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Traffic Lights are Up and Running On at Kingsbridge Heights Intersection!

5 Sep
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Traffic lights installed at corner of Kingsbridge Terrace and Heath Avenue. Photo by Jordan Moss

9.5.17 – After more than a year and a half of attending Community Board 8 committee meetings, gathering petition signatures, meeting with neighbors, and ultimately collaborating with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, the dangerous Y-shaped intersection of Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue in Kingsbridge Heights now has traffic lights and walk/don’t walk signs.

And guess what? It’s much, much safer.

It was a complicated busy intersection with zero crosswalks. I found it dangerous. I stressed about my daughter and her pals crossing it. Heck, I worried about anyone crossing it.

Ultimately, after Ann DiLucca, Nova Calise and I gathered petition signatures, as members of the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association (with the help of the wonderful staff of the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center), Assemblyman Dinowitz organized a press conference right at the intersection with other elected officials (Councilman Andrew Cohen, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, and State Senator Gustavo Rivera), KHCC executive director Margaret Della and 50th Precinct’s deputy inspector Terence O’Toole. Not long after that the DOT (Department of Transportation) reviewed the intersection and made a relatively quick decision. Dinowitz and his staff played a key role in encouraging the agency to do the right thing.

In our petition, we expressed particular concern about the intersection of Fort Independence Street, Giles Place and Kingsbridge Terrace. That’s particularly where kids, families and staff have to cross to get to PS 360 or KHCC. As I reported in September 2015, parents were very concerned about the lack of a crosswalk there. That still doesn’t exist, but Dinowitz said DOT is open to revisiting this related issue. The good news is that the traffic lights have slowed down vehicles heading in both directions. So it seems like crossing there will be a tad safer. But we should know more after school begins. (Please share any thoughts or concerns you might have by commenting on this post or emailing me at bronxmatters@gmail.com.) On another important, though less critical, note, the crosswalks where the traffic lights are still need to be painted and Dinowitz’s office said they’re staying on top of the DOT to make sure it happens ASAP.

That said, we are excited and relieved and hope to have as much success in many other community-improvement pursuits.

-Jordan Moss

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Cuomo: State Will Reignite Massive Skating Facility Plan for Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory

9 Jan
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The Kingsbridge Armory. Photo by Jordan Moss

The massive ice skating facility planned for the Kingsbridge Armory was brought back to life today.

As the Norwood News reports, Gov. Cuomo announced that the state will provide funding close to the tally required to reignite a plan to transform the armory into a massive home to nine ice-skating rinks, the largest such entity in the universe.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but Cuomo’s announcement appears to bring the complicated project close to a resolution after 23 years of a long, devoted community campaign led from the beginning by the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

For Norwood News armory coverage from 1999 on, go here and here.

 

 

D.C. Columnist’s Great Idea Makes Me Think of Trump’s Bronx Golf Course

15 Dec

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell has a good idea — apply the controversial, but very legal, policy of eminent domain to Donald Trump, who loves it to death, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, where a clogged security site is already sucking millions of police protection cash from the city. Through eminent domain, the city would have to pay Trump for the building before they dismiss him from the site. But, in her column, Rampell explains how it’s well worth it.

Made me think of the Bronx golf course Trump currently runs. He doesn’t own the property, so eminent domain isn’t applicable. But the city could end its contract with him, as welcome2thebronx.com sought last year in a petition effort after Trump said that Mexico is: “sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists.”

That’s when Trump even lost the support of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who decided to boycott the site. “When he speaks out against Muslims, when he speaks out against Mexicans and Latinos, that to me is anti-Bronx,” Diaz said, as reported in dnainfo.com. “That’s the reason why I boycotted the golf course.”

 

 

 

Who, and What, You’re Voting For in Bronx and Beyond

2 Nov

Wnyc.org has a great site listing who and what you’re going to be voting for this coming Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The city itself has its own detailed site.

Pass this along. The more who know about these links the merrier.

Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment’s Financial Uncertainty

19 Feb
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The Kingsbridge Armory on Kingsbridge Road. Photo by Jordan Moss

Politico New York reports on the uncertain financial status of the mega ice-skating palace planned for the  Kingsbridge Armory’s redevelopment.

City Limits Highlights 40 Years of Critical Reporting

3 Feb

City Limits is 40 years old this year. For most of its life thus far it was a hand-held magazine, but for a couple of years now it’s been a website with the same critical coverage of urban policies that affect all New Yorkers and their neighborhoods.

Celebrating its impressive anniversary (how many nonprofit publications are around for four decades?) City Limits highlights a story from each of those 40 years (including my piece -part of a series produced by Tom Robbins and his excellent students at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism – about a boy’s death following a fire in a disastrous Bronx building long-ignored by its landlord.)

What City Limits also has up and running are essays by many of its former editors including Robbins, Alyssa Katz and Doug Turetsky. (Bronx and Norwood neighborhood resident Jarrett Murphy is the current editor who made this whole lookback happen.)

Take a read and pass it on. It’s good for everyone to know more about where we were and focus on what policies still need focus and change.

 

Kingsbridge Armory Re-Do Update

20 Jan

 

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The Kingsbridge Armory on Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx. Photo by Jordan Moss.

In the latest Kingsbridge Armory status update, the Norwood News recently reported that the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) will receive a $30 million loan from Empire State Development for its first redevelopment phase of the massive landmark facility. The Armory will become the largest ice-skating center in the world, with nine rinks. Completing the initial phase of work is scheduled for April 2017. That’s more than 20 years after initial debates and activism were launched to plan the armory’s future.

WHEDco’s Big South Bronx Project — ‘Bronx Commons’ — Scheduled to Break Ground in Next Year

13 Oct

WHEDco (Women’s Housing and Econcomic Development Corporation) is scheduled to break ground on on a large mixed use development in the next year, according to Curbed.

“Today, WHEDco is working on its most ambitious project yet: Bronx Commons, a 361,600-square-foot mixed-use development with affordable housing, a rooftop farm, retail space, and cultural programming from the Bronx Music Heritage Center. Although the organization has come a long way since its formation, the mission is more or less the same: livable, affordable housing that builds up the neighborhood too.”

Here’s the whole Curbed story.