All Eyes On You, G Train — The Hook-Up 8/12

Screenshot: Brand New Subway
Screenshot: Brand New Subway
NAG’s beta-test for its ToxiCity Map is over. Now, take a gander at the fully complete version of this interactive guide to the environmental hazards lurking in your backyard.
Podiatric peril in Greenpoint: a dog bit a poor housekeeper’s toe off in a luxury condo.
The New York Times writes: “Once Mocked, the G Train Is Now Cool. Kind Of.”
But that didn’t do anything to persuade NYC Transit chief Ronnie Hakim, who denied a request to add more service and cars to the G Train prior to the L Train shutdown and said rush hour service is fine as is.
If the reality of all this transit stuff is too much to grapple with, try escaping into a fantasy Sim City land of sorts where you can design the perfect subway system.
Polonaise Terrace is about to serve up a different kind of banquet. Brooklyn Night Bazaar is moving in for its Grand Opening weekend on September 9th and 10th.
Police are still looking for the perpetrator who killed a cyclist in a hit and run on Grand & Manhattan a month ago — even though the car was found.
Have you tasted Maman’s ice cream sandwiches yet? The new cafe is serving McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams out of its new Greenpoint spot.
Parents in town? New to the nabe? Here’s the Brooklyn Eagle’s short list of architectural and sightseeing hot spots in Greenpoint.
Did you know Newtown Creek had a Nature Walk? Did you know there was nature in Newtown Creek?
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Pokemon Go Takeover, Evolved L Train & Turf Battles at Bushwick Inlet Park — The Hook-Up 7/15

The commute of the future. Via Van Alen Institute.
The commute of the future. Via Van Alen Institute.

2019 isn’t that far off, and it’s certainly not too soon to pit designers against each other to dream up alternative transit solutions for the dreaded L Train Shutdown. Although some fantastical entries included the above Donnie-Darko-esque translucent tunnel, the winning design involved small (and speedy) ferries jetting along Newtown Creek and the East River.

Because roving Transmitter Park on your own is not as fun as joining a marauding gang of eager Pokemon trainers, North Brooklyn will get to enjoy its very own Pokemon Go Bar Crawl next Saturday.
Though park advocates have been literally camping out in Bushwick Inlet Park and counting down the days left for CitiStorage owner Norm Brodsky to accept the city’s offer of $100 million, Brodsky recently thumbed his nose at them by putting the site up for public auction.
How depraved can you get? Someone allegedly set a homeless man on fire in Transmitter Park. The New York Post being the New York Post, it managed to crack a few jokes at the victim’s expense.
There’s something meta about being caught on film while robbing a film set. Police are looking for a man suspected of committing a string of robberies at mostly unlocked production studios around Greenpoint.
This architectural game-changer just had its grand opening in Williamsburg on Monday. 
After a $315,000 facelift funded by Nike, the McCarren Park skate park is back in action with more ways to do tricks (and keep it safe).
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MTA Introduces Two Major Plans for L Train Renovation

On Thursday, May 5, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) held its first community meeting to discuss two proposed plans for the Canarsie Tunnel renovation, the final step in the MTA’s Sandy Recovery Work plan and a major concern for Brooklyn residents who use the L train daily.

The first plan, which all officials seemed to favor (emphasized by the noticeably longer “pro” list in the presentation), proposes an 18-month turnaround, with work beginning in January 2019 and ending in July 2020, and requires a complete shutdown of the L train from 8th Ave to Bedford Ave. The train would run as normal from Bedford Ave to Rockaway Parkway. This plan would give the agency more flexibility with contractors and would get the work done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

IMG_3030 IMG_3029

The second plan, which would take three years, would leave one tunnel open, allowing the train to run at 12-to-15 minute intervals from 8th Ave to Bedford Ave: only 20% of the current level of service the L train provides. There would be no train service at all between Bedford and Lorimer, with a shuttle bus as an alternative. Service would run as normal between Lorimer and Rockaway Parkway. Continue reading

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Greenpointers Can Get More Details On The L Train Shutdown At Tomorrow’s Community Meeting

L Train Shutdown Illustration via @brooklyncartoons
Illustration by Emmet Truxes, @brooklyncartoons

On May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Marcy Avenue Armory, city officials will be hashing out the details for the impending L Train Carnasie tunnel repair work that has Greenpointers and New York City residents alike worried about future transportation options in and out of Brooklyn. Continue reading

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Speed Metal Speed Dating & the G Train Shocker — The Hook-Up 4/8

Photo via Nicole Disser, Bedford + Bowery
Photo via Nicole Disser, Bedford + Bowery
What are you doing next Saturday? If you can stomach planning more than two days ahead, come help clean up the neighborhood with Curb Your Litter and NAG on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you like your environmentalism with a touch of interactive data, check out this cool map.
What are you doing this Sunday, actually? If you’re single and metal as hell, come to Speed Metal Speed Dating at St. Vitus. This, from the same people who brought you Morrissey-themed speed dating night at Black Rabbit.
Transparency could soon be imposed upon the film industry thanks to a bill sponsored by Councilman Stephen Levin, which would require the city to provide monthly reports detailing when and where filming goes down (as well as the companies involved).

