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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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Petition for Safety at Ft. Independence Intersections

28 Nov

Crossing Ft. Independence Street in Kingsbridge Heights is dangerous for everyone — kids, adults, and drivers. There are no crosswalks in 2 essential areas. Time for the city act. If you live, work, or go to school in the area – or just plain care – sign this petition and  share link with others. We want the city’s Department of Transportation to act ASAP. Thanks!

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.

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.

 

DEP Needs to Do Its Job Clearing Jerome Park Reservoir Sidewalk

25 Jan

Those of us who live around the Jerome Park Reservoir probably know that most of that 2-mile-long public sidewalk has not been dug out after the historic snowstorm. It’s the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that’s responsible for that, not the Parks Department, which is doing a great job clearing the paths at Fort Independence Park which is also adjacent to the reservoir.

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As the photo above shows, salt has been put down near that park’s entrance (by NYC Parks Dept. just to help access to their the park they’re responsible for I’m guessing), but that can only help a bit considering the snow’s height and since 2/3 of the reservoir is inaccessible to local residents and workers.

I called 311 but was on hold for a very long time thanks to the snowstorm. So I went on 311’s website and app but the complaint choices were not helpful in this situation. I then went to DEP’s website and made the following complaint to DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. If you share this concern I suggest you do the same. I’ll let you know if I get a response.

Hi Comm. Lloyd,
While the snow has been removed from Fort Independence Park in CB8/Bronx, it has not been removed from the public sidewalks around the Jerome Park Reservoir (other than at Lehman College, which probably did the work itself for student and staff access). This is DEP’s job as far as I know. It is a critical sidewalk to clear as it’s the way so many people walk to work, school, home, etc. The way it is, people are more likely to fall or walk in the street, which is also very dangerous of course. If you or someone on staff can let me know when DEP will be coming to clear sidewalk surround the reservoir. I would appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Jordan Moss

Oh, while I’m at it, here’s the excellent job Parks Dept. workers already did at Fort Independence Park (also know to many locals as Pigeon Park).

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Parks Dept. workers cleared the Fort Independence Park pathway this morning.           Photos by Jordan Moss

 

 

 

New Bronx Community Board 8 District Manager

22 May

Community Board 8 has a brand new district manager, Patricia Manning. Yet she’s a 30-year veteran of the office. (I remember working with her briefly in the early 1990s, when I was working for the borough president and the Department of Sanitation in Community Boards 11 and 8 on education and helping communities adhere to the brand new recycling law. I also remember her daughter worked (works?) at the Botanical Garden in the Bronx. More news on her new gig in The Riverdale Press.

5.30.14 — Bronx News that Matters

30 May

Busy day, but here are a few articles that quickly got my attention this morning:

Bronx Times editor Bob Kappstatter reports on why the borough president is not participating in The Bronx’s Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday.

This Capital New York article reports that Gov. Cuomo may “declare the Senate Coalition,” that is the Republicans partnering up with the Independent Democratic Conference (which Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein leads), a “failure.” That’s because he wants them to pass legislation for “a publicly financed campaign system for statewide candidates,” and that’s not happening. Will this help Oliver Koppell’s challenge against Klein? We’ll see what Cuomo actually does.

Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News reports on how much more public dough Donald Trump is getting from the city for his Bronx golf course compared to all the others.

Bronx Times editor Bob Kappstatter reports on why the borough president is not participating in The Bronx’s Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday.

And this is relevant to every neighborhood in the city: The New York Times reports on legislation the City Council is pushing forward to avoid traffic deaths.

 

5.29.14 — Bronx News that Matters

29 May
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Students of the renewed DeWitt Clinton High School on Mosholu Parkway. Photo by Marisol Diaz/The Riverdale Press

The Riverdale Press reports on DeWitt Clinton High School’s comeback.

A new chair of Community Board 9 in the southeast Bronx is only 31, the youngest in the city. But the Daily News reports that generally there are very few young people — particularly teens — on the Bronx’s 12 community boards. None of CB 11’s board members are under 45, for example.

The Daily News reminds readers that Bernie Madoff’s so-called Ponzi scheme, a financial earthquake, led to Yeshiva University losing $110 million back in 2008, and that fiscal tragedy is a big part of the reason Yeshiva is partnering with Montefiore to run the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

A new retail plaza is headed for the borough’s “Hub” in Melrose by the end of the year, reports the Daily News. It will feature Metropolitan College’s Bronx campus, a Fine Fare Supermarket, and Vista Optical. (No link.)

In one of the borough’s most competitive state Senate primaries, on May 22 the Ben Franklin Democratic Club in Riverdale starkly backed incumbent Jeffrey Klein – A Democrat but co-founder of the Independent Democratic Conference which often collaborates with the Senate’s Republicans — over Oliver Koppell, a former Councilman and long-term member and organizer of that very club.

Speaking of which, in his BoroBeat column, Bronx Times editor Bob Kapstatter credits club president Ellen Feld for “keeping the pandemonium” at the Club’s significant session “to a manageable level.” Kapstatter also reports Gov. Cuomo naming BP Ruben Diaz, Jr. as a co-chair of his re-election campaign.

Community Board 7 is pushing for a store in the Fordham Road D-train station, reports the Norwood News.

Jarrett Murphy, editor of City Limits, takes a look at the city’s rat battle.

The New York Times reports on Lincoln Hospital’s emergency room, probably the city’s busiest.