A Few Updates, Near and Far
Main Street, Fishkill, La Guardia
The ‘bump-out’ project on Main Street is proceeding quickly. The work at the corner of Main street and Veteran’s Place is going quickly, for example:
A few folks have asked me about the bump-outs. Here are some common questions:
Why have bump-outs in the first place? Bump-outs extend the sidewalks so that crosswalks can be shorter, which makes crossing safer for pedestrians. Also, bump-outs make drivers perceive the street as narrower — although the travel lanes remain the same size as before — and this leads them to drive slower. Note that the bump-outs will mean all the redone crosswalks will be ADA-compliant, too.
What about snowplows? Won’t it be more difficult to plow in the winter? Parking lanes are already difficult to plow since cars can be parked there, and the plows have to work around them. The City of Stamford CT has stated (Stamford Neighborhood Traffic Calming Final Report) that snow removal around traffic-calming solutions like bump-outs is not a major issue:
Traffic calming treatments have been utilized by many municipalities that experience considerable snowfall during winter months. While there have been some reports of minor damage to curbing or additional time required for removal, the devices have not prevented public works staff from removing snow and preventing unsafe conditions
C.J. Hughes researched former IBM facilities across New York, and wrote a great deal about repurposed properties in our area:
In East Fishkill, the Dutchess County town where IBM once had more than 600 acres along Interstate 84, the good bones seem particularly attractive to food-related businesses. Since National Resources bought a 300-acre plot in 2017 and renamed it iPark 84, space has been leased to companies that make cookies, cocktail syrups and crepes.
Joining them this fall in a 3,000-square-foot berth will be Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, a milk provider based nearby. (IBM is also an iPark tenant, and Global Foundries, the semiconductor manufacturer that purchased most of IBM’s chipmaking assets in 2014, owns a 160-acre piece.)
To create a buzzy scene, National Resources is constructing a barnlike wing off one of its manufacturing buildings so all the food items produced there can be offered to the public in a grocery setting, Ms. Ward said.
The complex, which cost $300 million to purchase and redevelop, is 90 percent leased, she said. Housing and hotels are also being considered for the site, she added.
“A revitalization is happening here, and it’s necessary,” said Adam Watson, a co-founder of Sloop Brewing, which moved to iPark in part for its thick floors, tall ceilings and easy wastewater disposal. There’s also a bar, whose transparent surface is embedded with circuit boards discovered in a renovation.
I need to get over to Sloop, soon.
It’s going to get easier to get to La Guardia… in a few years. Via the NY Times:
By 2025, travelers who use La Guardia Airport may no longer have to fight New York City's notorious traffic to get there.
A plan to build a $2.1 billion AirTrain to La Guardia cleared its biggest remaining hurdle with approval from the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday.
Preliminary work to construct the elevated rail link could begin before the end of summer, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.
The decision is a notable victory for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has championed the project as an integral piece of his plan to transform La Guardia from an object of constant derision to a “world-class” travel hub. The airport is in the midst of a complete overhaul, including the replacement of the main terminals and gates.
The NY Times article did not include a map. Here’s one:
Local activists, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents part of Queens and Brooklyn, object to the plan:
The approval flies in the face of criticism from neighborhood activists and elected officials. In a May 26 letter, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez asked the F.A.A. to refrain from approving the project in light of information unearthed by Riverkeeper. She argued that the documents showed that not all alternatives, including a subway link or ferry boats, had been thoroughly investigated.
“This project would be built in the heart of one of the most heavily impacted communities by COVID-19, with many community members opposing the development,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “It is critical that this project be held to the highest ethical and efficacy standards — and it is clear that has not been the case to date.”
In a response to Riverkeeper on Tuesday, Steve Dickson, administrator of the F.A.A., said alternatives that could have had more benefits were ruled out because the main purpose of the project was to improve access to the airport. “It is not a regional transit project,” he wrote.
Neither Riverkeeper nor Ms. Ocasio-Cortez responded to requests for comment. Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat who represents neighborhoods near La Guardia, called the decision a “slap in the face’’ to residents who will be affected by the project.
I agree with Dickson. Better access to LGA is not a project that should be viewed as a local Queens issue: it has major impact for millions who live in the Metro NYC area as well as visitors.
Personally, I am looking forward to avoiding the Q70 bus from the MetroNorth 125th street station. Of course, we’ll have to go to Grand Central to catch the 7 line to Willetts Point, but that’s still much easier than what we have to do now to get to LGA.