Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Talk at Tonight's CoWNA Meeting

If you missed tonight's Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association meeting, here's what was discussed:

Traffic Safety on Columbia Street

Some improvements have been made, like daylighting (removing parking spaces at an intersection to increase visibility) and striping, but more substantial and effective improvements are still needed. A more comprehensive analysis of the traffic patterns in the neighborhood is the first step. Some large trucks are still using Columbia and we would like to press for more enforcement. Phoenix Beverage trucks have also been seen driving through. State Senator Dan Squadron, who attended the meeting, will continue conversations with Phoenix Beverage. Wondering when the Van Brunt Street project be finished? No one seems to know, and the last completion date given was in February. A rep from NYS Assemblywoman Joan Millman's office described the work they have been doing to support traffic safety measures.

B61 Bus Service

Matt Green from City Council Member Brad Lander's office is still looking for volunteers to report on the B61 service. Write if you are interested. They are also distributing a survey at bus stops and counting riders. Dan Squadron is asking riders to email his office when the bus is not on time or bunching. Email the bus stop, date, and time to squadron [at] nysenate [dot] gov. His office will pass the information to inspectors. A rep of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez explained that there was a meeting with the DOT to follow up on the Red Hook trolley connection study results. The trolley idea was rejected, but the study revealed some ways the bus route can be improved to be less circuitous.

"Noisecopter" Protests Continue

If you see a helicopter flying low over the pier or neighborhood, call 311 with the exact time. Get the tail number if you can. Check out Red Hook Noisecopters at if you can't take the flyovers anymore.

Lowering Air Pollution from our Ports

CoWNA is part of the Coalition for Healthy Ports ( Cruise ships will being plugging into shore power next spring or summer. Brad Kerr talked about his work in the Healthy Port Initiative to reduce port truck pollution. Diesel pollution from trucks is 40% of port air pollution. One goal is to ban old trucks from the port so they are replaced with newer, cleaner vehicles. The first step is to conduct a truck count. Volunteers are needed to hang out at Hamilton and Van Brunt to count how many trucks come out of the port and where they go. Contact contact bhkerr [at] gmail [dot].com to help. You can also ask your elected officials to support legislation that will get the neighborhood's air cleaner.

The federal bill is the Clean Ports Act of 2011:

The state bill is Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act:

Fix the Ditch

It's important that we keep up interest with the BQE enhancement project. EDC has done their study and DOT has showed willingness to take some first steps but we must keep the pressure on to get results.

Get Involved!

CoWNA is seeking board nominations. Nominate yourself or a neighbor. Email a brief bio to contact [at] cowna [dot] org. Brooklyn Bridge Park is also seeking a new member for its Community Advisory Board.

And in other news… it was reported that a new bicycle repair and rental shop is getting ready to open on Van Brunt Street!

That's the short version, folks. Attend the next meeting of your local neighborhood association to get all the goodness.

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