Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sheridan/Bruckner Expressway Town Hall Meeting This Evening

The Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance will be having a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the new changes that will be happening to the Sheridan and the Bruckner Expressways. A new exit into Hunts Point from the Bruckner is planned, and New York State DOT is also thinking about removing the Sheridan to make way for 1,200 new units of affordable housing, new businesses, more open space by the Bronx River, and 700 new jobs.

Come one, come all! Tuesday, November 10 at 6:45 PM at The POINT - 940 Garrison Ave. Dinner, childcare, raffle and Spanish translation will be provided. For more information, please contact Melanie Jung at 718.328.5622 x 20.

Town Hall Flier
~ErLu

18 comments:

Jay Shuffield said...

Removing the Sheridan has a lot of feel-good qualities to it, but it has never been a coherent plan. Proponents argue the Sheridan isn't needed because there's not enough traffic, and then they say all that traffic creates too much air pollution. They talk about the importance of transit, but then ignore the possibilities of using the Sheridan for more transit purposes.

Let's consider a few basic points. The cost of removing the Sheridan and mitigating likely contamination to make it suitable for housing would be very expensive. This is an area where the transit lines are already over capacity, so lots of additional housing isn't appropriate for this location now anyway.

Redeveloping the Sheridan would also require relocating viable M-class uses. These undesirable neighbors are currently operating in a relatively non-disruptive location, removed as they are from residential areas. Better sites, which would be accessible to customers, are probably impossible to find.

Removing the Sheridan entirely would reduce flexibility in the highway network and eliminate storage capacity. When congestion on the Cross Bronx forces traffic to back up on the Sheridan, it doesn't cause a problem for the surrounding neighborhoods. If the Sheridan were eliminated, the traffic would then choke the intersections along Westchester Avenue and surrounding areas, to the detriment of local streets, pedestrians, air quality, etc.

It sounds good on the surface, but it hasn't been thought through very well. We should be focusing instead on how to enhance the Sheridan as a priority transit right-of-way for express buses that could benefit people throughout much of the Bronx, especially in those areas that are now so poorly served by transit. Moreover, these benefits could be achieved without disrupting working class jobs and dumping unnecessary traffic congestion onto local neighborhood streets!

Lennin Reyes said...

I have to agree with Jay's comments about the Sheridan Expressway. If this highway is removed, it would not only place most of the traffic onto local streets, but it would add more travel times to those commuters from areas such as Morris Park and West Farms that use the highway to get to Manhattan and Queens.

I also agree on the point that the Sheridan should be used to promote transitways.

On another note, I would bring back the proposal to connect the Sheridan (and the Cross Bronx) directly to the Bronx River Parkway. Currently, many commuters from the Sheridan must use East 177th St and go around using Rosedale Av, causing tons of unnecessary traffic.

Jay said...

Jay I could not disagree with you more. As a longtime resident of the Bronx AND the surrounding community that the Sheridan plows through, I can say wholeheartedly that the removal of the Sheridan would make the entire Bronx, and this particular area MUCH better, not worse.

A-The highway is not used/underused. Yes the reality is that this highway, or rather long exit ramp, is hardly used considering its proximity to both the Cross Bronx and Bruckner Expressways. How do I know? I live here..do you?

B-The relocation of "viable" M-class uses is negligble at best and they already abut residential areas. For the past 20 years the city has transitioned it from industrial to residential. Go 1 block off the Sheridan (up the hill) and you will see all brand new suburban style homes. Go 2 blocks up and you'll see the brand new mall with an IHOP/Pathmark etc to serve the growing residential community. How do I know? I live here..do you?

Furthermore, the idea that the area is not suitable for housing is pure nonsense, and is the usual scare-tactic/ignorant claims of "its probably too contaminated." If those were reasons not to develop then basically non of the city would be developed...much of the city is contaminagted(whether you realize that or not).

3-The city is already repositioning the area as a GREEN community. The Sheridan borders the Bronx River, and all along the banks on this stretch the city is building parks, including the recently completed Concrete Plank Park, and the upcoming Starlight Park. The transformation is already happening. How do I know? I live here..do you?

