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Day 1: Getting Dangerous Summit Place Step Street Fixed and Eventually Replaced in Kingsbridge, Bronx

13 Dec

So the beginning of the title to this post means that I’m beginning today to count the days it takes to replace the unsafe step street between Bailey Avenue and Heath Avenue, which heads right into Summit Place. I know many of us have expressed concerns in various ways about this before, but here I’ll start afresh, with no complaints, just a more focused effort to get this done. The next meeting of Community Board 8’s Traffic and Transportation Committee is on Thursday, Dec. 20 at Amalgamated Houses, 74 Van Cortland Park South, at 7 p.m. I’ll be there and I hope that others who care about this can attend too.

In a recent email exchange with an incredibly helpful member of Community Board 8, Laura Spalter, I learned that replacing this step street is number 6 on the board’s Fiscal Year 2020 capital priorities list, which begins July 1, 2019. (The current list on the CB8 site needs to be corrected or updated, since the step street is not on that list at all.) We need to learn how long it will take to get to #6, and whether the city will adhere to that request at all.

But regardless off whether it becomes a city-authorized capital project plan — which means it would be completely replaced — it would take at least two or three years to plan and complete I’m figuring, maybe even more. But in the meantime, it definitely needs to be repaired. Here are some photos I took the other day:

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This is what so many steps look like on this step street. And aside from all the cracks, many of the steps are uneven in height, exacerbating the potential of tripping and falling. 

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The worst step on the step street. Dangerous! 

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Just a wider look at all the damage. 

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Many of the rail posts, like this one, indicate to me that there were once lights on them. This step street is poorly lit, which makes the cracked, uneven steps even more dangerous. 

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See the big stone block near the beautiful, new graffiti post on the side of this store? Well that’s from one of the posts on the step street. It’s been like that for a long time but the city has done nothing about it. 

Again, if you are concerned about any of the above I look forward to seeing you at the next gathering of the Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting of Community Board 8 (info above). There’s a Facebook site called Friends of Summit Place Step Street. If you have any questions or concerns related to the step street, you can post them there and I, or someone else, will get back to you. Thanks!

—Jordan Moss

 

 

 

 

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New Indian Restaurant to Open in Kingsbridge/Bronx (I swear!)

20 Nov
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Site of what will be a  new Indian Restaurant on W. 231st. St. in Kingsbridge.  Photo by Jordan Moss

11.20.18 — In August I screwed up by reporting that a former deli on West 238th Street was going to be home to a new Indian restaurant in Kingsbridge. There have been none in the neighborhood for like a decade, so I was kinda excited, and so were many of you when I reported it. But I was freakin’ wrong. I asked a man working there what it would be and “Indian Restaurant” is what he told me. I took his word for it. But we learned soon after that, thanks to neighbors who went by the place too, that it’s going to be a pizza place. (Didn’t think the journalistic rule of 2 sources was necessary here 🙂

But now, a storefront undergoing gutting and redesign (it was recently, and very briefly, a Mexican joint I think) at 308 W. 231st St., right between the corners of Tibbett and Riverdale avenues, simply has a sign saying what it’s going to be: “Riverdale Inidan Cuisine.” I’ll forgive the owner for using “Riverdale” when it’s in Kingsbridge. I’m just looking forward to some Indian food that many of us miss very much. Let’s make sure to go whenever it opens and spread the word far and wide.

Construction of Indian Restaurant in Kingsbridge Under Way

7 Aug

A store that was a grocery/deli on W. 238th St. and Broadway until a few months ago has been gutted, uncovering its beautiful brick walls. A worker there told me today that it’s going to be an Indian restaurant. That’s very cool because there’s been no such thing in Kingsbridge in a good long while (there was one on 231st Street for a little while after we moved here from Norwood in 2005).

Klein Fibs About 32BJ/SEIU Support. It’s Biaggi Who Has Their Endorsement. (38 Days to Go Before Election on Thurs., Sept. 13)

6 Aug

This ain’t right. A few days ago, incumbent State Senator Jeff Klein, founder of the IDC, which enabled Republicans to hold power of the State Senate for 7 years, posted this tweet, implying that he’s been endorsed by the union 32BJ/SEIU:

But that’s just a straight fib. 32BJ/SEIU has not only endorsed his challenger, the true Democrat Alessandra Biaggi (check out third logo under quotes right here), but its taking it to the streets.

Take a look at 32BJ/SEIU members and their leader Hector Figueroa with Biaggi right here …

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

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.