2007 in perspective: Happy New Year

We wish you a SAFE 2008 with more time to cross the street, plenty of neck downs, Barnes’ dances and speed bumps to slow down the cars, and NYPD enforcing the law .

We wish you a HEALTHY 2008, with charter buses and jitneys turning off their engines and parking in their own garage.

We wish you a HAPPY 2008 when we continue to build together a better and safer neighborhood.

Let’s celebrate the coalition’s good fortune in 2007

TRAFFIC:

During the 9th Avenue Renaisssance project , our consultants collected over 1,000 separate input from the members of the community and produced a community vision for 9th Avenue. Community Board 4 requested that the DOT study its feasibility. Thank you to all our elected officials who supported the project and Borough President Stringer who helped fund it.
The Federal governement granted $ 350,000 to the DOT for a Traffic Engineering Study of Hell’s Kitchen , focused on Lincoln Tunnel entraces and pedestrian Safety. Thank you to all our elected who joined with Congressamn Nadler to support this request. A Transportation Advisory Council of local and regional leaders was nominated by our Elected Officials to provide continuous input and guidance to the DOT during the study. The council has already met twice. You can follow its progress on the project blog.
41st Street was reopened to traffic by the Port Authority. This will reduce the number of vehicles making a left turn on 42nd Street at 9th Avenue. Thank you to Senator Duane for making it a priority.
CLEAN AIR

The State Department of Environmental Conservation abandonned its plan to remove the current parking caps in the Central Business District, thus keeping in place a very effective tool to limit automotive traffic and pollution in Manhattan . Transportation Alternatives, Tri State Transportation, Environmental Defense and the RPA fought along CHEKPEDS, HKNA and CB4 to defeat this measure. Thank you to Assemblyman Gottfried, Senator Duane, and Borough President Stringer who weighted heavily on this issue.
We tested our air quality and found the level of micro particulates to spike at levels three times in excess of tolerable in certain locations. No wonder that our asthma hospitalizaiton rate is the third highest in Manhattan ! We sent our elected officials a petition signed by 250 coalition members requesting that a bus garage be built to house the 600 charter buses idling in our streets every day .

We joined forces with HKNA to map locations and request that 350 trees be planted in Hell’s Kitchen as part of the PlaNYC2030′s Million Tree Program .

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY & ENFORCEMENT:

After 10 years of asking, a midblock traffic light was finally installed on 43rd Street for HOLY CROSS school, the second most dangerous school to walk to in Manhattan.
After another major crash at 37th Street and 9th Avenue, Speaker Quinn toured the location with DOT commissioner. The Lead Pedestarin Interval was increased from 3 seconds to 6seconds. Thank you to Speaker Quinn for her help in these instances.
A 3 seconds exclusive pedestrian phase was installed at 23rd and 9th Avenue .
The coalition lobbied for a Pedestrian Plan in NYC, testified for pedestrian safety at City Council hearings, testified for more enforcement and police protection at Town Hall meetings, supported Intro 199 and 567 introduced by John Liu and Gale Brewer related to pedestrian safety.
We also held a memorial for Kumo, a young boy killed on 17th Street.
The coalition and CB4 advocated for a Pedestrian Safety Summit.

We supported City’s efforts in the right direction:

CHEKPEDS rejoiced at the nomination of Janet Sadik- Kahn as DOT Commissioner. We also applauded PlaNYC2030, in particular its Congestion Pricing feature and its clean air initiatives. Our coalition worked tiredlessly to support this initiative , from rallies , to press conferences and lobbying in Albany. CHEKPEDS joined forces with WSNA to collect 200 petitions in support of congestion pricing that were delivered to our elected officials and Assembly Member Brodsky.

But so much remains to be done in 2008:

DOT STUDY must yield short terms solutions for traffic calming and pedestrian safety
PEDESTRIAN safety must become DOT’s priority number one. Our neighborhood is disproportionately affected in 2007, with five deaths on Ninth Avenue.
ENFORCEMENT of vehicular laws and PROTECTION of pedestrians and cyclists are yet to be recognized by the police department as their number one priority in traffic.
PORT AUTHORITY must become a better neighbor and work with us to improve the neighborhood
PARKING policy changes – less for individual cars, more for charter buse and jitneys are a prerequisite to cleaner air. City Planning must deal with this issue.
Thank you for being a caring neighbor & member

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