4-The transit lines are already in place and more are coming. Asserting that "the transit lines are already overcapacity" is more nonsense and scare-tactics. The transit lines already serving the area within an 8 block walk are the 6 train at Whitlock station (local), the 6 train at Hunts Point (express), and the 2 and 5 trains at Simpson Street (not counting the extensive network of buses). Furthermore, as part of the plan, a Metro North stop will be added to Hunts Point as well as Ferry Service from Hunts Point. How do I know this? I live here..do you?

Jay said...

5-The Sheridan has ZERO effect on the traffic network, which is why despite the monumental traffic jams on the Cross Bronx, the Sheridan is STILL not used. Remove the Sheridan and nobody cares, except for the residents that actually live here of course. How do I know this? I live here..do you?

The area is already being repositioned as a residential use, with housing, parks and greenways ALREADY THERE and growing. The final piece of the puzzle, however, is the Sheridan. Making it a greenway, with housing and retail creates jobs, a local economy, decreases traffic/pollution (you heard about astham in the area right?), reinforces a healthy lifestyle, and provides a significant source of GOOD housing for the working and middle class in an area that needs more of them. How do I know this? I live here..do you?

Attempting to instill fear and spread ignorance by saying "it's too expensive", "the area is probably contaminated", "it's not a good place for housing" is offensive and disgusting. The reality is it is one of the FEW places where we can have significant affordable housing for the working/middle class with the public transportation to move them cheaply and quickly.

But hey, I suspect it would make your life easier as a resident outside of the community to say "Screw them, we should use it for us and get our express buses through there to make MY commute shorter." If you want to address the lack of transit for those who CHOOSE to live in areas with little to no transportation, you should do so and work towards getting PUBLIC TRANSIT to your area. The Sheridan is NOT needed, never has been, and the better use is to redevelop the entire area for a green, middle class future.

Jay Shuffield said...

Dear Jay, I respectfully disagree. I am glad to discuss this, but would like to ask that you refrain from negative speculation about people you don't know.

I am a Bronx resident and a transportation professional. I have spent plenty of my own, personal time over the past several years looking in detail at the areas around the Sheridan. I do this because I care about improving the quality of life in our borough.

How can I can say the Sheridan serves as a grade separated queuing reservoir, sheltering surrounding neighborhoods from congestion? Because I live here and have carefully observed traffic operations at different times, under various weather and lighting conditions. It is inaccurate to say the Sheridan is "underused."

It is completely true it does not look or operate like the Cross Bronx or the Bruckner, but that's not exactly a standard of quality transportation. It serves largely to store queues and distribute traffic to the local network in a way that reduces congestion and reduces air quality impacts.

How can I say the land proposed for redevelopment is likely contaminated? Because I am familiar with the land uses along this strip, and I watched the expensive remediation for Starlight Park. It is reasonable to assume adjacent properties were similarly contaminated, and even if there were only a single source of contamination located at the site they just remediated, plumes could have migrated.

Let me ask, where would auto repair shops, towing yards, and U-Haul rentals be relocated that would be less proximate to apartments and homes than their current location? At least now these necessary, yet bad neighbors are grade separated (down the hill), are less proximate to residents (a block or more away in many cases), and not all concentrated.

So please, let me be clear: I am not saying "screw them." Rather, I am concerned that a well-intentioned, yet poorly planned removal of the Sheridan would "screw" people on Jerome or Webster Ave., or around Hunts Point, who would have to live with an even greater concentration of noxious uses.

How can I say transit lines are over capacity? Because I have been a regular commuter on the 5 and 2. In fact, part of the reason we eventually moved closer to the D was to escape the 5! It should be obvious to any casual observer that these lines can't absorb large-scale new development.

Ferry service from Hunts Point won't help. It has a small catchment area and the financials won't work out without massive subsidy. Plus, it wouldn't divert enough passengers.

MNR is more viable, and needs as much support as it can get. However, the ridership shifts from the 2,5 or 6 to MNR are likely to be very, very small. The Hunts Point station would be too distant to provide service for residents at the Sheridan.

How can I say it would be more beneficial to route express buses via a new priority bypass? Because just a few expedited buses could eliminate a whole lot of the autos currently driving through our borough, polluting our air every day.

