mta

Soup, Subways and a Study — The Hook-up (5/25)

Via Di an Di instagram

Happy Friday Greenpoint! As per usual, we’re at the top of the list. This time, the list in question is Patch’s “Best New Places to Eat in NYC.” Di An Di (68 Greenpoint Ave), the new Vietnamese eatery on Greenpoint Avenue, takes the top spot.

But, how will we get there? Turns out that the MTA is undertaking a major 10 year overhaul of the entire subway system that may lead to extensive closures on the G within the next five years.

One study finds a silver-lining in all that subway work: several communities near subway stations have seen rents fall in the past year. The study concluded that rents for a 1-bedroom around the Nassau G fell 20% in the last year.  Continue reading

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L Train Shutdown Meeting This Wednesday! (5/16)

L train shutdown meeting flyer

This Wednesday evening, May 16th from 6:30-8:30pm the MTA and NYC DOT are hosting a town hall to discuss L-Train shutdown plans and the impact that the closure will have on our commutes and local businesses. Part of the plan includes increasing the number of cars on the ever-short G Train (it’s about time!), increasing ferry service, adding a few hundred buses to traverse the Williamsburg Bridge, and expanding bicycle access. Wednesday’s meeting will be held at Progress High School (850 Grand Street at Bushwick Ave).

More info can be found on the L Train Coalition’s site.

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Punch and Pepper-Spray, Hardware and High School — The Hook-up (4/20)

Good morning, Greenpoint! It’s Friday, and time for the Hook-up. Sometimes, I think we should just rename this column “Another Week, the Same MTA,” since it seems that most of the things that get a line here are subway-related. That’s true as ever this week. Punch, Pepper-Spray, Hardware and High School are all, in their myriad and sundry ways, subway stories. So, step in, stand clear of the closing doors.  Continue reading

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Dogs, Dreams, Data and Design — The Hook-up (4/13)

Greenpoint is on Track this week
Greenpoint is on Track this week! via wired

It’s gorgeous out, Greenpoint! And that’s not the only reason to celebrate. This week started out with some sweet news. On Monday, an MTA subway track inspector rescued that had wandered into the L tunnel. The hero, Edlin Cruz, caught up with the dog at Graham Avenue.

In other L-train news, Wired took a look at “The Dreamers of the L-Train Shutdown,” noting how the impending L-pocalypse has really spurred some quixotic creativity in New York, inspiring such proposals as gondolas, pontoon bridges, and inflatable bridges.

Meanwhile, the Village Voice asked, “Is the Rest of the Subway Ready for the L-Train Shutdown?” focusing on the impact that service changes will have on our beloved G train. For example, “No station illustrates the scale of the challenge, or raises questions about whether the MTA is doing enough to mitigate the impact of its own planned work, better than Court Square in Long Island City, where internal MTA documents warn that corridors could be “crush-loaded” once erstwhile L riders crowd onto the G.” Get ready for the crush, Greenpoint.  Continue reading

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After Missing 4th Feasibility Study Deadline, BQX Wants Money From the Feds

BQXRendering_Greenpointers_Cadkin
Rendering of the BQX

When Mayor de Blasio unveiled his plan for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) in February 2016, he projected that the 16-mile streetcar route would pay for itself through increased property tax revenue garnered from neighborhoods along the route, leading opponents to dub the project “the Gentrification Express.” Now, it seems the BQX will need federal funds to meet its $2.5 Billion budget.

Without the funds, the BQX may not go forward. This is not the first setback for the project. As of January, it has missed its fourth deadline to produce a feasibility study. Right now, there is no stated date for when the city might see that study.

While this might lead casual observers to call the BQX simply unfeasible, the mayor is optimistic about the project, telling WNYC that he feels Chuck Schumer will be able to use his clout in the senate to get money earmarked for the BQX.  Continue reading

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The L train is Clobbering Rents and Riders are Clobbering Each Other — The Hook-up (3/30)

kent street greenpoint brooklyn
We know Greenpoint is Gorgeous. Could rents be dropping thanks to L-pocalpse?

