March 30th - April 5th, 2019
GRCH Architecture Principal Glen R. Cherveny leads a highly successful team of industry professionals with more than 30 years of experience in architecture, design, planning, engineering, and more recently LEED-sustainable architecture.
GRCH’s goal of excellence is apparent in their work starting with their high-quality practices in the initial phases of programming and continuing on through the building construction phase and project completion. Their comprehensive approach to each project- and the needs of meeting each client’s totall satisfaction- is paramont to the process.
Over 100 Local Officials, Community and Business Leaders Join the Long Island Complete Streets Summit
Over 100 local civics, engineers, small businesses and government officials joined the annual Long Island Complete Streets Summit at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in East Farmingdale
Last year the Coalition released the top most dangerous roadways for pedestrians and bicyclists generated from recent crash data focusing on our downtown and commercial corridors – essentially areas where people are encouraged to walk and bike. Those 30 roadways spotlighted have had nearly 600 pedestrian and bicycle crashes in recent years. This year, preliminary data from 2018 was presented and a range of solutions and traffic calming projects was presented from multiple communities.
The program included a panel on Fixing Long Island’s Dangerous Roadways featuring: Hon. Carrie Solages, Nassau County, Hon. Jorge Martinez, Village of Freeport, Sylvia Silberger LI Transportation Alliance, Bernard Macias, AARP NY, Pattie Bourne, City of Long Beach, Dan Flanzig, Village of Sea Cliff, Frank Wefering from Greenman Pedersen, Elissa Kyle, Vision Long Island, Sean Sallie, Nassau County DPW, Jonathan Keyes, Suffolk County, David Winkelman, VHB, and Michael Levine, Town of North Hempstead.
The areas that the panel covered included: Baldwin, Hicksville, Lindenhurst, Sea Cliff, Long Beach, Elmont, Freeport and others.
Vision Long Island Sustainability Director Elissa Kyle started the program speaking about the various roads hotspots for traffic problems across the region. Vision is currently reviewing recent data that shows that, while there has been improvements in some areas other regions have become worse for both cyclist and pedestrian accidents.
Nassau Legislator Carrie Solages spoke next, talking about the community he represents, which encompasses Elmont and Valley Stream, among other areas. He noted that the issues being discussed are about quality of life and public safety, as well as the need for solutions. He also talked about the current administration’s efforts to move forward with a traffic study aimed at doing just that, and the improvements proposed for Dutch Broadway in particular.
AARP’s Bernard Macias was the next speaker, and he talked about the organization’s advocacy for pedestrian safety on behalf of its membership, who are seniors looking to age in place. This includes age-friendly policies and access for the elderly. He also ran through initiatives that the organization has organized on Long Island, including collecting food pantry, birthday events at local nursing homes, and shredding events for sensitive information.
The next speaker was Glenn Murrell from NYS DOT, who updated the group on the status of project improvements for the LI region. Vision was pleased to see that the DOT has over $50 million of Complete Streets, traffic calming, bicycle and pedestrian improvements underway. This is the highest amount charted in over 20 years of tracking. He also talked about the 35 miles of shared-use paths, 60 miles of dedicated bike lanes, 162 miles of shared roadway maintained by the department, as well as nearly 1,000 miles of sidewalks installed. He would also talk about the various transportation plans currently affecting Long Island and projects both underway and in the works.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was the next speaker, spotlighting a range of improvement projects the County is undertaking including downtown Baldwin and Hicksville. She highlighted and thanked Sean Sallie from Nassau’s planning team, noting the efforts they’ve put into getting results. She talked about how too many people have died on local roads in spite or warnings and safety measures. The Supervisor would then give a series of safety updates, noting that traffic safety and calming is necessary.
There was a brief Q&A session next, with a focus on what is being done to advance good practices across the island. The subjects touched on signage, connectivity, what civics are doing to advance safety, developments of Main Streets and how they tie in with plans, possible opportunities, and other topics.
Sylvia Silberger from the Long Island Transportation Alliance would then make a presentation on the difficulty of getting around the island using public transportation. Not only is this affected by how public transportation is not very well connected but also how unsafe it can be travel some of the major roadways. She talked about the need for a way to organize the information to help streamline who owns and maintains the various roads across the region. Ms. Silberger noted that such a project would be best served on the county level.
