A consortium of engineers and traffic planners have teamed up on proposals to construct a series of vehicle-free “ribbon” bridges connecting Manhattan to the outer boroughs and New Jersey. The group is led by Samuel Schwartz, former Traffic Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Transportation.
Department of Transportation
Plans by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) have been submitted to the Landmark Preservation Commission calling for alterations of the Brooklyn Bridge. The designs call for a revamping of the bridge’s famous Towers and the arch blocks along the Manhattan approach. This program will address ailments on a portion of the bridge many residents of New York City don’t often see. The arch blocks have fallen into a state of dilapidation. The current condition is a stain on the reputation of the international icon, and yet another example of the city failing to adequately maintain a national landmark.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled plans for a $10 billion redesign of John F. Kennedy International Airport, in Queens. Broadly, the goal of the project is to better interconnect the airport’s existing terminals and improve the flow of vehicles and people through reconstruction and expansion of roadways, Crain’s reported. There would also be a large parking garage at the center of the airport, possibly to be topped by green space. Mass-transit upgrades are also in store, including plans for a one-seat ride to Manhattan. The state’s Department of Transportation will head the construction pertaining to roadways and mass transit, while the airport is expected to be rebuilt under partnerships with airline companies and operators, including the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Empire State Development (ESD) has released a request for expression of interest (RFEI) for the 12.8-acre development site at 400 East 132nd Street, in the South Bronx’s Mott Haven section. The state is seeking to lease or sell the property, which is currently used as a transfer station for trains and trucks, to a development team that’s willing to deck over the station and build a mixed-use project, Crain’s reported. The property, zoned for manufacturing, is an “ESD General Project Plan,” which means the state, through its own approval process, is able to override local zoning regulations. Some percentage of affordable housing is likely envisioned by ESD. The site is owned by the state’s Department of Transportation. Responses are due by February 2, 2017.
The ongoing transformation of Long Island City is astounding. In the decade between 2006 and 2015, more than 8,600 housing units have been completed in the area, with well over 22,000 more on the way. Between 2012 and 2015, prices for prime development sites have jumped by 269 percent. As the neighborhood rapidly transitions from commercial/industrial to high-density residential, the local street grid, characterized by odd angles, must undergo a significant transformation. The city government began to address this need in 2010, when Jackson Avenue, the area’s principal thoroughfare, was upgraded with a green median, while a small triangular park was created at the intersection of 27th Street, Hunter Street, and 43rd Avenue.