Welcome to the Hook-up. We all know the MTA is a diva. But this time it’s not (all) about the L-pocalypse. In fact, this week, MTA honcho Andy Byford was crowing about a different set of repairs. His goal is to update the subway’s pre-war signal system, and he suggests he can get it done in 10-15 years! To put that in perspective, other estimates peg the time frame at 40 years. How will he do it? Suspending a lot of weekend service.

But anyway, back to L-pocalypse. If there’s any silver lining within the impending doom that is the L-train shutdown, it might be that rents have already begun to fall in North Brooklyn ahead of the closure. 

Presumably, those still renting in North BK will be sanguine about the shutdown, and go about their lives as best they can. But not everyone was so serene on the subway this week. In fact, a 25 year-old man punched a 5-year-old in the face on the G train on Monday, and checked himself into Jacobi Medical Center. Police cannot question or arrest him until he is released.  Continue reading

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Can We Kickstart our way out of L-Pocalypse with Pontoon Bridge?

A rendering of the proposed L-ternative Pontoon Bridge,, via Kickstarter
A rendering of the proposed L-ternative Pontoon Bridge, via Kickstarter

L-pocalypse looms just a year away, and the MTA doesn’t appear particularly interested in dealing with it, so New York residents have taken up the mantel of transit vigilantism, and moved forward with plans of their own. Last month Parker Shinn took to Kickstarter to drum up community support for an “L-ternative” Pontoon Bridge, which would run across the East River from North 8th Street in Williamsburg to East 10th Street in Manhattan. The Bridge would support 2 lanes of bus traffic, two lanes of bike traffic and command a $1 toll. It would also connect commuters to the Bedford Avenue L-train, and crosstown bus service along 14th street.  Continue reading

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Crashing Greenpoint and Changing on a Dime in Williamsburg — the Hook-up (3/9)

A rendering of the Dime Savings Bank Development, via YIMBY

Hey Greenpoint, Judd Apatow would like a word with us. He’s filming his latest HBO comedy series here in Greenpoint, at Cine Magic East River Studios, and word Bookstore (126 Franklin Street) will be making an appearance.

If you’re more into condos than comedy, you’re in luck, since yet another building of luxury condos is on the market here in Greenpoint. The new development, calling itself Greenpoint 282, even though it’s at 282 Nassau Avenue near McGolrick Park, has one, two and three bedroom apartments starting at $795K.

Speaking of money and real estate, no plan has merged those two things this week quite as well as the new design for Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh. The building at south 5th and Havemeyer will be refurbished and a new 22-story residential tower will rise beside it. Thirty percent of the apartments in the new building will be let at affordable prices. At the same time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is holding hearings to decide whether or not to designate the bank building a historic landmark.  Continue reading

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The Sea Train: Will Ferries Mean Smooth Sailing Through L-Pocalypse?

Williamsburg Bridge (photo: Julia Moak)

The MTA has seen protests in Brooklyn due to its laissez-faire relationship with the impending L-pocalypse. In response, they’ve promised to make community engagement a “central priority” as the March 2019 L train closure nears. Part of that community engagement was on display last week, when the MTA and the DOT appeared before Brooklyn Community Board 1 to offer a joint presentation to this neighborhood offering new information regarding their plans for alternate service during the transit shutdown. In a word: Ferries.

While the proposed direct ferry route between North Williamsburg and Stuyvesant Cove isn’t technically new (it was part of the MTA’s original L-pocalypse mitigation strategy ominously entitled Planning Ahead for the Crisis), the agency offered new details on the route at last week’s meeting. During the presentation, transit honchos noted that ferry service along the route would run 6:00am-12:00am Sunday through Thursday, and that service may be extended until 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights.  Continue reading

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Newtown Creek Flows all the way to Utah — The Hook-up (2/8)

Newtown Creek: The Art of Toxic Tides via Slug Magazine

The mighty waters of Newtown Creek will be in fine form this weekend, as lovebirds and sewage nerds turn out for Saturday’s tours of The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, but this week, they’ve taken the spotlight as far away as Utah.

While Utah might have the Great Salt Lake, but artist Kelly Larsen found his muse in Greenpoint, affixing a 9-foot canvas to the wall of the creek to record the ebb and flow of toxic tides.  Continue reading

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