happy mozart’s birthday


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Petition for subway alternatives during F/G closures

The MTA has closed the Manhattan-bound 15th St and Fort Hamilton stops on the F and G line until May. Details are here.

In this freezing weather, residents of those neighborhoods should have better options than trekking to 7th Ave or riding the subway backwards in order transfer to an express-line train. Click here to sign councilman Brad Lander’s petition to extend the B68 bus past Bartel Pritchard Square until the stations are providing full service again.

As a former Windsor Terrace resident, thank you to everyone for signing!

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From Park Slope Neighbors…

Survey Says… The Redesign of Prospect Park West is an Unequivocal Success

Park Slope Neighbors hails the end of a five-year-long, community-driven process and calls on Marty Markowitz and friends to stop the attacks and start caring about street safety.

PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN, January 20, 2011 – A newly released study by the New York City Department of Transportation shows that the June 2010 redesign of Prospect Park West has achieved its goals and is making this former three-lane speedway into a safer, more inclusive street. DOT’s study shows:

* Dangerous and illegal speeding has been drastically reduced, from 74% of vehicles to 20%.
* Injury-causing crashes are down 63%.
* Weekday bicycling has nearly tripled and weekend cycling has doubled.
* The percentage of cyclists riding on the sidewalk fell from 46% to 3%.
* Automobile travel times have not been impacted at all.

“The data confirms what Council members Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Community Board 6’s detailed community survey already told us,” said Park Slope Neighbors campaign coordinator Aaron Naparstek. “This project is working and the community overwhelmingly supports it – even those living in the blocks between 8th Avenue and the Park.”

After an unprecedented level of community input, the Department of Transportation has also released a set of recommendations to improve the bike lane and traffic-calming project. These include the addition of:

* Raised, landscaped pedestrian islands.
* Rumble strips for cyclists approaching intersections.
* A better design for loading zones at the 9th Street entrance to Prospect Park.

“We applaud the Department of Transportation for listening to the community and working to make our streets safe and inclusive for all users,” said Park Slope Neighbors campaign coordinator Eric McClure. “This project is the result of a five-year-long grassroots-driven process that began at the Park Slope Civic Council’s 2006 transportation forum and continued on to Community Board 6’s formal request for a redesign in 2007, through multiple public meetings in 2009 and 2010. The community has waited long enough. We urge DOT to move quickly to implement a final design.”

January has been a particularly bloody month on Brooklyn’s streets. In the first week of the new year alone, a mother and her 9-month-old twins were run down by a livery cab driver on a Sunset Park sidewalk; a hit-and-run driver plowed into a baby stroller and ran over the stomach of a 3-year-old boy in Williamsburg; and an 83-year-old rabbi was hit by a car and killed in Midwood.

“Innocent people are being run over, maimed and killed on Brooklyn streets on a horrifyingly regular basis. And where is Marty Markowitz?” asks PSN’s Aaron Naparstek. “Marty is busy calling for the elimination of DOT projects that we know make streets safer for Brooklyn’s most vulnerable citizens. Shame on you, Marty. Brooklyn deserves better.”

About Park Slope Neighbors: Park Slope Neighbors is a grassroots neighborhood organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of quality of life in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Follow Park Slope Neighbors on Facebook and Twitter.

Can we please stop fighting about it? There are many other roads in this city that need our attention.

Courtesy Jeff Prant via Gothamist

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your lovely new pet

The designer of this amazing horse bike, Eungi Kim, says “I wanted to give a special look to bicycles so that people would care about cycling not only as transportation but also as a lovely pet.”

Now, be careful here. Is your bicycle a pure breed or a mutt? Be sure to get the corresponding animal casing. I don’t want to see any racing bikes in pony outfits, and I certainly don’t want to see a rusty scrap heap on wheels parading around in a thoroughbred suit.

The nice thing about your new Bike Pet is that if you’re not in the mood to actually ride your bike, you can take it for a walk. Parade it through the neighborhood. You can finally use the sidewalks again! Be sure to trip up any pedestrians who don’t have pets. Say sorry.

When you’re done, scoop your Bike Pet into your arms, carry it up the 5 flights of stairs to your apartment, and cuddle, cuddle, cuddle.

Life is so close to perfect… Now if only your bike could do this.

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real estate

I want to make fun of these Murray Hill people but I can’t because I’m one of those Brooklyn people. I mean, I ate at Prime Meats before it was even fully open. The back room was still a garden.

Also, this past summer, I went on vacation to Oregon and we rented bikes and–oh fuck it, just watch Portlandia, it’s very funny, despite hitting too close to home. (But if close to home is local, is there such a thing as too close to home?)

So, like, I’m starting to feel kind of bad about myself. Seems like the mainstream media will pick on any neighborhood that is fun and young and cool. Shouldn’t there be nice places left where you can live in peace without someone making a mockery of you? I say we–

Oh. Hold on a sec. Did this guy just call Williamsburg “an area that was devoid of opportunities for beer”??? And is a Duane Reade going to fill that gaping hole?

I think I know which segment of the population we can all comfortably make fun of while snoozing cozily in an afghan of superiority. I feel much better now.

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I recently returned from a trip to Florida, where my relatives enjoy nothing more than talking about the weather: How the weather in January is better in Florida than in New York. How much ice there must be on the ground in New York. How we are such crazy tourists for wearing shorts when it’s only in the 70s. How chilled to the bone they are when they merely think about the northern states. How happy we must be to see the sun. [Loop this for three days.]

The issues clearly extend beyond the weather, to a weird passive-aggressive family competitiveness that cloaks itself in Fahrenheit-related chit-chat. Florida [WE] is [ARE] better than New York [YOU] because of the weather [???].

So I kept my mouth shut, nodded and smiled, and gestured blandly at my bare knees. What I didn’t yell at them was: BUT THE ROADS! LOOK AT YOUR ROADS! NOT TO MENTION THE STRIP MALLS! GAAK!

An average specimen.

IS there a road in that state with fewer than six lanes? I don’t know. Sometimes there’s a sidewalk, though I’ve rarely seen a human being use one, and never a white one. I have seen lovely birds occupy a spot in a parking lot, though I’m not sure what that proves.

At one point during my trip I spotted a share-this-road-with-bikes sign, but as it was stuck on the side of a fast-moving six-lane road with no marked bike lane, I found it a wee bit difficult to take seriously.

I felt feelings of despair surging through me (especially whenever I slid into the back of our rented sedan for a five minute drive) (also especially when we were waiting to make a left turn across four lanes of cars and I thought my minutes were numbered) about the future of our transportation nation. What can possibly be done to make Florida a more bike and ped friendly state? I couldn’t imagine what simple steps could be taken. The infrastructure just isn’t there.

But there must be something, right?

So. I herein launch my investigation into Floridian transportation. I’m hoping to find out what is being done, what can be done, and what people wish would be done to create alternative methods of transportation. I’ll aim for weekly installments. Feel free to chime in with comments, observations, suggestions, or just to talk about the weather.

*Disclaimer. I’ve only ever been in the Fort Lauderdale region of the state, so please forgive me if I’m making gross generalizations, which I am.

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Now I’m on Yelp

Read my reviews.

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