Two Wheels, Four Paws: A canine cyclist hitches a ride with his human companion.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, kept a promise made in his January State of the City address, by opening a dedicated bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge, separated from both the pedestrian deck above and vehicle traffic with which it shares the roadbed. “A lot of people worked a long time for this day, and everyone knows that the bike lanes that existed on the Brooklyn Bridge really weren’t working,” he said. “As it got more and more crowded, we had to do something different. Here it is.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said, “finally, cyclists and tourists—and cyclists who are tourists—are getting the protected biking lane they deserve. Diverting bikes to this path will make the bridge’s pedestrian paths even more popular and make everyone, whether on two legs or two wheels, feel safer.”
City Council member Margaret Chin added, “this is a bold step towards creating a more efficient transportation system, which is exactly what our City needs. Bicycling is a great emissions-free way to access Lower Manhattan and it’s also a lot of fun! Creating a bicycle lane on Brooklyn Bridge is an example of how we can better use our existing infrastructure and this change should be the first of many. Our City needs more dedicated bicycle lanes so that any New Yorker can ride a bicycle as safely as they can drive a car on our streets.”
Public officials, including City Council member Margaret Chin (center) and State Senator Brian Kavanagh (second from right) open the new Brooklyn Bridge bike line on Tuesday
State Senator Brian Kavanagh observed that, “New Yorkers have increasingly taken up bicycles as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to travel. Bikes have been a growing part of our response to climate change and a big part of what makes New York work for many people. There’s no better place to create a safe, efficient bikeway than the Brooklyn Bridge, historically one of the first great bridges that unified our city and still a critical connector, as well as an icon of New York around the world.”
He also commended the Mayor for finishing the project ahead of schedule (Mr. de Blasio originally promised to open it by year’s end), but in one sense, all of the public officials who attended the Tuesday ribbon-cutting ceremony were late to the party: The new bike lane was finished more than a week ago, but remained closed to await its “official” debut. During that time, hundreds of cyclists jumped the fence and made unauthorized trips across the bridge.
The debut of the eight-foot wide bike path on the Manhattan-bound side of the road marks the transformation is the first reconfiguration of the Brooklyn Bridge since trolley tracks were permanently removed in 1950.
Moving cyclists to the lower deck will also free up space for pedestrians on the existing walkway, located above the roadbed, which was previously shared by pedalers and people traveling on foot.
Reclamation Trounces Preservation
Demolition of Historic Structure in Seaport Now Underway
Over the summer, the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) began the long-anticipated demolition of the New Market Building in the South Street Seaport. This development ignores a years-long campaign by preservationists to protect and rehabilitate the venerable structure.
The site has been a focus of controversy for nearly a decade. To read more…
September 16, 1920: Terror on Wall Street
On September 11 thousands gather at Ground Zero to honor those killed fifteen years earlier when commercial airliners were repurposed into deadly missiles, striking a blow at the very symbol of capitalism by targeting prominent buildings in New York’s Financial District.
On September 16 tens of thousands walk down Wall Street unaware that nearly a hundred years ago New York City’s deadliest terror attack until 2001 took place right there. Though no plaque marks the spot, the scars are still visible if you know where to look.
As the noon hour approached on a fall Thursday morning in 1920 a horse-drawn wagon slowly made its way west down Wall Street toward “the Corner,” the high-powered intersection of Wall and Broad. Its driver came to a gentle stop in front of the Assay Office, where stockpiles of gold and silver were stored and tested for purity. But theft was not his motive. To read more…
Sufficient Unto the Dey
Lottery Opens for New Affordable Apartments in Financial District Building
Lower Manhattan’s meager inventory of affordable rental apartments will soon swell by 63 units, thanks to a new development nearing completion at 185 Broadway, at the corner of Dey Street. The building, which will be known by its branding address of 7 Dey, will contain a total of 206 apartments (the remaining 143 units will be market-rate rentals), along with several floors of retail and office space. In exchange for committing to affordability protections on the 63 units, developer S.L. Green received tax incentives worth many millions of dollars, which helped to build the $300 million project.
New Governor Plans to Get BPC Opinions Regarding Essential Workers Monument
While many residents and community activists may have hoped that plans for an Essential Workers Monument in Battery Park City had perished in tandem with the political demise of former Governor Andrew Cuomo (who resigned in disgrace, in August), his successor may have other ideas.
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Konstantinos (Gus) Ouranitsas, a pillar of the Battery Park City community and the longtime Resident Manager of the Liberty Court condominium, passed away at age 65 on Friday, September 10, surrounded by his family.
Mr. Ouranitsas, who succumbed to complications from pancreatic cancer, is survived by his devoted wife of 33 years, Maria; his loving children, Konstantine, Nestor, and Marina; his mother, Eleni; and his sister, Vasiliki Tourloukis, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.
Wondering Whether You Have Been Worth the Windfall
You recall the frenetic chaos—people wandering blithely into traffic, while cars with flashing lights and bleating sirens tried to make lurching progress by driving on sidewalks. And everyone staring upward, transfixed.
Even amid the bedlam, one anomalously serene (even festive) detail stood out. Confetti—a jumble of office paperwork and shredded aluminum—drifting lazily toward the ground. Reminiscent of nothing so much as a ticker tape parade, but in reverse. The honorees didn’t know the parade was for them, because they had not yet become heroes and martyrs. Although in just a few moments, they would.
A few minutes later, you stood at the foot of a tower, looking up at an airplane-shaped hole in its side and thinking, “there is no way that building is going to fall down.” To read more…
EYES TO THE SKY
September 6 – 19, 2021
Reach out to Jupiter, Saturn all night
Planet Jupiter shines with startling brilliance above the southeast horizon in evening twilight. The great planet, orbiting fifth out from the Sun in our solar system, could be mistaken for the light of an airplane flying low above the skyline. Jupiter (-2.83 magnitude) is the Evening Star rising in the southeast while dazzling planet Venus (-4.05m), is the Evening Star setting in the west-southwest during twilight. Note that the smaller the number the greater the magnitude of a celestial object. Sunset is, roughly, 7:15pm this week and 7:00pm next week. Twilight begins about half an hour later and, for nightfall, add another hour. To read more…
School’s back! Celebrate the return to school at this family community event with beats by DJ Susan Z. Anthony, chalk drawings, a picnic area, and an array of classic lawn games. Fast break to the basketball court for a New York Red Bulls freestyle soccer show. The evening ends with a screening of The Sandlot complete with popcorn. 4:30PM: freestyle soccer show; 5:30PM: festivities; 7:30PM: movie. Free. RSPV here.
The tall ship Wavertree, the schooner Pioneer, and the tug W.O. Decker are open to the public. Explore Wavertree while she is docked; cruise New York Harbor on W.O. Decker and Pioneer! Wavertree visits are free; Pioneer and Decker prices vary. Check website for times, prices and other details.
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Report
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.