Do we smell another passive-aggressive Cuomo/de Blasio standoff? A state audit found that the MTA fudges its numbers on how often subway trains show up on time, and that service sucked more in 2015 than it did in 2014. But wait! Want to know the real shocker? The G Train performed better than any other line in terms of meeting target wait times: a rate of 81.3%.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce, allowing all BCC programs to trickle down to GPC members.
Have you met the North Brooklyn Democratic District Leader? He can serve you a drink at 151 on the Lower East Side, where he tends bar.
Jonesing for a tree? You have until May 5 to register for the Greening Greenpoint Tree Giveaway. It’s free! And it’s a tree!
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The New Waterfront Trolley: Is it Money Well-Spent?


One reader responded to a recent post on the problems involved in building a bridge over Newtown Creek, suggesting that the article was too negative toward the project and that no infrastructure would ever be built if people only saw the inherent flaws — certainly a valid viewpoint.

However, before we begin a new multi-billion dollar project, we need to evaluate the time, expense and displacement it will create and decide if those billions of dollars might be better spent on subways or other existing forms of mass transportation. The city says that the streetcar will be ready in 2024, but critics feel this is a wildly optimistic timeframe.

John Orcutt, a streetcar critic and spokesman for Transit Center, a non-profit public transportation advocate group, stated, “The biggest concern is these kinds of transit projects haven’t performed well and have been difficult to implement.”

Washington D.C experienced years of delay and large cost overruns on a much smaller streetcar line, and the New York plan is far bigger than what any other American cities have recently built. The de Blasio administration envisions 30 stops over a 16-mile route and 60 streetcar vehicles. The very scope of the project almost ensures many more years of delay than Washington’s tiny system.

Another issue that many have with the streetcar is that in a city already short on parking, the rail line would eliminate hundreds of parking spots, so that drivers all along the route would be vehement enemies. It is hard to imagine City Council members backing a plan that would draw the ire of their driving constituents, especially if they never take the streetcar line.
Screen shot 2016-02-29 at 10.03.41 PM
It is still not clear if the streetcar would be woven into the subway system or if it would be an independent system. There is also the huge question of whether the system would honor MetroCards. It is hard to imagine that many riders who already pay a lot for public transportation would shell out even more money for the tram if the streetcar fare costs extra. A limited ridership would mean that the billion-dollar cost of the streetcar cannot be justified.

There is one other problem with bridges: bureaucracy. Besides the time and expense of constructing a bridge, building spans today mandates conducting long and costly environmental impact studies that could take years and push back the 2024 date even further into the future. Let’s not even begin to contemplate the delays legal challenges to the light rail line would create.

Perhaps the more than $2 billion earmarked for the trolley could be better spent on a renovation of the inadequate G line. Certainly improvements to the G would have a greater impact on the local transportation situation in the near future. Clearly, the city needs to explain how the plan for the streetcar is more positive for Greenpoint than a subway overhaul.

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Every Story Is About Congestion & Change — The Hook-Up 3/4

Photo via Lore Croghan, Brooklyn Eagle
Photo via Lore Croghan, Brooklyn Eagle
In January, Assemblyman Lentol announced a temporary suspension of alternate side parking rules on film shoot days, but that hasn’t stopped film crews from competing for space with residents (hearsay is that the production crew of “Tiara” blocked off a G Train entrance during rush hour). Well, if you ever wanted a quantifiable look at just how movie-famous our neighborhood is, here’s an interactive map.
Subway slashings have officially landed on the G Line (well, it happened once, but still). Now, police are looking to amp up NYPD presence on the trains at night.
You may have heard about plans to reevaluate the Meeker Avenue crossing, but the rather congested North Brooklyn is going to be the subject of a larger, more comprehensive transportation study.

Continue reading

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A Streetcar Named Whose Desire, Exactly? — The Hook-Up 2/12

Photo: Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector
Photo: Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector

Is it the Streetcar Named Desire for the people of New York, or is de Blasio’s proposed streetcar linking Brooklyn and Queens a developer’s fantasy in the making? In either case, here’s what we know so far.

We know slightly more about the L Train Shutdown than we did last week. Brace yourselves, because it seems as though “1 year vs. 3 years” was a generous estimate.

It only took a year, but the reports from the CitiStorage fire investigation have been wrested into public view by The Brooklyn Paper. The fire was allegedly sparked by a light fixture, subdued, and then reignited. Kind of weird that department reps maintained their line that the investigation was ongoing, even though investigators signed off on the report on Jan. 8. Continue reading

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You’ve Heard About the L-Pocalypse. What About the G-Pocalypse?

Photo: Jeremiah Cox

The L Train is facing an imminent, extensive shutdown in the wake of lingering Hurricane Sandy damage, and North Brooklyn hasn’t taken the news very well.

And why would it, given the amount of daily riders who travel through the Canarsie Tube every day — around 350,000 — not to mention the huge impact ridership has on local businesses?

Currently, the MTA is considering two options to implement as early as 2017: to close the entire tunnel nonstop for one year, or to leave one side open and reduce traffic to half-volume, which would take anywhere from three to four years.

Not ones to bide their time quietly, a number of local residents and business owners have already formed The L Train Coalition to demand a better solution from the MTA, though many know full well that the answer will definitely be “pain.”

Pain, of course, can be abstract or painted in sharp relief. And while a fair amount of ink has been spilled over the implications for L Train commuters, there are fewer educated guesses regarding the fate of surrounding areas like Greenpoint, which will absorb a great deal of shock from the closure as riders scramble to find alternative routes. Continue reading

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