Prospect Park Says No to Cars

Oct 24, 17 Prospect Park Says No to Cars

Posted by in All, News

After a successful trial period as a car-free zone from July to September, Prospect Park is about to embark on this ambitious move on a permanent basis. Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement on Monday: Prospect Park will no longer allow entrance to cars on the parks entire loop drive, beginning on January 2, 1918. The New York City Department of Transportation carefully monitored the traffic on the roads adjacent to the park during the trial period from July 17 until September 11 and decided that closing the park had no significant impact on traffic. “Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s backyard. I married Chirlane here. This is where my kids played little league,” said the mayor. “And I have always wanted it to be the safe, quiet refuge for Brooklyn’s families that it was intended to be. Restoring Prospect Park as a car-free oasis will improve the lives of the millions who use this park today and of generations to come.” Prospect Park is one of Brooklyn’s most visited sites, with between 8 and 10 million visitors each year. The park’s West Drive has already been car-free since 2015, while the eastern route stayed open only on weekdays. Pedestrian park-goers outnumber cars in the park by a margin of 3-1 during the morning hours, making their desire for a car-free park a convincing reason to ban cars. Joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and others that come to the park brought 1,100 signatures requesting that the summer’s car-free status be made permanent. The neighborhood will be notified about the upcoming change using social media as well as posting signs at the entrance to Prospect...

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Bay Ridge R-Train Station Open Again for Business

Oct 16, 17 Bay Ridge R-Train Station Open Again for Business

Posted by in All, News

After a six-month closure for major improvements, the 102-year-old station in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is serving commuters again. The station, which offers R train service, now has new digital information signage, countdown clocks, charging ports for phones and other devices, better, brighter lighting, and beautiful new artwork. MTA head Joe Lhota did the honors of cutting the ribbon to officially open the station. “The work that we’ve done here was to bring it into the 21st Century,” Lhota said. This station is just one of many on several subway lines which will be renovated under the $836 million subway rescue plan. Quality of service is also high up on the agenda of improvements. “We’re not letting one minute go to waste during nonpeak hours,” Lhota added, saying that when new train cars arrive and new signal equipment is installed, the MTA will be able to run more trains. Some commuters were disappointed that the MTA did not add an elevator as part of the station’s upgrade. Having an elevator would be a great benefit to elderly, people in wheelchairs, and others who find using stairs a burden. “If you’re completely redoing a station, keep in mind the people who need to use it, not just the cosmetic improvements,” one commuter commented. Lhota said that putting in an elevator at the Bay Ridge station was not possible. “We couldn’t do it for this site because of the logistics,” Lhota said. “If we were able to do it, we would do it.” Four other R stations will be getting elevators in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act- at 59th St, 77th St, 86th St and Bay Ridge-95th...

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Walmart Buys Brooklyn Startup for $10 Million

Oct 08, 17 Walmart Buys Brooklyn Startup for $10 Million

Posted by in All, Business

Just because Walmart does not have a store of its own anywhere in New York City does not mean New Yorkers can’t get the Walmart goods to their doors, pronto. Over the course of the past year Walmart has made five e-commerce purchases to insure its online customers that they can have same-day delivery of Walmart products. The latest purchase is of Brooklyn startup Parcel for almost $10 million. Parcel was launched in 2013 by Jesse Kaplan. Since that time, it has created an extensive database including every building it has ever delivered to. The stored information includes photos and details about service and other entrances. The company operates 24/7, and sends its customers real-time tracking updates of their orders through test messaging. Walmart, which seems to be taking aim at Amazon’s similar type of service, also purchased Jet, Bonobos, ModCloth and Moosejaw during the past...

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Blow Up the Old, Bring in the New: Kosciuszko Bridge

Oct 02, 17 Blow Up the Old, Bring in the New: Kosciuszko Bridge

Posted by in All, New York

After 78 years of service connecting Brooklyn and Queens above Newton Creek, the old Kosciuszko Bridge was demolished in a controlled explosion. It took 944 coordinated charges to bring down large sections of the left and right spans of the bridge, which were then carted off. The debris from the bridge will amount to an estimated 22 million pounds of scrap metal. With the destruction of the old bridge, named for a Polish military engineer, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who was a soldier during the American Revolutionary War, workers can now work on the completion of the second span of the new bridge over the creek. That bridge is due to open in 2020. The demolition caused a delay in traffic of about 5-10 minutes on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway just before 8am. The explosion was billed in advance as an “energetic feeling”, a term that was made fun of on social media. “An energetic felling. What does that mean? I don’t know,” Cuomo said as people laughed. With the destroyed bridge and new bridge in the background, Governor Cuomo discussed the future of New York City. “You look around this city and ask yourself, ‘What makes New York New York?'” he said to a crowd of city representatives and neighborhood residents. “What it was, was that our forefathers had vision, had guts, had determination and they built a place that was...

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Teachers in Experimental School Face Pay Cuts

Sep 25, 17 Teachers in Experimental School Face Pay Cuts

Posted by in All, New York

In 2010 an experimental public elementary school, the New American Academy, was launched in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Classrooms are open, with as many as 60 students in classes that use open classrooms utilizing progressive educational philosophies. The several teachers are part of the class, and they travel together with their students as they move up to higher grades. There are as many as four teachers associated with each class, who all work together as a team, with one master teacher in charge of the entire group. In this arrangement, the master teacher, who assists her less experienced colleagues to improve their teaching skills, was paid an annual salary of $125,000. Substantially more than the usual pay scale for teachers in the New York City school system. As of September 7, of this year, the first day of the new school year, 21 teachers at the New American Academy will have their incomes seriously slashed, in some cases by as much as $50,000 less per year. Teachers and parents at the Academy are angered by the Education Department’s decision to bring the school’s remuneration policy in line with other schools in the system. “It’s gross, it’s horrible, it feels hopeless to try to change the system,” one New American Academy teacher said. The teacher will suffer a $50,000 pay cut under the new system. “It’s heartbreaking,” the teacher added, who wants to remain anonymous to protect her job. “This is the most inspirational place I’ve worked in. But I don’t feel represented by either my union or the Department of Education.” The principal of the school did not comment on the cuts. A spokeswoman for the DOE, Toya Holness did not explain why the city was cutting the teacher’s salaries, only that they did it. “The agreement ended and we didn’t renew it,” said Holness, who asserted that the city really does support its teachers. The teacher’s union has decided not to fight the decision. “While we believe that the program was a worthwhile experiment...

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