protected bike paths. This effort is just one of the many DOT projects designed to keep the city’s transportation network in a state of good repair.
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast and State Sen. Bill Perkins today announced that M60 Select Bus Service (SBS) will launch in April 2014, speeding the commutes of more than 30,000 bus passengers who travel on 125th Street routes daily. Using dedicated bus lanes, consolidated stops and allowing passengers to pay before boarding the bus, the streamlined service will improve one of the borough’s most-used local bus routes, reducing congestion and providing faster, more reliable connections throughout Harlem and with LaGuardia Airport. DOT and MTA conducted more than 50 meetings with the community and elected officials over the last year, and following extensive outreach to address specific concerns with the community this summer, the project is now proceeding with support from local elected officials, including Sen. Perkins, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat and City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. DOT also announced streetscape improvements planned for 125th Street, including the planned installation of the city’s first City Lights—62 attractive and energy-efficient new LED street lights from Morningside Avenue to Fifth Avenue using $500,000 in funding from Assembly Member Keith Wright. The project will also bring the City’s new pedestrian wayfinding system to 125th Street, with maps at all 12 SBS stations, and equipped with real-time bus arrival information and new parking spaces will be established along parts of 124th and 126th streets. DOT and MTA will continue to advise the community and inform them of details as the project moves forward.
As part of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) project to repair the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge following the Aug. 16 truck fire that damaged the bridge, DOT will install two 26-foot-long, 1.5-ton custom steel replacement beams this weekend, requiring partial closures of lanes in both directions of the span from 12 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 through 5 a.m., Monday, Oct. 14. The bridge’s two upper and two lower, inner Queens-bound lanes will remain closed for the duration of the project as the replacement beams are installed. To facilitate Queens-bound traffic, the two Manhattan-bound lanes on the span’s lower level will be temporarily reversed to Queens. In addition, the single lane of the south outer roadway, open to passenger cars only, will be available for Queens-bound traffic. The bridge’s two Manhattan-bound lanes on the upper level will continue to remain accessible to Manhattan-bound traffic throughout the weekend, though restricted to trucks. Motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible and to use adjacent crossings.
The truck fire produced temperatures hot enough to melt steel, warping the beams, which DOT crews immediately shored up with plates and other safety measures. While all but one lane re-opened in less than 48 hours, work continued to produce the steel beams and associated damaged parts in DOT’s Iron Shop in Brooklyn.
As with other bridge closures, this traffic pattern will include posted and electronic message signs along streets and highways as well as NYPD traffic agents stationed at the span’s approaches to guide traffic. For more information about the temporary closure or for more information about the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, visit nyc.gov/dot.
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced the distribution of the 100,000th free bike helmet in just seven years at this weekend’s Atlantic Antic in Brooklyn, a milestone in the years-long safety campaign which has made city streets safer for all users. The agency partnered with Council Member Stephen Levin to fit and distribute free helmets at Sunday’s annual street festival, the latest in more than 300 fittings DOT has hosted since 2006 in collaboration with dozens of partners—from local schools and elected officials to nonprofits and businesses—with the goal of expanding access to helmets and safe-cycling gear citywide. A DOT safety educator fitted the 100,000th helmet on Bettie Kollock-Wallace, a Brownsville resident who has pushed for the expansion of safer bike lanes in her neighborhood. While the law requires only children 13 and younger and commercial cyclists to wear helmets, the agency strongly encourages New Yorkers of every age to wear them when riding. To date, DOT has outfitted more than 62,000 adults and 38,000 children with free helmets and will continue its efforts to promote safe cycling on the more than 600 miles of bike lanes on city streets. DOT’s focus on engineering and education combined with NYPD enforcement have helped make the last six years the safest ever, recording the fewest traffic fatalities. There also has been no increase in serious bike crashes despite the quadrupling of commuter cycling over the past decade, representing a 75% decrease in risk.