Wouldn't it be more efficient and equitable for all our residents to develop a highly-effective and low-cost transit system that could serve vast areas like Baychester, where many more units of affordable housing could be created for less cost much more flexibly, rather than spending a lot of money to develop units in a place where they will deteriorate the commute for everybody already crammed onto the Lexington?

I am not promoting any type of fear. I am asking for a reasoned discussion about the whole range of alternatives. In my assessment, removing the Sheridan would be expensive, counter-productive in many ways, and would foreclose better alternatives for the progressive improvement of The Bronx. Please understand that my reluctance to subscribe to emotionally-driven, feel-good campaigns does not mean I do not care about The Bronx.

Jay Shuffield said...

Let me highlight that, as usual, the proponents of this scheme are trying to have it both ways:

FIRST, they assert "The Sheridan has ZERO effect on the traffic network".

THEN they claim their proposal "decreases traffic/pollution (you heard about astham in the area right?)".

These statements are mutually exclusive. If there's no traffic, there's no air pollution emitted.

Next, we might note that adding housing here cannot reduce traffic. Even if you assume very, very, unrealistically low mode shares for autos, there will still be more traffic generated in this area.

Since there is nothing in their proposal to actively reduce traffic, and their expected diversion is to the Bruckner which is still in the immediate area, there can be no traffic reduction, only more traffic with worse air quality (due to both increased traffic volumes and slower travel speeds).

We all want to see a reduction in childhood asthma. Unfortunately, making bad decisions that actually worsen air quality would only make the situation worse, no matter how much your heart is in the right place.

Jay said...

Jay those that are the most outspoken about decommissioning the Sheridan are those that don't live in the area, and simply commute or work there in some way. You are using their same nonsensical/scare tactic arguments, which is why I know you don't live in the area and are more interested in your own motives than what is actually best overall. Where exactly do you live Jay?

Here are my comments to your assertions:

-As a transportation professional, you should be very much aware that it is the public transportation network that has helped NYC grow, improve, and succeed, NOT its highways. The reality is highways cause more congestion in our community, not decreases it, and adding more lines to a congested highway, for example, only serves to add more congestion and pollution, not less. Adding more public transit lines, or using curretnly existing transit lines more efficiently/effectively, however, does serve to decrease traffic and pollution.

-I understand that the Sheridan is currently utilized as a storage que and distribution point (minimally), however, it is theoretically an expressway/highway, and as an expressway/highway it is poorly used and wasted space. The reality is it is just a long exit/entry ramp that has a negligble/minimal effect on easing traffic on the Cross Bronx/Bruckner/Major Deegan. How do we know this? When any or all three of these major highways are backed up, the Sheridan never is. Why? Because it is not used...even under peak/high traffic conditions on the major roadways. And thus, it is quite false that the Sheridan provides a release valve for the major highways, or that it reduces congestion/improves air quality. In order to make that assessment, we must look at the totality of the Sheridan in its current form, and what it can be as a greenway, which, when combined with improved/new public transit, will actually relieve congestion and improve air quality.

-I shall repeat that the idea that we should not build becuase they area "is likely contaminated" is more hogwash and scare tactics. The area is ALREADY residential, with the only M-class/industrial uses solely lining the sheridan expressways. Go up one block and you will note all new suburban housing and bike lanes. In fact there is a new Howard Johnson hotel along the Sheridan! The idea that NYC would balk at remediating a site due to contamination is absurd..they do it all the time and are doing it all along the Sheridan already. Please refrain from such statements.

Jay said...

-As for the currently operating industrial/m-class businesses along the Sheridan, the idea that there is nowhere to move them, or that they somehow need the Sheridan/current location for survival is purposeful misinformation on your part. These business are low traffic (junk yards, storage facility, window maker, granite/tile, etc) and can function more effectively and efficiently in fact in the Hunts Point area, where the bulk of these businesses are already clustered. They currently border residential communities (new and old), whereas a new Hunts point location would serve their industrial needs and not impact any residential uses. The area has already been transitioning to residential for over 20 years, so this is nothing new or unique.


