Tag Archives: Kingsbridge

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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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).

311 Worked — Bronx Step Street Light Replaced

14 Feb

Yes, only a little improvement to a lousy step street (which needs to be replaced!), connecting Heath and Bailey avenues in Kingsbridge Heights, but an important fix nonetheless. The bottom step street light on Bailey Avenue has been out for a good bit, so it’s dangerously dark before you start heading up the steps. I called 311, they contacted the Department of Transportation (DOT) and gave me a code, and a few days later I checked in on it via 311’s website. It indicated that the light had been replaced and the case was closed. Wasn’t closed for me until I saw the light on tonight. Lesson? If you see a broken bench in a park; a dangerous, deteriorated sidewalk ; a street light out, etc., hear too much noise, etc., etc., call 311! They give you a code so you can keep track of the status. It also helps to let your community board know about the problem and give them the code you received. They’re usually in regular contact with city agencies and can echo your complaint. Here’s a photo of the step street (which, again, needs to be replaced! — more on this later) with the repaired light at the bottom of the stairs …

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Bronx step street entrance on Bailey Avenue headed up to Heath Avenue and Summit Place. DOT replaced light after complaint via 311. Photo by Jordan Moss

 

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

5.27.14 Bronx News that Matters

27 May

Though the Daily News reported on Sunday that State Senator Adriano Espaillat, a challenger to longtime Congressman Charles Rangel, won’t appear on a BronxTalk debate “due to Albany’s legislative session,” host Gary Axelbank told Bronx Matters today that Espaillat has decided to take part. Meanwhile, Rangel’s office asked Axelbank for a conference call “for rules and other debate procedures” along with staffers of the other candidates. Axelbank responded by setting that up for 2 p.m. today. Stay tuned on Bronx Matters for debate status update.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera announced to tenants of NYCHA’s Ft. Independence Houses in Kingsbridge that its community center won’t be closed, according to The Riverdale Press. Cabrera said NYCHA confirmed that but the Riverdale Press said that “in in recent e-mails, NYCHA’s press office said a determination was yet to be made about the authority’s 106 community centers.” It’s a citywide issue: “The way Mr. Bloomberg left the centers last year, the city would end funding for 57 centers operated by NYCHA itself this June. Nonprofit agencies support the other 49 sites,” the Press reported.

Speaking of NYCHA housing, the Bronx Times reported on the agency’s new commissioner, Shola Olatoye, meeting with residents and local politicians at Pelham Parkway Houses and getting an earful of complaints about long delays making critical repairs — a chronic, unresolved problem during the Bloomberg administration.

State Senator Jeffrey Klein and Assemblyman Marcus Crespo (both Bronx reps) are partnering on legislation to keep alcohol out of the hands (and mouths) of underage drinkers by allowing retailers to swipe bad IDs among other efforts. The Daily News reports that 400 minors were admitted to two city hospitals — North Central Bronx and Jacobi — just over Memorial Day weekend in 2012 and 2013.

Parishioners are battling the proposed closure of Visitation Church in Kingsbridge. St. Gabriel’s Church in Riverdale would also have to cut down its weekday masses. (I’ve also heard that Visitation will merge with St. John’s Church on Kingsbridge Avenue near 231st Street.)

Hunts Point Express files a detailed report on the possibilities for the rebirth of waterfront land where a decrepit Marine Transfer Station in Hunts Point is expected to be torn down.