Author Topic: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)  (Read 6306 times)

Offline r

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2020, 10:09:25 AM »
European cities haven't exactly dealt with COVID well so using them as a role model seems questionable.

But if they did close streets there then I hope they actually asked residents first. And sought feedback after the closure to see how things were going.

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #61 on: August 31, 2020, 11:27:20 AM »
NY is doing better than anywhere else in the USA. And as well as many places in the world.

Something worked. Including open streets which is based on THE OPEN AIR REGIMEN

THE OPEN AIR REGIMEN basically says that the pandemic is transmitted more easily in confined spaces (like in apartment buildings/closed off rooms)  than in the open air.

The regimen was first implemented and proven in the time of the Spanish Flu. 100 years ago.

The OPEN AIR REGIMEN is why outdoor dining is allowed.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 11:41:42 AM by abcdefghijk »


Offline Chingwa

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2020, 02:53:09 PM »
After reading that article, the "transportation advocate" moniker sounds suspiciously like someone not advocating for transportation.  Just 'cause someone assumes a title or is uncritically granted one by a news article doesn't give any more weight to their opinions.  Fact is some people are under the valid opinion that street should be closed and others are under the valid opinion that the street should not be closed.  There are no "experts" here to defer to.

Offline Shelby2

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2020, 03:08:30 PM »
After reading that article, the "transportation advocate" moniker sounds suspiciously like someone not advocating for transportation.  Just 'cause someone assumes a title or is uncritically granted one by a news article doesn't give any more weight to their opinions.  Fact is some people are under the valid opinion that street should be closed and others are under the valid opinion that the street should not be closed.  There are no "experts" here to defer to.

I think the article got it wrong and the correct term would be "transportation alternatives advocate" since the name of their group is actually Transportation Alternatives.

Offline Ms. Jackson

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2020, 03:30:48 PM »
"He said its success is largely due to the dedicated residents who care for what has become an ad-hoc linear park. The entire community comes together to make sure the space works and is a safe place for neighborhood kids to play, Restrepo said."

As much as I advocate for more open space in our neighborhood and am one of the folks using the street everyday for walks, I think this article is somewhat misleading. The above quote from the article is a broad statement making it seem like there is some active work going into making 34th Street cleaner and safer. Besides JHBG and residents maintaining the median gardens, the street is just as filthy (perhaps more) and just as safe as the rest in the neighborhood. I have seen arguments between pedestrians and drivers and have dodged my fair share of weaving scooters, bicycles, uni-scooters, skateboards, and the like, not to mention non-local drivers too lazy to go an extra block.

Online CaptainFlannel

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #66 on: September 05, 2020, 07:44:45 AM »
Quote
The above quote from the article is a broad statement making it seem like there is some active work going into making 34th Street cleaner and safer. Besides JHBG and residents maintaining the median gardens...

Well, that is active work. JHBG organizing weekly clean ups (as well as the JH Covid Care Network) as well as organizing the set up and take down of the barriers is active work in to making 34th Ave cleaner and safer.

I volunteered to help with the barriers months ago, but the person doing the organizing never got back to me. It's something I've noticed a lot of in the last six months. There's a call for volunteers, I volunteers, and never hear back, which makes me think these efforts are being handled by a small group of people. There's something to be said for the difficulty and complexity of managing a large group of volunteers so I can understand tha, but at the same time we're now almost 4 months in to Open Streets being the norm. I would think some of the volunteers might need a break.

Offline Ms. Jackson

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #67 on: September 06, 2020, 09:36:34 AM »
Thanks, Captain. It's nice to know about those other efforts. I'm sorry to hear their volunteer coordination leaves a bit to be desired.

Offline Ms. Jackson

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #68 on: September 17, 2020, 08:37:58 AM »
Queens Pol Makes It Official: Demands 34th Avenue Open Street Be Made Permanent

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2020/09/14/queens-pol-makes-it-official-demands-34th-avenue-open-street-be-made-permanent/?fbclid=IwAR3gAl7K07BLzGABf1G1Ox9pOvLjVCvg-NJvFWr3rAphfI3f_ASW9oHEXrQ

A Queens council member has jumped on the popular effort to turn the city’s best open street into a “permanent public space for the community” — the first salvo in a debate that will likely grow to include other neighborhoods that don’t want to lose their well-used gathering places once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

In calling for permanence, Council Member Danny Dromm cited “overwhelming positive response” from residents of Jackson Heights and Corona, whose neighborhood is second-to-last in per capita open space. He also cited the “wonderful impact” the open street between 69th Street and Junction Boulevard has had.

“Children from the surrounding cramped apartments safely propel their scooters down the street,” he wrote. “A small group takes a salsa dance lesson in the open. Two older women pull out lawn chairs and bask in the sun.”

The benefits go far beyond those three constituencies. Whether by kismet or design, the de Blasio administration’s 34th Avenue open street has long been described as the best one in the city — and several factors make it so: It runs entirely through a residential neighborhood with very little open space; it is parallel to the much busier Northern Boulevard, which provides drivers with a better route than a residential street; it has the strong support of volunteers who put out barricades every morning and remove them at night; it is very widely used by pedestrians, which deters drivers from using the roadway for local trips.

Dromm’s letter was partly responding to a massive effort to focus attention on this particular open street. Earlier this summer, Streetsblog covered the initial failure of the project, which succumbed to the weight of overpolicing by the NYPD, only to become a uniquely popular space after cops stood down.

Next, Streetfilms got both Dromm and State Senator Jessica Ramos to commit to the permanent car-free proposal. And Transportation Alternatives started a petition drive shortly thereafter — one that has already garnered 1,236 signatures (it’s online if you want to sign it). People who have volunteered to gather petitions have noticed how eager residents are to sign.

“Being out on the street asking my neighbors to sign the petition is the best volunteer gig I’ve ever had,” said Angela Stach, who lives in Jackson Heights and has been collecting signatures for several weeks. “There is literally no need to explain why the city needs to make this open street permanent — because it’s completely self-evident. It has brought joy to our neighborhood during a very traumatic time, especially for the kids. And people really want to hold on to that. It’s almost surreal how easy it is to have these conversations with neighbors who have never before considered that the way in which cars monopolize public space is not the ‘natural’ order of things.”

Stach believes that unlike other public space battles in her neighborhood, this one will be easier to win because people can see the benefits, rather than have to imagine them, as in the case of a new bike lane or residential loading zone that hasn’t been created yet.

“Having experienced how the open street has transformed our everyday lives has dramatically broadened the constituency for challenging the dominance of cars in our community,” she said.

One of the main organizers of the volunteer effort, Jim Burke, added that the community involvement was the key.

“Many of us came together to demand open streets and then to open and close them together each morning and each evening,” he said. “We were hungry for connections, for exercise, for space and fresh air. Thirty-fourth Avenue enables all of that. So many of our neighbors plant the medians, clean the avenue and make sure drivers respect our open streets.”

That’s not to say Jackson Heights and Corona residents are all holding their hands in a Kumbaya moment for a car-free roadway. The neighborhood is home to many car owners who have expressed frustration to petitioning volunteers and on a neighborhood Facebook page about how difficult it is for them to find free storage for their private vehicles.

Others point out that there are many schools on the strip — then make the counter-intuitive point that a car-free street is somehow more dangerous for the school-age pedestrian commuters.

“There are many schools on 34th Avenue, therefore weekdays, it should not be a permanent walk way,” wrote Barbara Goldman. “Also, it makes it difficult for teachers to find parking.”

Another resident, who gave the name Nina Starz, gave the Marie Antoinette response: Let them move to the suburbs!

“I’m sorry, I understand that people want outdoor areas, but if that’s the case consider moving out of the city,” she wrote. “You have so many sidewalks to walk your little hearts away, so it is not fair to limit traffic for cars when you have much space to walk.”

Many residents responded back that sidewalks represent a tiny fraction of the neighborhood’s public space — and are certainly no replacement for true open space in a neighborhood with but one central gathering place, the small Travers Park.

“We are so grateful for the open road!” wrote Rebecca Mehan. “With two young kids, it is difficult to stay inside all day. The open road gives us a safe place to walk/run/scoot/bike outside without needing to leave the neighborhood. Moreover, it connects us with our community . It is so uplifting to see and move with all of our neighbors. We will use it in the heat, rain, and snow. I hope it can remain open to pedestrians long past our current situation.”

Meanwhile, the debate over 34th Avenue will likely grow to include other neighborhoods. In Inwood, for example, a local mom got 600 signatures on her petition to restore Margaret Corbin Drive to car-free status after the city unceremoniously ended the open-street program there in August. And members of Community Boards 2 and 4, which cover adjoining sections of the West Side and Lower Manhattan, have long advocated for more streets to be made off limits to cars.

Meanwhile, several groups are working on petitions calling for the open streets on Avenue B in Manhattan and Berry Street in Brooklyn to be permanently car-free.