-I use the 2/5/6 transit lines daily, and to say that they are overcapacity is an outright lie. If you want to discuss these lines at overcapacity, I would agree that SOUTH of 96th street, the 5/6 lines are at or above capacity during peak times. North of 96th street, and all through the Bronx, these lines are nowhere near capacity. In fact, the reason why Bloomberg is pushing for housing around 149th street and grand Concourse, for example, is because of the all transit lines available there..2/5/4. The Sheridan currently has immediate access to the 2/5 line at Simpson, the 6 local at Whitlock, and the 6 Express at Hunts Point station. 3 train lines in an 8 block radius. Does this mean I believe we can simply increase housing by 1,500 units and leave the public transportation as-is? Nope..nobody is asserting that except you. The new middle class housing will come with improved transportation lines, a new Metro North Stop, new bus routes, and a ferry. And that will serve the new and old population quite well.

-Expresses buses are a great idea. But exactly how does using the Sheridan for MORE traffic, i.e. buses, make our community less polluted and less congested? In order to make that assertion we must assume:
a-People are clamoring for more express buses to Manhattan in lieu of driving.
b-The monumental traffic on these roads is in some substantial part due to efficient/fast/express bus service.
We know that NONE of these assumptions are correct. We currently have a broad express bus program (as well as local buses that take you to trains) in train-deficient areas, and they are not overfilled/at capacity. Furthermore, the monumental traffic on the major roadways is due to commuters who, at basically all costs, refuse to use public transportation, as well as the substantial movement of goods/people nationally and locally. Express buses is a novel idea, but the better use is to funnel more people to the trains or add train lines, than to push for MORE buses, pollution and ultimately congestion on the roads.

Jay said...

- I cannot for the life of me fathom why the city, or someone who claims to be a "transportatin expert", would push to create more housing in areas FURTHER AWAY from the city core and with LESS transportation options like Baychester, for example. The Sheridan Expressway area, which can provide 1,500 units of middle income housing, increase green space for an underserved community, add trees and decrease congestion for an area with high pollution/ashtma rates, with a short commute to the working districts in Manhattan via 2/5/6 train lines, a new Metro-North stop and ferry service (which would be included in the plan) as well as an extensive bus network, is somehow a WORSE choice than creating housing in the extreme North Bronx, which is a LONG commute to Manhattan's working districts, has ONLY 1 train line and express bus service????????

And somehow adding lots of population and lots of express buses will DECREASE congestion, and NOT have a detrimental impact on all of the roads heading SOUTH on 95/Cross-Bronx, and then all loading up on the Sheridan, increasing pollution in our community? I mean really? Mind boggling indeed.


-Your last comment about:

"FIRST, they assert "The Sheridan has ZERO effect on the traffic network.
THEN they claim their proposal decreases traffic/pollution (you heard about astham in the area right?).
These statements are mutually exclusive. If there's no traffic, there's no air pollution emitted."

These are not mutually exclusive statements at all, and if you simply use critical thinking you will know why. The Sheridan is not a high volume road, and is underutilized...we know this already. The reason why removing the Sheridan would decrease congestion and pollution is that
A: You are REPLACING IT with a greenway, with parks and trees, which clean the air and reduce pollution
B: It will decrease traffic because the sheridan will no longer be a staging area/pointless interchange for more trucks/buses/cars. The main thoroughfares should be,and are, the proper routes for traffic..the Sheridan never has been.

It all comes down to a simple, basic disagreement:

-You believe that INCREASING development further away, ADDING express buses, and flooding the Sheridan would somehow decrease traffic, congestion, and pollution. As a self-described "transportation expert"
I am appauled that you could possibly believe this would improve anything, it would only serve to make matters far worse for everyone.

-I believe higher density around existing train lines, in areas that are in need of development and within a short distance to the Manhattan working districts is the BEST choice. Furthemore, de-emphasizing highways and expanding train lines is the ONLY solution to our congestion, pollution problems throughout the borough, and city for that matter.

