Search results for "New York City Department of Transportation"

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Erie Connection
One of Menn's new designs for the Buffalo bridge, a triple-arch design that is considered the front runner.
Courtesy Figg Engineering Group

You know you have a problem when PETA steps in to save your city’s bridge. Last month, the animal rights group sent a letter to the New York State Department of Transportation, seeking to help pay for repairs needed to prevent Buffalo’s Peace Bridge from closing due to its low safety rating. The catch: It would be renamed the “Peace on Your Plate Bridge.”

The offer underscores the urgency with which the state is trying to address safety concerns following a report issued by the state comptroller in January that gave the Peace Bridge, which connects Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, a 3.3 out of 7 rating—lower than that of the Lake Champlain bridge demolished in December because of its condition. Though engineers say the three-lane toll bridge is structurally sound for now, the score indicates serious deterioration for one of the busiest border crossings in the nation.

Menn's original proposal, which drew criticism for being too tall and threatening birds. The original Peace Bridge rises behind its proposed replacement.
Courtesy Buffalo Rising

The safety rating has drawn notice largely due to controversy over the ultimate solution: a companion span that would be constructed parallel to the existing 84-year-old structure. Nearly five years ago, a bi-national design jury recommended a 567-foot-high, two-tower cable stay bridge conceived by Swiss designer Christian Menn. The height of the design drew outcry from environmental groups, and in 2008 the Federal Highway Administration determined that the design would have unacceptable impacts on fish and migratory birds and would have to be reconsidered.

Menn went back to the drawing board with bridge specialists Figg Engineering Group and two avian experts, and last year gained federal approval for five new bridge designs, each with towers or arches lower than 350 feet. Those proposals went on display for public review last month. Favored for its improved environmental impact and its harmony with the five-arch Peace Bridge, the frontrunner is a three-span concrete bridge with arches of graduated heights, the tallest at 226 feet.

Two of Menn's five second-round proposals. The latter comes closest to the designer's original.
Courtesy Figg Engineering Group

State officials insist that federal approval will allow construction to move forward, but some are concerned about air quality in an adjacent historic neighborhood, and the likelihood that more than 100 properties would be in jeopardy. On that front, former Common Council member and State Senator Alfred T. Coppola continues to pursue a lawsuit over the construction of a new home in the bridge plaza development area.

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, whose district includes the neighborhood in question, had favored a bridge that would replace, rather than span alongside, the Peace Bridge. Preceding the public open house on design proposals, Hoyt told reporters, “While I don’t think we’re going to be on the covers of any great architectural magazines, the current design options are much more impressive than what we were originally talking about.”

Though optimistic about the public response, the state expects more lawsuits from opponents. And as long as travelers expect someone to answer for long delays at the border, Buffalo won’t have much peace on its plate.

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Closing the Crossroads
The city will soon rework its Broadway plazas, which were installed in August.
Courtesy NYC DOT

With a half-foot of snow all but cleared away and the sun shining down on Times Square, the “Crossroads of the World” had returned to normal this morning. Taxis whizzed by on 7th Avenue as tourists gawked, salarymen brushed by, and pedestrians milled about the new plazas created on Broadway, where cars ruled until the city’s Department of Transportation shut them to traffic in May.


A map of western midtown showing the changes to traffic speeds after the closure of portions of Broadway. (Click to enlarge)
Courtesy NYC DOT
 
 
Today, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that the plazas would become permanent, and said the city would soon be putting out bids for short- and long-term improvements to them. “It’s going to be innovative and sustainable and celebrate the most famous streets in the world,” the mayor said at a Times Square press conference. “The project gives a green light to pedestrians, to mobility, and to safety. The new Broadway is here to stay.”

In an interview after the announcement, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan explained that her department hoped to have two RFPs ready by March. One would be targeted at sprucing up the plazas with new paint, planters, and chairs, which would be completed by this summer. This would address one of the few non-motorist complaints about the plazas: A Times Square Alliance survey found that nearly 70 percent of New Yorkers, suburbanites, local employees, and retail managers thought the plazas could use a better design.

“It can be very simple,” Sadik-Khan said. “I’ve seen amazing things done in the Netherlands with nothing but polka dots. And we did a lot already with nothing more than epoxy gravel.”

Herald Square, before (top) and after the plazas arrived.
Courtesy NYC DOT

The other, larger RFP is to create a more permanent program for the plazas that not only includes public amenities but also entertainment infrastructure for the various events and performances that take place in Times Square and Herald Square throughout the year. The department is still developing a timeline for this phase of the project.

Among the other issues being worked out, Sadik-Khan would not say how intensively designed the new plazas will be: “That’s why we’re working with the best and brightest in the architecture and design fields, to see what they come up with.” That said, this RFP will only be open to the eight “large firms” in the city’s Design & Construction Excellence program. While this could limit the range of opinions involved in the project, it will greatly speed the process up, as the eight firms are all prequalified for city work.

In addition to announcing the new plaza plans, Bloomberg and Sadik-Khan heralded a department study on the effects of shutting down parts of Broadway. The study had become a hot topic after the Times reported on February 1 that the results would be below expectations. This turned out to be true, as travel speeds in western Midtown improved by 7 percent, as opposed to the projected 17 percent when the plaza plan was announced last February.

Sadik-Khan said during the press conference that this had to do with changes made to the plan between modeling and implementation, such as a request by the Broadway League, which represents local theaters, that traffic patterns be altered on 45th Street to accommodate theaters there. Plus, Sadik-Khan added, it was impossible to predict how drivers would react to the plan. “The real world is not the model world, as we all know,” she said.

Mayor MIchael Bloomberg (at podium), Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (at right), and local business leaders announced the success of the Broadway plazas pilot program today.
Matt Chaban

Still, the mayor insisted that the plan worked, as not only did traffic flow improve, but so, too, did safety and satisfaction in the area. Injuries to motorists declined 63 percent since Broadway was closed, while pedestrian injuries were down 35 percent, and 80 percent fewer pedestrians complained of having to walk in the streets. The Times Square Alliance survey found that 74 percent of the thousands of people it surveyed favored keeping the plazas.

Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins expressed frustration at reporters’ continued questioning about the traffic results, including one or two who harped on a 2 percent decline in southbound travel times. “There’s been a lot of questions about traffic, but most people in Times Square aren’t driving. It’s important to understand it’s more than just a minute or two of traffic improvement. It’s about altering the entire Times Square experience.”

The mayor said he looked forward to extending this new approach to city streets to other areas—something the Department of Transportation *has pursued on a smaller scale for some years now, carving public plazas out of underused sites from DUMBO to the Bronx. Asked what might be next, though, Sadik-Khan demurred.

“We’re doing traffic and safety improvements all over the city,” she said, and nothing more.

Related News: While the mayor is trying to transform Times Square, one Toronto developer wants to turn it back into the zoo it once was. Well actually, it's an aquarium.

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The Decorated Shed
The Urban Umbrella could replace the old construction sheds with a lighter, friendlier alternative.
Courtesy UrbanShed/Young Hwan Choi/Andres Cortes/Sarrah Khan

During the real estate boom, it seemed like every block in the city was decked over with at least one construction shed. Even now, with construction in decline, the Department of Buildings says there are roughly 1 million linear feet of sheds covering city sidewalks and buildings. These structures may be valued for their safety benefits, but they have also led to an outbreak of rickets and vampirism.

In the hope of banishing these unsightly overheads, the Bloomberg administration and the AIA New York Chapter launched the UrbanShed design competition in August to find a new alternative, which the mayor unveiled today in Brooklyn. The sheds, called Urban Umbrella and designed by University of Pennsylvania/Penn Design architecture student Young Hwan Choi, with Andrés Cortés and Sarrah Khan of Agencie Group, are not mandatory, though Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg insisted they will be popular with New Yorkers.

Mayor Bloomberg (right) and commissioner LiMandri (left) look on as Young-Hwan Choi describes his winning proposal.
Matt Chaban

“It’s about creating better options for the public,” the mayor said. “Once they’re out there, those who have the influence, the retailers and restaurateurs, the apartment and building owners, they will demand it.”

Department of Buildings commissioner Robert LiMandri, whose office helped lead the competition, said that over time, the expectation is that the new sheds will cost 30 percent less than their $100-per-sqaure-foot forebears, which have not been updated since the 1950s.

Plans are underway to install a prototype of the Urban Umbrella at a Lower Manhattan construction site this summer, under the direction of the Downtown Alliance, and, if everything performs up to expectations, to roll them out across the city. The mayor emphasized that it was up to the private sector to embrace the new structures, but when asked by AN if the city might lead the way by requiring them on all public projects, he replied “Yes, absolutely.”

The new shed has a distinctive design eliminating the need for cross bracing, creating a more light, airy, and spacious environment.

The new sheds were heralded for creating more light and space on the sidewalk than their plywood predecessors. This is achieved by using translucent fiberglass decking, on which tinted appliqués can be added, creating a kaleidoscopic effect.

The design team, whose members also include Will Robinette, Todd Montgomery, and Zachary Colbert, created palm-like supports that eliminate the cross-bracing that makes sheds such an annoyance for the city’s pedestrians, blocking off open access to sidewalks. The structure also takes up less space, and a fan-shaped lighting system has been cleverly integrated. And because of the Urban Umbrella’s airiness, it will block less of the buildings, making storefronts and underlying architecture more visible on the street.

The sheds are intended to appeal to store owners, as they will obscure less of the building behind and take up less space.

“This solves a problem that has been ubiquitous for years,” said City Planning Commission chair Amanda Burden, who served on the jury with LiMandri, transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and a half-dozen industry professionals, including David Childs of SOM, Craig Schwitter of Buro Happold, and builder Frank Sciame. “Walking on the sidewalk should not be an ominous adventure, but it is,” Burden added. “These new sheds are gorgeous and innovative and safe.”

Young-Hwan, in addition to having his designs realized downtown and possibly across the city, will receive a $10,000 prize as well as pride of place at the Center for Architecture, which has an exhibition of the three finalists from the UrbanShed competition up through February 10. The 28-year-old designer, who grew up in Korea, was somewhat shy during his remarks to the press, though he closed with gusto. “I’m really happy to see this on the street,” he declared, cracking a smile.

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Mike's Angels
Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney, Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe in the plaza of the Standard Hotel.
Adam Friedberg

On October 22, The Architect’s Newspaper hosted a roundtable conversation with Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe; Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden; Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney; and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. With the mayoral election just a few weeks away, the commissioners discussed their priorities, upcoming initiatives, how they work together and apart, and above all, their shared determination to make high-quality design and professional involvement a priority in an ambitious administration that came to office in boom times and is now facing a prolonged recession.

The Architect's Newspaper: The High Line has turned out to be hugely popular. What have you learned that might work elsewhere in the city or in your departments?

Amanda Burden, Department of City Planning: One of the important elements is that you see the city from a completely different vantage point, close enough to see people’s faces down below, but far enough to feel a little removed from the city. I don’t think we would have imagined it that way if we hadn’t seen it completely planted, prompting the notion of a meadow in the sky, but now people are looking differently at barren tracks and barren roads as if they too might be something very special for the city.

David Burney, Department of Design and Construction: What did Jane Jacobs say about how the function of the city was to offer a multiplicity of choices? I think that’s something that applies especially to New Yorkers who really respond to anything unique and out of the ordinary. Finding those treasures and uncovering them and transforming them through some kind of adaptive reuse is a New York phenomenon, and part of the explanation for the High Line’s popularity.

Adrian Benepe, Department of Parks and Recreation: I think something going on very much like that is what Janette [Sadik-Khan] is doing in the streets. The only time that I ever experienced the middle of Fifth Avenue was during a parade. Overnight, she has created all kinds of new experiences on our streets.

Janette Sadik-Khan: We are looking at our streets differently. We are looking at them as valuable real estate instead of one-dimensionally. For 40 years, we spent a lot of time, energy, and money creating utilitarian corridors that really maximize car usage, and now we’re reimagining our streets as the real estate they are and taking a look at how we can use them differently.

Benepe: The other day I got through Herald Square faster than I ever have before. It’s counterintuitive, but by closing down some streets, things do move more smoothly.

