We’ve had a bunch of posts in the last year about transit in Red Hook. The B61 bus was cut in half (shorter wait times!), the B77 was eliminated (longer wait times!), and various plans for trolley service have been championed and set aside.
Which made it kind of sad when Bob Diamond, one of the earliest and most stalwart proponents of an above-ground trolley servicing Red Hook, announced earlier this month that he would be hanging ’em up in his long-running fight.
Well, according to a story in today’s Brooklyn Eagle, Mr. Diamond is back at it. Inspired, surely, by the release of $300,000 for a trolley feasibility study (money secured by Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez), he’s back on the advocacy trail.
Coming from someone who commutes to Red Hook every day (a trip that takes between 40 and 75 minutes…), alternative modes of transit can’t be explored soon enough. So let’s stay tuned to how this issue develops, and tip our hats to Mr. Diamond, Congresswoman Velázquez, and anyone else who’s thinking creatively about how to improve the lives of Brooklynites.
The Brooklyn Eagle just ran a piece about developer Joe Sitt- his recently-struck deal with the city regarding Coney Island, and the general success he’s enjoyed as a developer in Brooklyn without actually developing much of anything. Check out the article for details- what caught my eye was a blurb at the end that focused on his ownership of the old Revere Sugar Factory site, predicting the importance of this one man for the future of the entire neighborhood.
This site is across an inlet from Greg O’Connell’s showplace Beard Street warehouse. It is also between two retail giants — Fairway and IKEA. So what is he going to do there, and when?
photo: Gowanus Lounge
That’s the big question. Eagle writer Dennis Holt plays out a few possibilities, but of course it could be years before we get any real answers. What should be done with the site? What will be? Let us know in the comments.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle with a piece published last night about City Council-hopeful Brad Lander’s recent press conference “call[ing] for action to curb truck emissions and pollution expected from a rise in beverage shipments at Piers 7, 10 and 11.”
“It is critical that all parties, the EDC, Port Authority, ASI, Phoenix and port users, take significant short-term and long-term steps to reduce emissions, make sure that pedestrians, cyclists and residents are safe, and make the port into a model of sustainability,” said Lander.
Lander acknowledges the economic benefit of the entrance of Phoenix Beverages, but joins community environmental advocates in calling for a more rigorous “port action plan” to deal with changes brought on by the expected influx of new traffic and industry. One of the suggestions is a “first source” program intended to provide job opportunities to local residents. Check out the article for the rest of the proposed plan.
Who would have thought, in all the hand-wringing and histrionics that accompanied the entrance of IKEA to Red Hook, that less than a year later they’d be winning awards for their service to the community?
Photo: Jacob Silberberg for the New York Times
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports that our big blue friend down Beard Street was just awarded The Norman Buchbinder Award for Neighborhood Beautification.
OK, so the award was given by that finger-on-the-pulse-of-the-neighborhood organization…Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Though there may be room for IKEA to continue to grow into its place and responsibility in the neighborhood, though, you’d be hard pressed to deny that the esplanade is a nice bit of greenery in an otherwise fairly unwelcoming stretch of blocks:
“It features a paved bike and walkway, extensive new foliage and landscaping, well-lit seating areas and a publicly accessible pier extending into the Erie Basin. IKEA restored cranes, preserved shipyard artifacts, and constructed maritime mementos to highlight the waterfront past of the site.”
Just yesterday, as I was out distributing flyers for DTE’s Saturday hip hop class, I ran into a group of girls, from the neigborhood, taking a walk to the esplanade just because it was there. Points awarded to IKEA on this one.