If you want to increase public transportation options in your community, then work towards bringing expanded train lines and MTA stations. Do not hijack the Sheridan for your own convenience because you choose to live somewhere that lacks the necessary public transportation options. Better yet, why not move closer to the city/train line, and you won't have to worry about using the Sheridan at all. It is clear your vested interest is in making YOUR commute easier..which is the fundamental problem in this city. Too many people who don't want to use public transport, or choose to live in areas that are underserved.

cuz said...

Well, I know Jay S. and I don't know the Sheridan, but I'd like to add a couple of thoughts.

First, I can vouch that Jay S.'s interest is not in any way, shape, or form one of self-interest and the traffic has absolute no impact on his commute. As he stated, he recently DID move closer to a train line (though he was commuting by train before as well), which he takes to work. So, Jay, if you want to have a rational debate over the issues, you have to drop the ad hominem attacks.

Second, I think Jay's mutually exclusive quotes were poorly chosen, but also poorly countered. His intention, I believe, was to point out that proponents argue on one hand that the Sheridan is underused and can therefore be removed and on the other hand that its overuse is generating asthma and other problems. The reality is probably some more subtle and difficult to defend or advocate position in between these two.

Third, Jay seems to misunderstand or to overlook the fact that (generally) buses replace autos and that Jay S. is claiming that increasing bus use will decrease the total amount of auto traffic altogether.

Fourth, recent transportation studies suggest that buses are a much more affordable approach than subways and ferries, which are inevitably heavily subsidized. Thus, creating these services would put additional upward pressure on subway fares. Of course, this doesn't address the equity question of why the Upper East Side gets a new line while the Bronx has to depend on buses...

And fifth, a question. CAn all of the current M uses be shifted into Hunt's Point? If not, where should they go? Which community should host them? I'm very open to the idea that the neighborhood may be moving toward residential uses, but who should bear the costs of remediation (which are pretty much guaranteed to be high if the final use is residential rather than industrial or commercial)?

cuz

Jay Shuffield said...

Dear Jay,

It is easy to assume the worst about others, and to take arguments about issues that are important to the community personally.

One might accuse you of being a self-interested resident who just wants to take the traffic and industrial uses and dump them in someone else's neighborhood. It would be easy enough to argue that you just wanted to trash somebody else's community because you aren't satisfied with the bike lanes, new residential development, and two great new parks you're already getting. But I don't think that would be fair. So let's please not make negative assumptions about each other!

There are some points where we agree, so let me try starting over there.

Jay Shuffield said...

I agree with you that there is a nice residential area near the Sheridan, as you noted, which has attracted new residents. Let me just clarify that this area has already demonstrated that it is a good place to live without eliminating the existing M uses at the bottom of the hill. As I tried to explain before, the separation due to the topography makes this an appropriate place for these existing uses to remain - because they don't bother their neighbors up the hill too much.

At any rate, these residents moved into their new homes knowing those uses were there. Meanwhile, residents in Hunts Point have been complaining for years that there are too many concentrated industrial uses in their neighborhood. I can't really see how it is fair to go tell them they should have to take more of these uses without a strong indication that they are causing a problem in their current location.

I agree with you that contaminated property can be remediated. Hopefully you can agree that it is costly to do it. My contention is that the funding could be used elsewhere to create more affordable housing that would have more benefit for the working people of The Bronx (especially if we put in place the bus-based transit infrastructure to enable and support the growth.)

Jay Shuffield said...

I agree with you about the underlying principle of expanding transit, and adding density around transit. Where I disagree is with your assessment about the state of the current system, and the best ways to expand it.

The current system is over capacity in any meaningful measure of the word. You cannot simply say part of the line isn't too crowded, so it's ok for that part of the line. It functions as a whole. If the line breaks down in Midtown, service in The Bronx breaks down too.

Capacity is measured at the peak load point. That might be south of 96th, but since many of the residents would commute to work south of 96th, they would contribute to further deteriorating conditions. (Let me also suggest that you spend several days watching transfers between the 2 & 5 at 149th before insisting too strongly there is no problem with capacity until you get to 96th Street.)

It was a mistake for me to refer to a dedicated transitway for buses as "express buses" and assume people would know what I meant. It probably just sounds like I'm talking about the current morning/evening over-the-road buses the MTA currently operates. So let me explain this more fully.