Sadik-Khan: My big takeaway from Times Square is that when we did it, we figured out how to make it wonderful in terms of conditions, but we hadn’t planned for programming. So we came up with the idea of beach chairs and ended up going to a discount hardware store to get them. It looked like it was a brilliant move, but it was very short and quick to happen. People spent so much time thinking about the beach chairs, and not the project, that I think a strategy going forward for the city is to put lots of beach chairs out for whatever project is going on, and people will only talk about the beach chairs.

Department of Design and Construction: Mariners Harbor Branch Library, Staten Island, Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani Architects
Courtesy APT Architects

That brings up a hot topic among architects and designers. What other kinds of temporary or not-quite-permanent design plans do you see happening?

Benepe: An interesting thing at Brooklyn Bridge Park is, of course, the great Michael Van Valkenburgh design about to open. But long before the actual construction started, back when we knew we were going to have the Waterfalls art exhibit, Susannah Drake—a landscape architect from the area—did a pop-up park overnight that was hugely successful. It just shows how almost any space in New York can be a public space. We can do these insta-spaces, see how they work, then bring in the architects. But I think the real key to any long-term success is having good architects and landscape architects.

Janette, do you agree?

Sadik-Khan: We were trying to give the notion of a greater, greener New York really quickly. I think New Yorkers are tired of waiting decades for projects to happen. We wanted to show what a different approach to transportation is about, using paint, planters, and plastic markings. But we also did work with Billings Jackson and Pure+Applied on the designs. We have a very strong design team in the department, too.

Burden: Both Broadway and the High Line have shown that we are finally a city that is providing great spaces for socializing in our public realm. And just by giving people a nice place to sit, they begin to populate places they never thought about populating.

Burney: There are challenges. Look at Astor Place, where they are trying to introduce more seating in an expanded plaza. As often happens, there is one constituent saying, “No we don’t want students here drinking beer.” It’s an education process, and we have to work on that.

Sadik-Khan: New York City is largely a city without seats, and so Amanda and I went over to Copenhagen and met with Jan Gehl, a well-known architect, planner, and designer who has done terrific work making recommendations to transform cities like London, Paris, and Abu Dhabi, and we brought him back to New York to help work with us. He did a public-life survey on the streets, analyzing Broadway, from 59th to Houston streets. First of all, he found that down that whole corridor, about 30 percent is covered in scaffolding. And that’s a nightmare, so we are working with Bob LiMandri at the Buildings Department on a design competition for better urban sheds. The second piece of news was that there was no seating, and there were only three outdoor cafes in that entire stretch. So we’re working on that, now, too.

Department of Parks and Recreation: Concrete Plant Park, Bronx River Greenway
Malcolm Pinckney/Courtesy Dept of  Parks

When you have a strong idea, what do you have to do to make it happen?

Benepe: I think one of the things that liberates all of us to do interesting things is having a mayor and a deputy mayor who think good design is important. Without casting aspersions on previous administrations, I don’t think we’ve had an administration before that thought about urban design at this level—and not only allows it, but insists on it. The Design and Construction Excellence program began in this administration; the Public Design Commission is empowered to insist on good design. They wanted to make it possible for the city to hire great architects and designers who had previously, for whatever reason, been scared away from doing city work, or couldn’t get it, or faced a system that wasn’t set up for them to get it. Now the belief across all the agencies is that we should have great design.

Burden: Each one of us has incorporated the ideas of design excellence. We use it at city planning, because we feel it is the best way to communicate with the general public. All of our rezonings are very complicated—and we just celebrated our 100th one affecting 8,400 blocks—but none of those would have happened, or been adopted, if we didn’t have community consent. So instead of just drawing the zoning map, with me saying you are going to get T64-a—which you’ll vote against, because you don’t know what it is—we have an urban design team that draws all the zoning plans in three dimensions. That’s how we sell, convince, and engage the community with urban design master plans. It’s a much better communicating tool; the feedback we get is much better, and it’s easier to find workable options.

It’s exciting for young architects to see how each of your departments has revitalized design offices. Is there a lot of crossover in what you do?

Burney: We have engaged this whole portfolio of younger, smaller firms that is really unprecedented and very successful, just by changing the method of procurement. If you look at almost any of these projects, there are parks elements, planning issues, and DOT matters, so we sometimes end up discussing even the smallest details for weeks: The guardrail at Pelham Parkway, for instance, comes to mind as an endless discussion.

We are sometimes forced into these dialogues as a result of overlapping jurisdictions. But normally the way it works is that Janette’s design folks are more at the front end of the process, identifying opportunities and doing initial planning, and then it comes over to my department for details of design and how to manage the construction, and then after that over to Adrian. There are many opportunities where we have to get together and engage design firms in the process.

But going forward, I think we need to spend more time on the construction side. We have done well with design excellence, we hire top-quality architects, and we’ve raised expectations for good design. But on the construction side, we are still locked into this very adversarial, sealed-bid process, and we haven’t quite got the quality-based selection process throughout our construction contractors. And so much of our work now is complex, particularly on the building side, where structures are very sophisticated, emerging systems are so complex, and so many sub-trades are involved. If you’re not working as a design and construction team from the very beginning, you’re in trouble.

Benepe: We do need some kind of construction procurement reform, because it is becoming increasingly difficult to build things in New York.

Sadik-Khan: I also think we need to do a better job when we are under construction, managing the impact of that construction on the street. And we are doing a lot of work to up our game, with competitions for art around construction sites. And we’re working with students and design teams on Jersey barriers for roadways. Must they look so ugly all the time? Do we have to have the world’s most hideous sheds casting terrible shadows and creating dangerous spaces around the city?

In other cities like Montreal, they have curtains showing what the building will look like. I mean, we’re a world-class city, and we need to have world-class treatments. Even if it seems like everything is under construction at the same time, it doesn’t have to be so grim.

Burney: I know, let’s close all the streets to traffic to get the thing done on time!

Sadik-Khan It’ll be the shortest third term ever…

Department of City Planning: The High Line
Courtesy Friends of the High Line

Do you see integrated modeling like BIM becoming key to how the city undertakes projects?

