Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

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…)