Transportation Panel Discussion
Panel question 1 As the Court Square population grows we're seeing an increase in litter on our streets and sidewalks - especially on the main corridors. There are little to no trash bins. What can we do about street cleanliness? How do we start conversations around street cleaning? (Denise/Jason)
· Denise: CB2 can discuss this issue with Dept. of Sanitation and advocate for specific areas. Sanitation rarely denies requests for extra attention, but is more likely to add wastebaskets to existing routes.
· Jason: Note that Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has previously worked to expand funding for better sanitation in the area. Part of this conversation was “Alternative Parking” for street sweeping/cleaning. The alternative parking and cleaning is overseen by Dept. of Sanitation, but DOT would manage signage for any alternative parking.
Panel question 2 People park their cars on our streets and leave them not only for weeks, but for months. Who is responsible for monitoring these cars? Is it the precinct or the NYPD's traffic department? If it is the precinct, what does the panel think of this arrangement? (Denise/Jason)
· Jason: It is important to report these cars early and often. Have to “stay on them” “like graffiti”.
· Denise: Report these to 3-1-1 and escalate it to CB2. Or attend monthly Precinct 108 meetings where you can advocate for changes you want to see.
Panel question 3 There are a number of transportation improvements coming to Jackson Ave. in the near future. Can you talk about the goals for those improvements and give a topline on the key changes we should expect? (Jason)
· Jason: Money was allocated for the LIC/Hunters Point Reconstruction Project a couple years ago. After a years’ worth of conversations on this – extensive community review process – there was approval by CB2. The project mainly entails streetscaping to make it safer for pedestrians and drivers. Proposal will be dictated by priority areas. DOT is working with EPA to work on underground/drainage issues to be address. Hope to move forward within next five years.
Panel question 4 What’s the progress of DOT’s plan to increase pedestrian safety and calm traffic in Court Square? Specifically, what’s the status of the work that began in October to modify the traffic flow on Hunter and Crescent streets? (Jason)
· Jason: DOT is in the final stages in this implementation project. It was approved at CB2. Jason will give us an ETA for completion of this project.
Panel question 5 Transportation Alternatives has been very vocal about the VisionZero initiative. Any thoughts on how we can further improve traffic flow in our neighborhood? (Juan)
· Juan: Everyone involved – developers, government agencies, community advocates - need to take a Vision Zero approach first to the development of Court Square so that we can create a sustainable environment for future generations.
Panel question 6 What’s the relationship between MTA and CB2? Does the MTA have a timetable for further information to be presented to CB2 regarding improvements to the transportation infrastructure in the area (i.e. L train shutdown or improvements to 7 train)? How receptive is MTA to input from CB2 and how can CSCA become more involved in this process? (Denise)
· Denise: CB2 has very good relationship with their representative at the MTA and Denise spoke with him today. The liaisons are very receptive but at the end of the day there is a board at the MTA that makes the ultimate decisions. Must have realistic expectations for requests but can provide some feedback.
Panel question 7 We expect the impending L Train shutdown and increased G Train ridership are going to have a huge impact on our subway stations - specifically the Court Square station. What have you heard from the MTA about how they're taking CS into consideration when planning for the shutdown? (Denise/Juan)
· Denise: MTA reaches out to Community Boards to discuss the L train shutdown. MTA has presented to CB5 in late spring (directly affected by L train shutdown). CB2 requested a presentation from MTA and they said they hope to come to CB2 by spring 2018 (not guaranteed). For other issues, MTA representative is receptive but can only do so much.
MTA will come to CB2 if requested for specific issues. Example: one turnstile shutdown – have CSCA contact CB2 and then Denise can give the MTA rep. a direct call.
CB2 has a website and FB page and posts city meeting information. If there are specific issues: send email with date, time, photo, and other information to Denise at CB2 so she can quickly escalate to MTA representative.
· Jason: DOT is having internal conversations about L train shut and trying to be involved in the planning. (Initial plans have been released.)
· Juan: Transportation Alternatives has advocated for a People Way on 14th St. in Manhattan and on Grand St. in Brooklyn.
Panel question 8 There are plans for a new 7 train entrance at 44th drive and 23rd street. How can we get involved with expressing our views about the plans? Do you have any idea when construction on the entrance might start? Has CB2 seen any plans from the MTA? (Denise)
· Denise: The decision was made about this many years ago (12-15 years ago), but CB2 has not seen specific plans with regards to the construction and the actual plans for the entrance.
Panel question 9 Last year we hosted a community meeting with Friends of the BQX. The latest we’ve heard is that the project faces strong community opposition and a lack of funding, but Friends of the BQX recently unveiled a prototype of the streetcar. Do you know the status of this project? Are CB2 and DOT plugged into the development process? (Denise/Jason)
· Denise: CB2 had not heard anything further in a while and Denise was surprised to hear about the prototype. No decision has been made on the route. CB2 has said they do not want Vernon Blvd as a route. There are mixed opinions on the BQX plans over.
· Jason: This is overseen by the EDC and that process is still moving forward (EDC is doing block by block analysis.)
Audience question 10 Question regarding film crew permits.
· Film crew permits are issued by mayor’s office. CB2 is notified about these permits but these issues should be addressed with mayor’s office. There have been moratoriums issued previously for other areas during construction, so this is an option. CB2 would support this.
Audience question 11 With the development Gotham Center, will there be improvements to the subway station at either Queens Plaza or Queensboro Plaza? Can these be connected?
· Maybe an opportunity to connect Queens Plaza and Queensboro Plaza.