Burney: BIM has gained a lot of traction in the design field even at the small firms now, and there are a lot of consultants who specialize in modeling. On the design end, where there’s a lot of integration of mechanical and electrical systems with the architecture, it’s quite well established. It is less so in construction. Bigger firms, the Turners and Tishmans, all have the capability to use BIM and use it to generate schedules and make two-dimensional drawings for their contractors. Smaller contractors are not there yet; the technology is expensive and sophisticated, and it will be several years before it reaches down. It is very much the future, though.

Do you require it?

Burney: We do from consultants, but not from contractors because it’s not yet realistic, though it was a requirement on the new 911 Center. Another thing, when we are doing Janette’s work—utilities, water and sewers, power cables, Con Ed data—is getting everything mapped, because in most cases we have no idea what’s under the street. We’re moving to a new program to document and photograph the work before we close the street up. That’ll get mapped onto the GIS system, and then goes into the city GIS forever so we’ll know pretty much where everything is.

Assuming you are all heading for third terms, what now? Is a new vision still possible in a recession?

Benepe: Absolutely. We’ve all taken cuts on our capital budgets, but those cuts are against historic buildups. Even if cut by 30 percent, Parks is still spending 200 percent more than we spent before.

Burney: Plus bids are down 25 percent.

Benepe: I don’t know if this is true for the others, but Parks is in the midst of the biggest expansion in building since the WPA. We’ll have spent $2.5 billion by the third administration, and even with cuts we still have $2 billion in our budget: Fresh Kills, Far Rockaway; the big projects in PlaNYC are all proceeding, as are the $25 to 50 million projects.

The mayor’s office has said that even in the teeth of a recession you want to keep building, because you don’t want the city to lose its vitality. And in Parks, we are still working with an A-list of architects; we have more work than we can handle with our existing resources and consultants.

Department of Transportation: Broadway plaza at Herald Square in Midtown
Courtesy DOT

What’s the top priority for Parks and Planning in the next few years?

Benepe: Getting PlaNYC built, especially the eight major regional parks projects; getting Fresh Kills underway, as it still has $150 million in funding; getting Brooklyn Bridge Park finished and opened; finishing Yankee Stadium. There are also mitigation projects; filtration projects—we still have a very ambitious program and we have to figure out how to get it all done.

Burden: You have to remember planning is for the long term. There are always economic crises, and the goal is to create a blueprint so at the end of the crisis we can channel growth to areas that can handle development, areas that are rich in mass transit. And also it’s important to channel away from other kinds of neighborhoods to preserve qualities there.

For all of us, the citywide goal is to make New York a model for smart growth, livability, and sustainability on the neighborhood and building scale. We want to use zoning to incentivize and facilitate more high-performance, energy-efficient buildings across the city.

Do you see an expanding role for your departments, reaching into new areas?

Burney: Yes. In fact, coming out at the end of November is a new Active Design Guide that we did, working with, among others, the Department of Health. It will be one of the tools for fighting obesity by promoting active mobility. We kind of stumbled into it, but it addresses issues like how to maximize stair use. There’s a lot of research now on designing buildings to encourage people to be more active, by moving stairs forward, making them more attractive. It’s an issue involving all of us at the building, design, transportation, and planning levels.

Where else have you been looking for inspiration?

Burney: I was in Los Angeles and London recently—two completely opposite places—but what struck me about talking to government people in these two cities is how lucky we are with an administration that’s so design-focused. We have a decent amount of control of our own destiny. These other cities are so disparate in terms of who’s in charge. We control quite a lot of the public realm.

Benepe: But we can’t add more land. In the 1930s, if we wanted spaces, we made landfill—we can’t do that now. You have to be courageous, because every time you repurpose a brownfield or build along the water’s edge or take an entire industrial area and make it into a new park, you have to be willing to spend money. And it takes huge sums of money and resources to build a city for the future.

Burney: I think that the battle for a livable city is a constant struggle, every lot at a time, every borough at a time—the libraries, the museums, the parks, the streets, the fire hazards and police stations. Those are the things that kind of come together over time to make a really great-designed city. It’s not one big event, and you’re done.

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The B.Q. Three
The Kosciuszko Bridge, built in 1939 across Newtown Creek on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, will soon be replaced.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Plans are afoot to replace a stretch of roadway that Jonathan Lethem, in his 1999 novel Motherless Brooklyn, called the worst surface in the five boroughs.



 
 
 
of eight bridges, the community selected the through arch, concrete deck arch, And short-span cable stay proposals. (Click to enlarge.)
 
COURTESY  PB Americas
 

On October 22, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) met with community stakeholders to review eight designs to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens over Newtown Creek. As part of Interstate 278—better known as the Brooklyn Queens Expressway—the 1939 steel truss span has been a cause of concern ever since Governor Spitzer ordered inspections of all New York State crossings following the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis.

While that study only recommended repair of the aging span, the DOT determined that replacement was the best solution, citing cost and the opportunity to increase traffic safety as the primary reasons. The bridge also topped the General Contractors Association’s list of the most decrepit state-owned bridges in the city. At 120 feet high, the existing deck was constructed to accommodate the large naval vessels that once traveled Newtown Creek, a usage now obsolete. This allowed designers to modify the span to eliminate a variety of trouble points.

“We’re going to lower the roadway 35 to 40 feet, so trucks won’t have to accelerate and decelerate so much when crossing,” said DOT spokesperson Adam Levine. “We’re also going to revise the ramps between the bridge and the Long Island Expressway, so there won’t be the same kind of merges and weaves that cause a lot of accidents. Couple that with the fact that we have to go out to do targeted repairs fairly often just to keep the span in relative good repair, and replacement is clearly the best option.”

Produced by DOT design consultant PB Americas, the eight replacement options ran the scale from a plain vanilla steel box arch, as seen in typical elevated highway crossings, to a cable-stayed solution resembling many of today’s high-design spans. Locals from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Long Island City, Queens, were asked to winnow the list down to three designs based upon which they found most visually appealing. They chose the concrete deck arch, through arch, and short-span cable stay proposals. In the next step, PB Americas will develop the three designs further, producing more renderings and 3-D animations for the next stakeholders’ meeting in January.

In its $25.8 billion, five-year capital plan released last month, the DOT allocated $403.9 million to the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement—a figure that Governor Paterson said was too high for the state’s budget to cover. Nonetheless, the agency is moving ahead with design development, and expects construction to begin in four years. Earlier this year, the Federal Highway Administration, which will pay 80 percent of the estimated total project cost of $1.7 billion, approved the project. If all goes according to the DOT’s current projections, completion could happen as soon as 2017.

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Greenpoint Rising
Jonathan Bernstein has proposed a new condo project for the far reaches of Greenpoint designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.
Courtesy Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

When the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint were rezoned in 2005, a parade of luxury condominium towers were expected to replace moribund factories and warehouses along the North Brooklyn waterfront. Few of those towers materialized before the collapse of the real estate market, though, and with thousands of apartments already under construction in the area—and many sitting empty—it could be years before developers renew their march to the water.

The towers seen from the water. Click to view a slideshow of the project.
 

But this is New York City, where developers never cease to dream. And so, up in the far reaches of Greenpoint, first-time developer Jonathan Bernstein is plotting what would be the tallest tower on the waterfront—nearly 20 percent taller than current zoning allows—making it among the most audacious projects in the borough to date.

Located two blocks from the last G-train stop before Queens, the project is being designed by marquee firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Adjacent streets would be transformed into parkland. Piers would be built to accommodate historic ships, ferries, and Water Taxi service. A new beach would offer sorely needed waterfront access. And all of these perks would help blunt community concerns about the project’s blockbuster proportions.

So far, the plan seems to be working.

“It’s a beautiful project with a hard sell,” Ward Dennis, chair of local Community Board 1’s land-use committee, said in an interview. “What the community needs to decide is where that balance is between density and open space and affordable housing. And really, that’s what all of these projects come down to.”

For a 100,000-square-foot lot on India Street currently occupied by a warehouse, Bernstein—who was once Donald Trump’s personal attorney—is proposing two muscular glass towers, one rising to 470 feet, the other to 200 feet. As with all new projects on the North Brooklyn waterfront, the towers are surrounded by a base of more contextual row buildings that rise no higher than 65 feet. And the project is not only taller than zoning allows but also bigger, containing roughly 890,000 square feet, as opposed to the 660,000 square feet potentially allowed as of right.

“We are asking for radical changes to the zoning, but we do think it’s way different than anything that’s been proposed on the waterfront,” Bernstein said during an informal presentation to the community board’s land-use committee last week. “We think it will be a gateway to Manhattan and Greenpoint.”

Bernstein has employed some clever zoning tactics to make his radical moves. Under the 2005 rezoning, the most a developer could expect to build would be two towers, one at 400 feet, the other at 300 feet. More typically, buildings top out in the range of 300 feet and 150 feet, as is the case at the Edge condominiums further to the south. So far, no building has even reached 400 feet, though a third tower at Northside Piers is planned for that height.

Even more unorthodox is Bernstein’s proposal to demap all of neighboring India Street and part of Java Street. Bernstein wants to turn these streets into parkland that connects with a larger-than-required park on the waterfront, replete with an amphitheater, sand dunes, and wetlands designed by W Architecture and Landscape Architecture. By incorporating thousands of square feet from the roadbeds into his project, Bernstein would significantly increase the project’s density, and hence the tower’s permitted height.

Bernstein said he must build big in order to afford his project, citing the expense of creating required public amenities, even arguing that zoning restrictions are one of the main reasons the waterfront remains under-developed. “We have to pay for these things,” Bernstein said. “We’re trying to create something that is good for the community and yet financially feasible.”

While the tower would be an eye-popper for such a lowrise neighborhood, it would not be the first in the area to exceed zoning restrictions. This spring, 155 West Street, an Ishmael Leyva–designed project proposed for a site directly north of Bernstein’s, won approval to rise to 400 feet, instead of a permitted 300 feet.

On that site, however, a sewer easement prevented the developer from building out the entire lot. Instead of a 300-foot tower and a 150-foot tower as of right, the two were combined into a single, 400-foot tower, plus a $2 million waterfront park. Moreover, in this case the developer was simply shifting density, unlike Bernstein, who is seeking to increase it.

Bernstein has yet to seek the numerous city approvals it would take to realize the project, including permission from the city planning, transportation, and parks departments, and one of his associates emphasized that specifics could still change ahead of public review. Bernstein said he has spoken with these agencies, though, and that they’ve expressed enthusiasm for the project. (He has even signed a contract with the city’s Economic Development Corporation to serve as the Greenpoint stop in an East River ferry service program.) Representatives of the agencies did confirm such meetings to AN, but said it was premature to make any judgments before a formal public review.

Elected officials, including local Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman Vito Lopez, have expressed reservations. A Lopez spokesperson said that he is particularly uncomfortable with the project’s height: “He’s against anything that’s not contextual with the neighborhood, especially a 45-story tower.”

Some in the community believe this opposition is why Bernstein has come to them first, seeking their support ahead of a formal public review expected in the next few months. And despite reservations about the project, locals have been keeping an open mind, such as Christine Holowacz, co-chair of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning. “I love the open space on the project,” Holowacz told AN. “I’m not so sure about the tall towers.”

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Tillett Lighting Design
Syracuse Connective Corridor, Syracuse, New York
Courtesy Tillett Lighting Design

Tillett Lighting Design has been around since 1983, when founder Linnaea Tillett parlayed her theater background into a practice for lighting private fine art collections. In the past ten years, however, her firm has become known for the civic and landscape work it has produced in collaboration with such high-profile talents as Maya Lin, Toshiko Mori, Michael Van Valkenburgh, and Lebbeus Woods.

“I was raised in New York City,” said Tillett, “and have always been interested in the urban environment and what makes a safe-feeling street.” In 1990, she put her firm on hold and entered a graduate program at City College, studying the fundamentals of perception and, over the course of the next decade, earning a PhD in environmental psychology. “I wanted to learn more about how we understand our environment, how we understand fear, and the difference between fear and excitement. I was trying to get to the bottom of the psychological effects of lighting in a space.”

Milne-Ojito Residence, New York, New York

Tillett got a chance to put this training into practice in the late ‘90s, when she answered an RFP issued by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT was looking for designers to light a neighborhood and study its effects. Tillett chose a particularly desolate stretch of New Lots Avenue in East New York. Using inexpensive decorative fixtures, the firm lit a path from the elevated subway to the area’s two main landmarks: a church and a library. In the year following the installation, library attendance and circulation increased, and pedestrians reported increased comfort while walking home at night.

