Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

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The market is an incredible places to gather with your friends or family for brunch. Bring the basics and supplement with the wide variety of breads, fresh produce, jams, and other market products. On a nice morning or afternoon, the market is an amazing place to host an official or informal gathering for your organization, church group, or club. The market is also an ideal location for teach-ins, demonstrations, displaying art AND making art, showing short films, interpretive or musical performance, and beyond. Please contact Alexandria, the market organizer and director at a.lopezevans [AT] for more information and to reserve a table (tables come with awesome umbrellas).

Flea Market:

Beginning on July 28, the market will host an outdoor flea market in tandem with the Earl of Auction‘s Sunday flea market at 61 Maple Avenue. You may submit an application to sell goods at the flea market via Alexandria, the market director: a.lopezevans [AT]

Filmed and edited by Catherine LoBuono of Sojourner Productions, Inc. Catherine is a resident of the Village of Haverstraw and a proud supporter of Haverstraw’s Harvest Farmers Market.

Thanks to Magda Truchan for being unique and so creative!

As part of the Keep Rockland Beautiful-sponsored Great American Cleanup 2013, we will meet for a few hours in the Village (Downtown and the Greenway) to do some spring cleaning. Bring plants to plant, gloves, and a trash picking attitude.

When? April 14, 2013 at 10:00AM | Where? The Four-faced Clock @ New Main Street & Maple Avenue

Check out the pics from 2012 and 2013 below (thanks to Alex Guarino and Tom McGuire for taking them – that’s why they’re not in the pictures!):

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Monster Bridge + Ghost Train

Posted: April 4, 2013 by in Ferry Service, Opinions & Politics, Sustainability
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Governor Cuomo released renderings of his proposed mega bridge. The bridge will be twice as wide as the existing Tappan Zee Bridge, even though traffic over the span has been declining since 2004 (a nationwide phenomenon). Oddly enough, it is to be the widest highway bridge in the world. The video rendering, below, appears to include a “ghost train” at around 1:33, which is an insult to Rockland as the County continues to stagnate economically due to its lack of infrastructure and connections to major job markets. Cuomo eliminated planning for rail over the span roughly one year ago. Someone explain to me how this project isn’t a massive taxpayer gift to the highway lobby? Dear New York State, may we please enter the 21st Century? We’re already in its second decade! Slick back your hair, put on a poodle dress and feast your eyes on this 1950s-era Eisenhower masterpiece . . .


And . . . the State ought to be thinking about expanding existing transit that we have. Imagine what we could have done with $7 Billion?

In other news, the Chair Factory site just north of Emeline Park in the Village of Haverstraw is to become a major staging area for Tappan Zee Bridge construction activities. Iron workers will fabricate massive bridge sections at the site and then float these components by barge to the Tappan Zee. Some State officials expect the Village to be flooded with iron workers and others working on the bridge project. The staging area will effectively tie up future development on the Chair Factor site (originally intended to become Phase III of Ginsburg Development’s waterfront revitalization project) until at least 2019. The original Tappan Zee Bridge components were fabricated in dry dock at the former clay pit that now is home to a deep water harbor, Haverstraw Marina. Both bridges, new and old, was and will be born in Haverstraw.

Which town looks more like Brooklyn?

Which town looks more like Brooklyn? Top Row (Haverstraw) or Bottom Row (Irvington)? Photo creds: Ken Karlewics and Cat Alley

Hot off the presses, this New York Times article “Creating Hipsturbia in the Suburbs of New York” touches a whole slew of nerves and advances shallow ideas regarding demographic shifts in the Hudson Valley. The article confidently declares that Westchester Hudson River villages of Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown, Irvington and the like are becoming enclaves of that same Bohemian lifestyle that brought downtrodden Brooklyn back to life. No mention of Beacon, New York here. The article is the latest in a raft of publications and posts since 2010 that avow the too-cool aspects of the Hudson Valley. This edition is particularly sad because it fully ignores these towns’ history, while somehow comparing the “transformation” of these places to Brooklyn’s revival. The villages mentioned in the article are some of the whitest, wealthiest, and most educated zip codes in North America . . . and they were that way well before the word “hipster” existed. This is nothing like Brookyn’s transformation – in fact, it is astroturf.

“Welcome to hipsturbia,” indeed. (more…)

NRRC - Join Now! Spring 2013

NRRC – Join Now! Spring 2013

Jakriborg, Sweden, a medieval village of 500 families and a major tourism destination can fit within a relatively small area in the Village of Haverstraw. Such an exercise in scale really shows how zoning can have such a major impact on the built environment and the economy. How many Jakriborgs can your town fit? Better yet, how many Jakriborgs can a nearby Walmart parking lot fit? Now, think about the economic consequences of this. . . My inspiration for this graphic came from an article posted here at the Small Streets Blog.