The Meatpacking Business Improvement District showed off what such a street could look like this weekend — to rapturous support from residents, visitors and local businesses, as Streetsblog reported.

The Department of Transportation did not respond directly to Dromm’s letter, but told Streetsblog in an anodyne statement, “We are excited about the success of the open street, and we look forward to working with the community on the future of 34th Avenue.”




Online itsit

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #69 on: September 17, 2020, 12:16:58 PM »
   It would be great if this was a topic for debate.

  And if the data from when the streets is heavily used to when it is little used, which is a surprisingly large amount of the day, would be a factor. Some residents are blissfully happy with the prospect of a continued Open Streets program here on 34th Ave. and you can see the happiness on their faces and others not so much. Issues of community, getting some exercise and maintaining social distance vs. safety issues, electric bikes, trash collection, new rat sites on the median and in some instances, partying and sleeping on the median overnight, make others wary. What about phases of usage? Some discussion for all parties. Could it be that litigation is what determines this? Is there a way to find out who has sued the DOT or NYParks over the closure or accidents on 34th Ave.?

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2020, 12:48:08 PM »
   It would be great if this was a topic for debate.

  And if the data from when the streets is heavily used to when it is little used, which is a surprisingly large amount of the day, would be a factor. Some residents are blissfully happy with the prospect of a continued Open Streets program here on 34th Ave. and you can see the happiness on their faces and others not so much. Issues of community, getting some exercise and maintaining social distance vs. safety issues, electric bikes, trash collection, new rat sites on the median and in some instances, partying and sleeping on the median overnight, make others wary. What about phases of usage? Some discussion for all parties. Could it be that litigation is what determines this? Is there a way to find out who has sued the DOT or NYParks over the closure or accidents on 34th Ave.?

The topic is (and has been) open for debate.

Many folks in the neighborhood are hoping 34th Ave stays open for pedestrians.

Others aren't.

As in all good democracies, the majority will prevail.




Offline r

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #71 on: September 17, 2020, 02:36:10 PM »
The way that the street was initially closed without any debate or consultation has created the perception that the topic was not open to debate.

And the way that some people are asking for the street to remain closed indefinitely but still without any consideration or consultation with the people who are negatively affected by the closure is just making things worse.

I actually think having an open street is a pretty cool idea but the way this has been done so far makes me very distrustful of some of the open street campaigners. They seem very selfish to me.

Offline Beherenow

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2020, 11:36:47 AM »
35th ave should be enforce to no double park during certain hours or no parking during certain hours to speed up the flow. Every time I see a UPS, Fedex or FreshDirect or any other truck double park the whole traffic is backed up.

That's true, but the pandemic created a big demand for home deliveries and that's a habit that might not change. I would not want to deprive people of the ability to get medicines, medical supplies, clothes and other things from UPS, Fedex or Amazon, and that means trucks will need to double-park.

Offline theplanesland

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2020, 08:17:53 AM »
35th ave should be enforce to no double park during certain hours or no parking during certain hours to speed up the flow. Every time I see a UPS, Fedex or FreshDirect or any other truck double park the whole traffic is backed up.

That's true, but the pandemic created a big demand for home deliveries and that's a habit that might not change. I would not want to deprive people of the ability to get medicines, medical supplies, clothes and other things from UPS, Fedex or Amazon, and that means trucks will need to double-park.

I'd like to point out that the open street hasn't created a problem with deliveries on 34th Avenue itself. I frequently see UPS or Amazon trucks either slowly moving onto blocks of 34th to make deliveries, or parking at intersections and then using handtrucks to deliver to the blocks on either side. They don't seem to need 34th as a through street to serve the residents on that avenue.

Offline BEB

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2020, 10:16:21 AM »
I hear a lot of discussion about how double parked cars need to be better managed across the board in Jackson Heights. Clearly this has been a long standing issue that predates 34th Ave being closed. 

Recently I noticed a sign for a neighborhood loading zone. It was a large two or three car parking space on 74th St somewhere between 37th Ave and 31st Ave that was designated to ease double parking. More here: https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/nlz.shtml This space was on a residential block nowhere near any businesses. I believe it was for a window of time like 6am to 6pm maybe? Why can we not have more of these throughout the neighborhood?

And to the person who called open street campaigners "selfish," I would counter that people who own and park their cars for free on these streets are the selfish ones. Why does a group of individual drivers feel entitled to the rights of that space, over an entire community benefiting from it being open? 

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Re: 34th Avenue street closure permanently (NOT)
« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2020, 10:16:21 AM »