12/20 CB1 Transportation Committee Recap: Brooklyn Greenway, Pedestrian Safety Measures, New Waterfront Bus Route

by Ryan Watson on

Last night, the room overflowed for the CB1 meeting of the Transportation Committee. The committee reviewed three projects on their agenda, including:

  • the proposed building of the first section of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative on West Street;
  • proposed pedestrian and traffic safety measures around Borinquen Place; and a
  • proposed route for a new Williamsburg-Greenpoint-Long Island City Waterfront bus line.

Proposed Brooklyn Greenway Initiative: Ms. Linda Reardon of the RBA group (the design firm retained by the Department of Design and Construction) presented a proposal for the construction of the first section of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, a green infrastructure project that would create a 14-mile pathway connecting Greenpoint to Sunset Park and providing access to various promenades, parks and open spaces along Brooklyn’s waterfront. Ms. Reardon presented the details of the project and invited questions and comments from community members. Community members raised concerns on the elimination of parking on West Street (approximately 79 spaces), whether cyclists would actually use the new bike lane, and if the proposed changes would result in two parallel streets (Calyer and Quay) running one-way in the same direction. The preliminary schematic design of the Brooklyn Greenway received full committee approval on the condition that the committee receive a report (at a later date) about how the project will impact parking in the area.

© 2012 The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway: A 14-mile Route Connecting Waterfront Communities & Destinations Presentation

Pedestrian Safety Measures on Borinquen Place/Keap Street: A presentation was given by Sean Quinn, Planning Coordinator of the Pedestrian Projects Group at the Department of Transportation (DOT). The proposed changes arise from routine speeding of cars and the resulting fatalities of two bicyclists earlier this year. Quinn maintained that the installation of painted sidewalk extensions, painted neckdowns (curb extensions placed at intersections which reduce the width of a roadway) and the narrowing of street widths would reduce speeding, improve traffic flow, and enhance the area’s environment while making the intersection safer for pedestrian traffic. The proposed pedestrian safety and traffic calming measures received full committee approval.

© Google Maps

Proposed Waterfront Bus Route: Andrew Inglesby of the NYC Metro Transit Authority (MTA) presented a new waterfront bus route which would connect Long Island City, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The new service is scheduled to be implemented in September 2013. Barbara Vitell of the Greenpoint-West Street Association raised concerns that the new route would result in less frequent or cancellation of G train service, to which the MTA representative responded that that was an unrelated issue. Community members also questioned whether it was feasible for the route to run northbound along West Street or into Manhattan, both of which were deemed unfeasible as a result of budget limitations. The next review of the proposal will be held at the full CB1 meeting on January 8th and at the Queens Community Board 2 meeting on January 3rd. The proposed design and concept of the new bus route received full committee approval.

Ryan Watson

Ryan Watson

Originally from Los Angeles, Ryan is a relatively new but very proud resident of Greenpoint. He was drawn to Greenpoint by the strong sense of community and history of local activism. Ryan can be found at North Brooklyn Farms, the urban farm at the Domino Sugar Factory, which he co-founded or working in the 61 Franklin Street Community Garden.