If you haven’t yet done so, please sign the petition to boost the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry schedule. Currently, the ferry only runs for commuters in the morning and evening. The ferry should be expanded to include midday, late night, and weekends. When this happens, Haverstraw will become another major node in the extensive regional transportation network. Sign here:


Expand the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry into “off-peak” times. We call on Governor Cuomo to publicly commit to studying, once more, passenger transit service across the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge replacement. Without expanded transit, Rockland continues to feel the negative effects of jobs inaccessibility, car-oriented development, pollution, pressure on government services, high taxes, and stagnating growth. Please, read a recent report by the Brookings Institution ranking the NYC Metro area as the worst urban/suburban imbalance for transit access to jobs: Rockland transit access and development patterns pushes the metro area to achieve this poor ranking. Cities in the region have a labor access rate of 58%. Conversely, outer suburbs have a labor access rate of around 14%. This is a very large imbalance. (more…)

Google, NY Waterway, and the MTA MetroNorth Railroad have finally heeded my repeated requests to have the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry schedule added to Google Transit Directions! Enjoy using the transit app now; Haverstraw is finally and legitimately linked to the region.

In Cleveland, local residents installed bike lanes and street furniture along a particularly desolate street in order to enliven their city with a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere. In the past I’ve written about pop-up urbanism as a way to create sense of place in a downtown area and spark a new interest among residents in using the street as a place to meet, exercise, relax, and be human. Tactical urbanism is a new phase of downtown citizen activism, where residents take matters into their own hands and reclaim the streets for people. Would something similar work along Main, New Main, or Broadway in downtown Haverstraw? See the short film below to catch my drift:

I started writing a monthly column in the Rockland County Times called “Reconnecting Rockland.” In it I focus on planning, engineering, real estate development, and architecture issues that the County (where Haverstraw is located) is facing. Check out Part 1 and Part 2, aptly named “Back to Our Roots.” Recently, a follow-up to the first two articles was printed: “Get Out & Walk”

ImageThe North Rockland Cash Mob started with a flash. Local resident Ellen Donovan contacted me via Facebook to get a local cash mob initiative launched and generating buzz. Well, the mob is buzzing. Now over 700 members in size, and growing by the hundreds each day, the North Rockland Cash Mob is becoming, well, unruly. The mob will descend upon the Village of Haverstraw on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The mob will convene beneath the four-faced clock at the corner of Maple Avenue, New Main Street, and Main Street at 12:00 PM (high noon!) prompt! From there, the mobsters will strut their stuff to the business that was selected via crowd-sourcing. That business, which has yet to be finalized (vote now!), will get a needed boost in business from the flush-with-cash unruly mob. We’re excited! Join us on April 21st; we’re rowdy and ready to support the local economy!

Here are more reasons how cash mobbing helps the community and brings us together.

ImageThe waterfront promenade, currently stretching from Warren Avenue to the old chair factory peninsula and from the edge of the Tilcon rock quarry to the ferry landing, is about to grow. The Village will connect the two sections of the promenade and effectively double the walkway in length. By receiving a grant from the State of New York in 2008, the Village will spend roughly $1 Million on improvements to the existing sections and filling in the gap. When complete, the promenade will extend from the Harbors at Haverstraw, along the ferry landing, through Emeline Park, around the old chair factory, and through to Warren Avenue where it will eventually connect to the Bowline Point recreation area. Local news article here.

TZB Transit Alternative: Expand Ferry Service

Posted: February 15, 2012 by in Ferry Service, Sustainability, Waterfront

Governor Cuomo has worked with the federal government to “fast track” the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement environmental review. Planning will speed along and the project could be ready for groundbreaking by fall 2012. No funding sources have been secured. Rockland County and Westchester County residents were shocked to learn that the originally planned-for mass transit component of the project was dropped from the expedited environment review. Ten years of planning for cross-Hudson rail or bus rapid transit evaporated in a matter of days. Instead, the bridge will contain 8 full lanes of traffic, shoulders, emergency lanes and one pedestrian corridor comprising a bridge that is roughly 200 feet wide on two separate spans. . . There are a lot of angry New Yorkers these days. (more…)

Do Cars Belong Downtown? Haverstraw in 1940.

Jane Jacobs was one of the first writers to document the effects of cars on urban fabric. By “urban,” I mean “old-fashioned” or traditional towns and downtowns. Densely populated cities and villages throughout the United States were beginning to take steps to incorporate automobiles into the built environment. Planners and politicians began to see parking garages, wider streets, more lanes, and asphalt parking lots as essential infrastructure in all places. The more successful and desirable a city or village was, the more parking was required. Ultimately, though, this mindset led to the demolition of millions of acres of the nations’ most precious neighborhoods. Really? Yes, “cars erode cities” and our desire to be in downtowns.   (more…)

Wouldn’t it be great if a resident or a visitor to the Village of Haverstraw could walk, jog or bike to and from the artsy Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center, also known as GAGA? There exists a major opportunity to directly link Downtown Haverstraw with GAGA along the Minisceongo Creek. Currently, the Millenium natural gas pipeline runs in an open right of way adjacent to the Creek from GAGA’s “Creekside” sculpture park to the long-ignored sculpture park in front of the old ‘Hornick’ factory at the junction of Broadway and Samsondale Avenue in the Village. Let’s call the path “Downtown2GAGA.” The following image is a “walking shed” study of the proposed pedestrian path:


Also, visit this google map, so that you can explore the proposed path route: