Local Traffic Monitoring Device is Part of City-Wide Expansion
A work crew installs a new traffic monitoring device at the corner of West and West Thames Streets.
Lower Manhattan residents may soon be slightly safer, if lighter in the pocket, thanks to a new traffic monitoring device that has been installed at the corner of West Street and West Thames Street. The camera and radar unit, mounted on a silver pole, combines red light monitoring with speed enforcement for vehicles proceeding south along Route 9A (West Street).
Construction workers installed the equipment on Monday and Tuesday, and, to judge from the lights that now flash whenever a car speeds through a yellow signal at the intersection, it appears to have become active as of Tuesday evening.
This is part of a program that began last summer and aims to install 2,000 new traffic cameras at intersections throughout the five boroughs, with the only legal restriction being that they each be placed within one-quarter of a mile of a school. (In this case, P.S./I.S. 276 is three blocks from the intersection of West and West Thames Streets.) The program also drastically expands the days and hours during which the devices are permitted to operate, which was once restricted to school sessions. They now can monitor drivers from 6am through 10pm on weekdays, throughout the year. The City is installing more than 40 of these devices each month, and will continue at this pace through December 2021.
The fine for driving through a red light or exceeding the posted speed limit by more than ten miles per hour is $50. The automated system to which the traffic camera is connected creates a “notice of liability” and mails it to the owner of the vehicle that is photographed.
Within a month of the expansion’s rollout last summer, the system was generating more than nine violations throughout the City for each minute that it was in operation, or more than half a million summonses per month. Assuming all (or nearly all) of these fines are collected, this totals to more than $600,000 in revenue each weekday.
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Open Space Advocate Wants City Hall Park Returned to Community
A local advocate for Lower Manhattan open spaces is sounding the alarm about City Hall Park, which has recently been closed and cordoned off by police, while the park’s paved plaza (near Chambers and Centre Streets) has been taken over by Occupy City Hall protestors.
Lower Manhattan resident Skip Blumberg, the founder and president of Friends of City Hall Park (FCHP), says, “our park is closed, commandeered by the NYPD inside the fences and by the occupying protestors on the Northeast Plaza. The park has suffered littering and destruction by irresponsible individuals within those groups, with trash thrown over the fence by both.”
Additional information about specific State Liquor Authority license applications is available by request to the Community Board 1 Office
Agendas to be determined.
Landmarks & Preservation Committee
1) 107 South Street, application for updated design of vertical extension and rehabilitation of property – Resolution
2) 56 North Moore Street, application to install new aluminum and glass ground floor storefronts and construction of a rooftop addition – Resolution
3) 317 Broadway, application for partial demolition and construction of new building along with restoration of primary facade and installation of new signage – Resolution
Been There, Done That
Theseus Aweighs Anchor on Troubled Waters
WPA Photo Library of Congress
We’re only halfway through 2020, but already, many of us have the sense that we will someday regale the as-yet-unborn grandkids with tales of mythic adversity amid transformational times.
Most of us are grimly confident that our nation’s current afflictions are without precedent. And most of us are dead wrong. A pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 Americans, and may yet fell as many more? Been there. Times of bitter, seemingly irreconcilable division? Done that. Leadership that seems incapable of leading, and instead plays Americans off against one another? We have overcome that, too. All of these things we have faced down, in worse forms than confront us now, and more than once.
Appeals Court Considers Whether to Let Stand Decision About Two Bridges
A recent hearing before the Appellate Division court of New York’s First Judicial Department indicates that the controversial plan to erect four massive new towers in the Two Bridges neighborhood on Lower Manhattan’s East River waterfront may yet come to fruition.
Rent stabilization at Gateway Plaza expired June 30. Despite more than two years of behind-the-scenes negotiations between the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) and the LeFrak Organization (which operates the complex), no agreement has been announced that will extend affordability protections at Battery Park City’s largest residential complex.
Negotiations are ongoing, and may yield such an agreement soon. In a recent statement, the BPCA said that, “the Authority and the owners of the Gateway residential complex remain committed to the extension of a limitation on rent increases for the pre-June 30th, 2009 tenants who reside in the complex. The proposed agreements may not be signed until after the current June 30th, 2020 expiration, but please be assured that the shared understanding is that they be retroactive back to that date and both parties are working diligently.”
City Plans Black Lives Matter Street Mural for Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan will soon have new piece of street art: the Administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has commissioned a Black Lives Matter mural for Centre Street, between Worth and Reade Streets. The painting will consist of large letters emblazoned on the roadbed, and is among five such installations, with one planned for each borough.
This project was inspired by the impromptu creation of a similar mural on Fulton Street, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn a week ago. When word spread of this project, Mr. Blasio showed up at the site and helped paint it. A few days later, he announced that this section of Fulton Street was to be closed to vehicular traffic for the remainder of the summer.