One of the most important lessons that Tillett took away from the East New York project was that too much light can be a bad thing. The “crime light” typical of such underserved neighborhoods—glaring floodlights more suitable to lighting a stadium than a streetscape—can end up working against residents’ sense of comfort. “We now ask the question, ‘Why light?’” said Tillett. “That’s a question that doesn’t get asked enough. It’s not just a question of energy, but of why do it at all? We want people to meet outdoors at night in a civilized way, to create a sense of enchantment that will draw people to a place and keep them there. Maybe in certain cases we need to take away lighting.”

Bear Canyon Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tillett is currently working on two civic projects that take the approach of using as little light as possible. One is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that crosses a six-lane freeway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tillett is installing LED strips at the edges of the pathway that will wash the expanded metal mesh tube enclosing the bridge in a peachy, watermelon-colored glow inspired by the color of the sunset on the nearby mountains.

The firm is also involved in a Federal Aid project to revitalize Syracuse, New York, by reinforcing the five-mile-long connective corridor between downtown and Syracuse University. Tillett has proposed coating specific nodes along this path with highly reflective material that will be illuminated with one watt of light, creating a series of bold markers along the way that highlight pedestrian spaces, bike paths, and public transportation.

Bear Canyon Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tillett Lighting Design has not given up its private clients. The firm supplements work in the public realm by lighting hospitality and residential spaces. “The private work gives a flow and stability to the office,” explained Tillett. In addition to the financial benefits, these projects feed the civic work both creatively and technically. “You can work more freely with private clients,” she said. “There are no codes or bureaucracies to deal with, and they often ask naive questions that lead to really innovative outcomes.”

For the Milne-Ojito Residence, a Soho loft, the clients needed a divider between their living room and sleeping area. Working with artist Joan Waltemath and architecture firm I-Beam Design, Tillet created a sliding glass door coated with phosphorus powder that glows cerulean blue. LED strips embedded in the door’s framing feed the phosphor, while mirrors and iridescent material in the glass further augment the lighting effect. “The difficult thing with phosphorus is color, but the technology is getting there,” Tillett said. “The next question is how to use it in a public space.”

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Railbed Redux
Paul Smith/Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail

Chicago’s answer to the High Line begins to take shape this fall, with the City of Chicago’s selection of a team helmed by Arup North America to transform a disused, elevated rail line into the Bloomingdale Trail.

Running for 2.7 miles along Bloomingdale Avenue in northwest Chicago, the rail line is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway but has been unused for years, and is now rife with weeds and debris. Despite the project’s basic similarity to Manhattan’s High Line, which opened this spring on the dense, mixed-use West Side, the Bloomingdale Trail will be a mile longer and will pass through four residential neighborhoods with a range of income levels.

Also unlike the pedestrian High Line, the Bloomingdale Trail may become a pivotal part of the city’s network of bike trails, judging from public visioning charrettes conducted by Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, a nonprofit formed to serve as the trail’s stewards. “What we learned from the charrettes was that walking and biking were neck-and-neck in terms of how people wanted to use the trail,” said Friends board president Ben Helphand.

Though comparisons have been made to New York's High Line, the Bloomingdale Trail is nearly twice as long and may include more active uses, such as bicycle trails.
Paul Smith/Courtesy Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail

The trail’s program will be the focus of the first phase of planning, which will start early next year and take about 18 months. That time will also be spent sorting out property holdings along the trail and conducting structural analyses of the 37 concrete viaducts that support the rail line. “None of the viaducts are in severe shape, but all would need at least some upgrading,” said Brian Steele of the Chicago Department of Transportation. Although the city has acquired $3 million of federal and local funding for the design process, securing funding for construction will be a central aim in the coming months as well.

Arup’s team impressed the city with its resume of related projects (the team includes Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, currently working on the Brooklyn Bridge Park), their mix of global and local experience (other partners include Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects and Burns & McDonnell engineers), and their dedication. “We purposefully didn’t specify which team members should come to the interview because we wanted to see who showed up. Would the people from out-of-town bother to come?” said Janet Attarian, project director for the Chicago DOT.

Even before Arup’s work begins, the nonprofit Trust for Public Land will create regular access points to the trail by acquiring adjacent parcels of land, which are becoming destinations in their own right. “I think of the trail as an archipelago because it has so many emerging parks along it. It’s already spawned four completely new green spaces,” Helphand said.

A version of this article appeared in AN 01_10.14.2009_MW.

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Flushing the Gowanus
Members of the Gowanus Dredgers canoe club showed up for the announcement of the city plan, though they withheld judgment.
Matt Chaban

In recent months, signs have popped up in the windows of townhouses and storefronts from Carroll Gardens to Park Slope. On them, a blue whale spouts a plume of heart-shaped water, the copy below declaring: “Gowanus Canal/Super Fund Me.” Many locals, it would appear, are hoping the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will make good on its April announcement that it was considering naming the canal a Superfund site.

It may not come to that, however, as the city, fearing the stultifying effects Superfund status could have on development in the area, has rushed to create its own plan for cleaning up the canal, which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled Friday at a press conference at a pump house on the banks of the Gowanus. “This is just the beginning of a process of cleanup that will go much quicker than three years of fighting through the Superfund process,” Bloomberg told reporters.

The city’s plan, which was developed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has two components: three capital projects to improve current mitigation measures and a city-run program that would get polluters to pitch in on cleanup, a strategy the city considers less acrimonious than the litigation-driven Superfund program.

Mayor Bloomberg gathered with officials at a city-run pump station to announce the administration's plan to clean up the Gowanus Canal.
Matt Chaban

The largest of the capital programs, which will be paid for with $150 million in existing city capital funds, is the installation of four new pumps to handle combined sewer overflows during storms. The pumps will increase storm water capacity from 20 million gallons per day to 30 million, helping to keep sewage-tainted water out of the canal. A new mile-long pipe will connect to a pollution treatment center in Red Hook to help clean the water. Both systems will reduce combined sewer overflows into the canal by 34 percent.

The other major investment is in a century-old water tunnel that pumps in fresh water from Buttermilk Channel to help improve the canal’s water quality and mitigate sewage and other pollutants. The single water pump, which broke down in the 1960s and was not replaced until 1999, will be replaced by three new pumps, boosting fresh water in the canal by 40 percent, from 154 million gallons per day to 215 million. Finally, the top 750 feet of the canal will be dredged, as the area is sometimes exposed during high tide, giving off noxious odors as a result.

But these are only mitigation measures. The real problem comes from the decades of pollution and contamination from the factories, cement plants, refineries, and runoff along the two-mile canal. To address these issues, the city has devised the second component of its plan—what it is calling the “alternative cleanup plan.” It calls for using the federal Water Resources Development Act, which provides matching funds to responsible parties for helping cleanse the canal. Bloomberg said companies would be eager to help because it “settles once and for all their liabilities” without resorting to court cases. There is no timeline yet, but the mayor said the cleanup could be completed within a decade from its start, “a relatively short time for these sorts of things.”

This alternative plan [PDF] would deploy a range of measures to clean up the canal, from addressing runoff from upland polluters to dredging and capping the canal bed, shoring up crumbling bulkheads, and planting decontaminating flora and fauna—all of which would be paid for by polluters and the federal government, and not the city.

But the key to staving off Superfund may be the city’s willingness to give the EPA an oversight role, including the right to step in if the city’s efforts prove insufficient. It was unclear how standards would be set or met between the city and the agency, but the mayor stressed that it was preferable to the decades it could take to get a cleanup underway with the Superfund program, killing various development projects and a neighborhood rezoning in the process.

The EPA is currently reviewing the city’s plan. Repeated calls to the agency for comment were not returned, but a decision about designating the canal a Superfund site is expected sometime this fall.

Joseph Seebode, deputy district engineer of the Army Corps' New York District, said the main difference between the city and the EPA’s approach was one of restoration versus remediation—gradual improvement versus top-down containment. “What the EPA is doing is, they’re looking at this in a different way,” Seebode told AN. While the city and the Corps would allow for development and activity concurrent with cleanup, the EPA would shut everything down. Seebode declined to say which was the safer approach, only that all avenues have to be studied.

Asked if the city would have undertaken the plan were it not faced with the impending threat of the canal being named a Superfund site, Bloomberg admitted the city should have taken action sooner, but at least it was making an honest effort to clean the canal quickly and thoroughly, unlike the EPA.

There has been some speculation that the city has taken such swift action because it could be found liable under the Superfund program—not only because of sewage outflows but because of city-owned polluters such as a Department of Transportation cement plant—though the mayor insisted that was not the case. “When these lawyers start, everyone’s going to point fingers,” Bloomberg said. “It’s going to be a boon for the lawyers, but nothing will get done environmentally.”

But Richard Bashner, chair of local Community Board 6, told AN that so long as the canal gets clean, he does not care who is responsible for it. “At this point, we’re delighted to see the mayor and the EPA fighting over who gets to clean up the canal,” he said.

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Grab A Seat
Two traffic lanes in the Castro were turned into a public plaza, replacing cars with planters and cafe tables, though streetcars still pass through.
Bruce Damonte

One of San Francisco’s newest parks measures just 7,000 square feet. It’s a simple affair: a few sets of café tables and chairs with a row of bollards and planters separating it from a busy intersection. Thanks to the city’s new Pavements-to-Parks initiative, in May this temporary pedestrian plaza replaced a two-way street, where 17th Street intersects with Castro and Market. Two more such plazas, in the Mission and Potrero Hill, are scheduled to be open by the end of September.

There are plenty of reasons to cheer for this step on the path to a more pedestrian-friendly city. But what makes these parks truly remarkable are the fast-track way in which they were created—a highly visible experiment in urban planning, where the community can test-drive the design and provide input before it becomes permanent. It took only a few months to get sign-off on the plaza design and three days to install it. Design services were supplied pro-bono by the firm Public Architecture, labor was provided by the Department of Public Works, and all materials were donated. The bollards are cardboard concrete molds, lined with plastic and planted with palms and flowers, and the asphalt was painted tan to distinguish it from the street.

Rebar has designed "Showplace Triangle" at a mess of intersections in Potrero Hill.
Courtesy Rebar

It’s a refreshing shift from standard operating procedure, where discord among constituents and difficulties in securing funds can bog down public projects for years. “By implementing a site and allowing the space to be the laboratory, you don’t have to try and get everything right from day one,” said Andres Power, project manager for the initiative and an urban designer in the city’s planning department. “The model is to be very creative in how we pull together resources and materials—there’s very little capital expense. It’s a great way to show that we can make a difference very easily.”

San Francisco is the second major city to try this approach after New York’s pioneering foray in 2007, where 31 temporary plazas are currently in the pipeline. New York transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan masterminded the project and in a talk last year galvanized Ed Reiskin, who heads San Francisco’s department of public works. Based on the response to the first park, he’s ready to declare a success. “People are requesting more plazas, we have architecture firms clamoring to partner with us for free, we have some corporate sponsors—these are all good signs,” said Reiskin.

San Francisco’s planning department, which is managing the program, is now reviewing a list of 25 to 30 sites that meet the five criteria set by the initiative: a stretch of underutilized road, lack of nearby public space, community interest, the ability to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, public attractions like cafes, and a neighborhood steward willing to keep an eye on things.

Construction is nearly finished on Guerrero Park.
Jamison/Flickr

San Francisco’s happy twist on New York’s program has been to bring in individual design firms to tackle each park, showcasing creative energy when there is little budget. Local architect Jane Martin, best known for making it easier and cheaper to take a jackhammer to a sidewalk in order to create a garden, used fallen trees from Golden Gate Park in her design of Guerrero Park in the Mission—a symbolic link between the start of one park to another.

For “Showplace Triangle” in Potrero Hill, San Francisco design firm Rebar decided to co-opt the iconography of the road, using turn-lane arrows to generate a mosaic-like pattern. The firm has its own inspired pavements-to-parks effort: PARKing Day, in which urban activists temporarily take over parking spaces to create tiny public parks for a day, just celebrated its fourth year on September 18. Since its inception, PARKing Day has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with large-scale efforts in LA, Portland, and Seattle as well.

“There’s a whole movement of interim use as a way of activating urban spaces,” said John Bela of Rebar. “We’re circumventing the traditional planning processes and showing what’s the minimum infrastructure required to turn these sites into beautiful public places.”

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Planting in the Streets
Two traffic lanes in the Castro were turned into a public plaza, replacing cars with planters and cafe tables, though streetcars still pass through.
Bruce Damonte

One of San Francisco’s newest parks measures just 7,000 square feet. It’s a simple affair: a few sets of café tables and chairs with a row of bollards and planters separating it from a busy intersection. Thanks to the city’s new Pavements-to-Parks initiative, in May this temporary pedestrian plaza replaced a two-way street, where 17th Street intersects with Castro and Market. Two more such plazas, in the Mission and Potrero Hill, are scheduled to be open by the end of September.

There are plenty of reasons to cheer for this step on the path to a more pedestrian-friendly city. But what makes these parks truly remarkable are the fast-track way in which they were created—a highly visible experiment in urban planning, where the community can test-drive the design and provide input before it becomes permanent. It took only a few months to get sign-off on the plaza design and three days to install it. Design services were supplied pro-bono by the firm Public Architecture, labor was provided by the Department of Public Works, and all materials were donated. The bollards are cardboard concrete molds, lined with plastic and planted with palms and flowers, and the asphalt was painted tan to distinguish it from the street.

Rebar has designed "Showplace Triangle" at a mess of intersections in Potrero Hill.
Courtesy Rebar

It’s a refreshing shift from standard operating procedure, where discord among constituents and difficulties in securing funds can bog down public projects for years. “By implementing a site and allowing the space to be the laboratory, you don’t have to try and get everything right from day one,” said Andres Power, project manager for the initiative and an urban designer in the city’s planning department. “The model is to be very creative in how we pull together resources and materials—there’s very little capital expense. It’s a great way to show that we can make a difference very easily.”

San Francisco is the second major city to try this approach after New York’s pioneering foray in 2007, where 31 temporary plazas are currently in the pipeline. New York transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan masterminded the project and in a talk last year galvanized Ed Reiskin, who heads San Francisco’s department of public works. Based on the response to the first park, he’s ready to declare a success. “People are requesting more plazas, we have architecture firms clamoring to partner with us for free, we have some corporate sponsors—these are all good signs,” said Reiskin.

San Francisco’s planning department, which is managing the program, is now reviewing a list of 25 to 30 sites that meet the five criteria set by the initiative: a stretch of underutilized road, lack of nearby public space, community interest, the ability to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, public attractions like cafes, and a neighborhood steward willing to keep an eye on things.

Construction is nearly finished on Guerrero Park.
Jamison/Flickr

San Francisco’s happy twist on New York’s program has been to bring in individual design firms to tackle each park, showcasing creative energy when there is little budget. Local architect Jane Martin, best known for making it easier and cheaper to take a jackhammer to a sidewalk in order to create a garden, used fallen trees from Golden Gate Park in her design of Guerrero Park in the Mission—a symbolic link between the start of one park to another.

For “Showplace Triangle” in Potrero Hill, San Francisco design firm Rebar decided to co-opt the iconography of the road, using turn-lane arrows to generate a mosaic-like pattern. The firm has its own inspired pavements-to-parks effort: PARKing Day, in which urban activists temporarily take over parking spaces to create tiny public parks for a day, just celebrated its fourth year on September 18. Since its inception, PARKing Day has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with large-scale efforts in LA, Portland, and Seattle as well.

“There’s a whole movement of interim use as a way of activating urban spaces,” said John Bela of Rebar. “We’re circumventing the traditional planning processes and showing what’s the minimum infrastructure required to turn these sites into beautiful public places.”

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Good Old New York
Yesterday, the city released a report, "Age Friendly New York," [PDF] about creating a place that is more appealing to seniors. After all, New York can be hard enough as it is without a bum hip and fifth-floor walk-up. (Why else do so many of us flee for Florida in our autumn years?) The report contains the expected investments in senior centers and "social inclusion," but roughly 40 percent of the 59 initiatives deal directly or indirectly with issues of equal concern to architects and planners, like more seats at those fancy Cemusa bus shelters, more affordable housing dedicated to seniors, and improved elevator and escalator access. “The initiatives we’re launching will go a long way towards helping older New Yorkers live more connected, vibrant, and meaningful lives,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press release. The best part is, it might even mean a nicer city for the rest of us, not to mention some much need work for the city's designers. See all 23 initiatives after the jump. HOUSING Affordable Housing Development
  • Target housing funds and streamline process of building low income housing for older New Yorkers
  • Examine parking requirements for affordable senior housing and amend the zoning code as necessary to facilitate construction of senior housing
  • Provide loans for rehabilitation and new construction of affordable housing
Homeowner & Renter Assistance
  • Provide loan assistance to older New Yorkers for home repairs
  • Engage NYC home improvement contractors in best practices for the older adult market
  • Improve access to SCRIE through transfer to Department of Finance
  • Expand eviction prevention legal services for older New Yorkers
Aging in Place
  • Provide additional supportive services to NORCs
  • Target Section 8 vouchers to vulnerable older adults at risk of eviction
  • Promote development of and access to new models of housing that support aging in place
PUBLIC SPACES & TRANSPORTATION Accessible & Affordable Transportation
  • Improve elevator and escalator service and enhance accessibility of subway stations
  • Improve efficiency of Access-A-Ride by equipping vehicles with GPS devices and implementing phone notification system
  • Match accessible taxis with users who need them
  • Develop model accessible taxi
  • Develop taxi voucher program for older New Yorkers who are unable to use public transportation
Safe & Age-Friendly Public Spaces
  • Increase seating in bus shelters
  • Install public restrooms at key locations citywide
  • Create new, pedestrian friendly public spaces while calming traffic
  • Redesign street intersections at key locations citywide to improve safety for older New Yorkers
  • Identify age-friendly parks and encourage older adults to utilize them
Planning for the Future
  • Provide environmental stewardship workshops and engage older New Yorkers in planting trees as part of PlaNYC and MillionTreesNYC
  • Conduct study to better address the mobility needs of older New Yorkers
  • Promote use of Universal Design Guidelines through education and awareness efforts