The existing "express" buses are not as popular as they could be because they do not compete well on time. Even though they are more comfortable than the subway, they often take as long as the subway, with a substantially higher fare. They also have a reliability problem, since they get stuck in traffic.

It seems grossly unfair to suggest that everyone who lives in the northern Bronx chose not to live near transit. There are many hardworking people who simply could not afford to live some place with better transit service. They deserve improvements that benefit them too.

If the buses were faster and more reliable, there is every reason to believe ridership would increase. (Ridership increases would, of course, entail a combination of factors: people leaving their cars, reducing overall traffic; people shifting from the subway, making that commute a little more humane; and some people deciding to take trips that previously were too much of a hassle.)

This is where dedicated transitways come into play: they help the bus save time and make it more reliable by bypassing general traffic and getting priority merging at key locations. I should also clarify that the Sheridan would be a critical component, but would be part of a larger overall system.

Note that transitways are effective at channeling future growth into transit, since right-of-way is reserved to accommodate transit growth rather than increased auto usage. Moreover, when buses get priority, it adds a slight penalty to drivers. As the volume of buses increases, this impact to drivers becomes larger, making transit increasingly attractive.

Add to this modern bus rapid transit (BRT) treatments, so buses can utilize signal preemption to get through intersections more quickly, and do not take so long to board, and the buses can become much faster and more effective. (The BX12 Select is a very modest version of this, and it has achieved a 7% ridership gain already. That might not sound like much, until you consider it was already a very mature transit route to start with!)

They are very cost-effective and can be quickly implemented. Subways and heavy rail, on the other hand, take many years to build and future development will be largely constrained by the lack of capital funds.

At the same time, implementing flexible bus-based service to grow ridership can be a very effective way to support new land-use patterns and build demand for future rail lines. It is not really a one-or-the other question, but rather a method of phased development.

Jay Shuffield said...

Also note that the Sheridan could have the speed limit for general traffic reduced so the geometry could be narrowed and more landscaping added. This could make a very good addition to a transitway implementation, improving the edge of the park and decreasing the runoff problems.

Demapping the Sheridan, though, removes an opportunity to expand the transit system. Worse, it takes away a partially functioning bypass a fair number of the current clunker express buses are using right now to transport hundreds of transit riders daily.

Removing the entire Sheridan requires the assumption that other projects (Metro North, passenger ferries, etc.) that are not funded (and in the case of the ferry rather unlikely) will come to fruition in a timely manner, and that they would have a greater impact than is likely.

Consider the type of affordable housing development in the different concepts. Providing a more effective transit system would allow for incremental growth fueled by the local property owners and construction firms in The Bronx. Demapping the Sheridan creates a few huge sites for huge developers to cash in. Which do you think really supports local economic development better?

This is getting too long, so I won't try to explain how the Sheridan serves to relieve traffic congestion. I think you could probably figure it out for yourself if you really watched it enough and tried to think about it objectively anyway.

Removing the Sheridan sounds good. It appeals to basic ideas (highways are bad, parks are good), and it makes for attractive graphics. Unfortunately, it relies on some bad assumptions (the transit system can accommodate infinite growth, M uses will take care of themselves without causing problems elsewhere, the neighborhoods will be reconnected - even though the railroad is still there...). It just cannot work out as well as its proponents suggest. Meanwhile, there are better ways to improve The Bronx.

Jay said...

Jay:

I have to take your comments personally because I live here and it effects me, my health, and all of our lives every day....my family has lived here since 1956. By the way, I have asked you several times where you live..why don't you answer?

I am working towards making MY COMMUNITY BETTER, and that includes working with our representatives and community to move us forward, which as it stands currently includes:

-Addressing high asthma rates by decreasing pollution
-Increasing parkland because we are greatly underserved
-Increasing tree plantings to combat pollutants naturally and beautify the area
-Increase public transportation. especially rail and transport to alleviate congestion and to better serve a growing population
-Increase affordable working/middle class housing in areas that can handle (has trainlines/close to city center etc) higher density planning, and where it is economically feasible, like in and around the Sheridan/Lower Grand Concourse/Melrose communities.

If you want to assert that my actions are somehow selfish, it only serves to show you grasping at straws to prove a point. Furthemore, moving M-class uses out of an area that is predominantly residential and into and area that is predominantly m-class/industrial is hardly "ruining" anything, it is a a good, evolving city plan that is making room for everyone. If only more people cared enough to move their communities forward we could be addressing very unimportant issues by now.

Jay said...

-How can you claim that the area is a "good place to live"? Because there are new homes there? Is that the barometer? Furthermore, how can you assert that these industrial uses do not bother the residents? Because they are 1 block up? Have you consulted with the community whether it bothers them? Whether they are happy with them there? Whether they prefer more residential uses or more industrial? If you haven't, and clearly you haven't, feel free to ask ME. I live here!

-As for Hunts Point, the community is in fact complaining about the rampant TRUCKS and subsequent noise/pollution, NOT the industrial uses themselves. How are they planning to alleviate the problem? By promoting RAIL service instead of trucks...i..e getting cars/trucks OFF the road, not adding more. These particular m-class users do not generate truck traffic, furthermore they do not necessarily have to leave, but they should not PREVENT the redevelopment of the area either. One strip of small industrial users will not, at the end of the day, won't prevent the continued redevelopment of the area.

-The reason why working/middle class housing is being developed so heavily in places like the South Bronx (areas like the Sheridan) is because there are substantial swaths along train lines, it is close to the city core, the community is in need of a working/middle class population, and the land is very cheap/heavily incentivized by the city. Sure their is remediation in some locations (across the city, including the North Bronx), but the bigger cost vs benefit analysis makes the choice easy. It simply makes more sense to build here vs far flung areas with limited/no rail lines.

-As a daily ride of the 2/5/6 lines, I understand that rail lines are at capacity south of 96th at peak times. However, the solution is NOT to move people farther from the city and away from train lines, and then flood the highways/roads with buses. this does not address the overcapacity of the train lines and simply adds more congestion/pollution. The answer is to ADD more train lines and improve efficiency, which is why the 2nd avenue train is being added. I am for improving buses and the bus system, I am not for building more co-op city type developments that are from from the city, have lots of buses, but ultimely lots of cars too, which only increases traffic and congestion.

Jay said...

- I do agree with making buses more efficient, effective and providing bus lanes. For example, I am in fact in favor of making the majority of Manhattan a "fussgangerzone" (pedestrain area), and designate just a few major arteries within Manhattan as car/bus lanes. This would serve to eliminate the nonstop gridlock in Manhattan, clean the air, improve quality of life for everyone,and force dedicated bus lanes to appear throughout all 5 boroughs to get people out of their cars, decreasing traffic and congestion substantially across the board. Will this happen? Who knows...I am a proponent for congestion pricing so maybe it will come to fruition this time.

However, I am all for dedicated bus lanes throughout the 5 boroughs, the more the better. The more efficient and fast and widespread bus service is, the less cars will be on the road, and the faster we can move people ultimately, cleanly and efficiently. It can be implemented quickly and with immediate results. This does NOT depend on the Sheridan in any way, it depends on dedicated lanes everywhere, including highways. The Sheridan plays no role in the make or break of this plan, and in fact its best use is to become part of a new green working/middle class enclave with new/improved rail service, not to inundate the area with traffic.

Removing the Sheridan and REPLACING IT with an affordable, green enclave, with new/improved rail lines (possible bringing the new 2nd avenue lines str8 up) is the highest and best use for the community and the city. Leaving the community as-is just isn't going to happen, and ADDING more traffic/congestion is not the solution either.

The reality is the city is pushing for middle class housing, increasing parks, increasing mass transit, concentrating development along rail lines, and throughout the Southern Bronx because its cost efficient and meets all of these goals. Pushing development in areas that are FAR from rail lines and adding lots of buses as the "solution" simply adds lots of buses AND cars to that community and the roadways, and does nothing to fix train crowding. The ONLY solution is higher density along transit routes close to the city core, while in turn improving/adding rail service and the amenities to support the population.

Jay Shuffield said...

Just to set the record straight:
http://www.urbanresidue.com/Sheridan/