Pandemic and Economic Downturn Impact Local Leasing
A new report from brokerage Douglas Elliman and appraiser Miller Samuel indicates that rents are trending downward in Lower Manhattan, while the inventory of vacant apartments is ballooning. These tidal shifts appear to be attributable to the health crisis associated with the pandemic coronavirus, and the economic slowdown it has triggered. The monthly Elliman Report for May documents that new lease signings have fallen at an unprecedented rate, while vacancies have surged to a new record.
For all of Lower Manhattan, the report finds that the median rent is now $3,895, which represents a 7.3 percent drop from one month earlier when the median rent was $4,200, but a slight increase of one-half of one percent from last May, when the median figure was $3,875.
In July 1971, Bernadette Mayer embarked on a month long experiment: every day she exposed a roll of 35mm film and kept a journal. The result was a groundbreaking, conceptual work, comprising more than 1100 photographs and 200 pages of text. In July 2020, Poets House and Siglio Press embark on a month long daily experiment: every day a passage from the corresponding day in 1971 will be read by poets, writers, critics, and artists, as a parallel work that celebrates the publication of Bernadette Mayer’s MEMORY (Siglio, 2020). Today, poet Peter Gizzi reads. 3pm
Bohan Phoenix is a Hubei-born, Brooklyn-raised bilingual rapper. His music reflects his multi-hyphenate identity and bridges the two cultures he calls home. Bohan has been heralded as one of Asia’s most exciting emerging artists, with collaborations ranging from China’s #1 female rapper, Vava, to UK radio presenter Benji B and Chengdu supergroup Higher Brothers. Noon.
Bowne & Co., Stationers opened their doors at the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975, 200 years after Robert Bowne founded his shop across the street on Queen Lane. Today Bowne & Co. continues the tradition of 19th-century letterpress printing. This virtual program with art director Rob Wilson, co-hosted with Stefan Dreisbach-Williams from the home of Robert Bowne’s ancestors, the 1661 Bowne House in Flushing, Queens, investigates the changing role that stationery and printing offices played in New York City, and the ways in which Bowne & Co. uses its collection of 34 printing presses, and more than 2400 cases of movable type in contemporary ways today. 12:30.
Join Rocco DiSpirito as he chats with author/owner/chef Einat Admony of Taïm. Chef Einat will show participants how to make a delicious eggplant sabich Salad and cauliflower shwarma. Registration is required and limited. All participants will receive a digital copy of the recipes prior to the event. This event is free and we encourage you to support the staff of Taïm’s sister restaurant Balaboosta by making a donation directly to their team through the Balaboosta Employee Support Fund. And if your inner chef is calling you, whip up your best version of a featured recipe and post a picture of your plate to Instagram with #DineAroundAtHome and @downtownnyc to enter to WIN a 30-minute private virtual cooking class with the guest chef! Be sure to tag @taimfalafel and @Chefeinat too. 4pm.
Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.
Tribeca Community On Display
All of Us Thank All of You
Fine artist and long time Downtown resident Adele H. Rahte has spent the stay-at-home period designing and creating these fabric collages representing the people in our community as a special form of thank you to the essential workers of our community and city for keeping us safe.
On display during the month of July at the Tribeca Community Window Gallery located at 160 West Broadway.
1099 – First Crusade: 15,000 starving Christian soldiers march in religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders look on.
1497 – Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama departs on his first voyage, which leads him to become first European to reach India by sea.
1693 – The City of New York authorizes the first police uniforms in American colonies
1835 – The Liberty Bell cracks for the second time, while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.
1836 – HMS Beagle carrying Charles Darwin reaches Saint Helena. Darwin’s almost five year voyage on the Beagle established his position as a respected naturalist and geologist. He stayed on the volcanic island of Saint Helena for six days as his last stop before returning to Great Britain.
1889 – The Wall Street Journal is first published by the Dow Jones & Company. The company originally hand-delivered bulletins to traders at the stock exchange, which they later printed in a daily summary. Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser converted the summary into The Wall Street Journal.
1932 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 41.22, the lowest it has ever been.
1947 – Demolition begins for the United Nations Head Quarters in Turtle Bay along the East River.
1988 – Stevie Wonder announces he will run for mayor of Detroit in 1992. He never followed through with his campaign.
1990 – At 12:34:56 on 7/8/90, the time and date read: 1234567890
1839 – John D. Rockefeller, capitalist and founder of Standard Oil
1908 – Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of New York and forty-first Vice President
810 – Pepin, son of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and of Italy and the first emperor since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, dies
1898 – Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith, American con most famous for his prize package soap sell racket artist dies at 37
Swaps & Trades
Lost and Found
Stuyvesant HS graduate
available for SHSAT tutoring. $40/hr. Zoom or in-person