Freeport Deputy Mayor Jorge Martinez also spoke, giving an update on Freeport’s work on the North Main Street project. The project seeks to create a corridor from the LIRR station all the way to the border of Roosevelt. The area has been a point of frustration for past administrations, but thanks to recent efforts to secure funding, the improvement of North Main Street is finally underway in earnest.
Dan Flanzig, who works as an attorney specializing in cyclists and pedestrians, spoke next on the personal impact of what happens after a crash. He noted that crashes are an epidemic in the Counties as Nassau and Suffolk have the highest rates in the state. As the Chair of the Village of Sea Clif Traffic and Safety Committee, he talked about the Village’s efforts to increase pedestrian safety and public transportation.
The next speaker was Frank Wefering from Greenman Pedersen, Inc. His presentation was on the walkability improvement study for downtown Lindenhurst. GPI was hired by the Village to improve the downtown area and create a more complete street vibe. They wanted to create a more connected area that would increase a sense of community as well as road safety. The process included 6 separate walking audit as well as a drone flyover to identify different routes through the area and needed connectivity.
Patricia Bourne, the Planning Director for the City of Long Beach, was the next speaker. She would talk about the City’s various efforts to improve their community through safety and being able to move people around. She covered the history of Long Beach as well as the multi-modal center that helps to move people to the boardwalk and beaches, which is a big draw from the local region. This has made it more desirable to create complete streets and resiliency. She would talk about the Edward’s Blvd project and current efforts underway to create a more welcoming environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
Sean Sallie from Nassau County would then give updates on the efforts to meet the challenges of pedestrian safety in an auto-dominated area. He talked about how issues were being addressed in various communities across the County as well as the need for a grassroots effort to help expedite these goals. He cited several projects that have been ongoing such as the Baldwin Grand Ave, Park and Beach Street in Atlantic Beach, the Long Island Motor Parkway vision, and traffic calming across the region among other projects.
Jonathan Keyes from Suffolk County was the next speaker, who talked on Suffolk County’s new comprehensive hike-bike master plan. The effort will include a complete mapping of hiking and biking trails across the county to help identify the various gaps in the system and then work to fill those gaps. They have received a lot of help and input from local municipalities to help make this come to fruition. An online public input tool has gone live on ConnectLI.org, which can be viewed here.
VHB’s Dan Winkelman was the next speaker, who talked about national best practices and lessons learned. Mr. Winkelman started about scoping and the need to gather data to help make a sound decision. This can range from crash and volume data as well as pedestrian and cyclist fatality. This is necessary to create an informed decision. He would also talk about best practices that help to create a successful plan for moving forward in local communities that serve the best interests of all those involved.
The final speaker was Michael Levine from the Town of North Hempstead, who spoke on design elements and funding decisions of various projects. He would cover when it was best to self-finance projects or to seek out funding for local projects. He noted that, though it would seem like it’s always best to seek outside funding, the various restrictions or mandated guidelines surrounding that funding could actually lead to higher costs than simply self-financing. This creates an interesting dynamic where municipalities need to take a hard look at funding sources in order to make an informed decision on how to move forward with financing.
NYS Budget approved with new taxes and critical investments
Lawmakers in Albany have given approval to a $175.5 billion state budget that will now go to Governor Cuomo for his signature.
You can read more here.
LIPA Board Votes to Approve Food Waste Recycling Facility
In a move that will help to save tons of waste every year, the Long Island Power Authority has voted to approve the first stand-alone large-scale anaerobic digester in the NYS metro area.
The project aims to be operational by 2020 and will produce four megawatts of clean energy while reducing gas emissions on Long Island by 85,000 metric tons a year. The digester will be operated by American Organic Energy (AOE), a past Smart Growth Awards winner, and will provide for a low-cost food disposal option for local food-related businesses.
"This project addresses the interconnection of energy, food and carbon emissions,” said Sustainability Institute’s Director Neal Lewis. “This anaerobic digester helps with the solid waste problem on Long Island by reducing food waste, while also generating electricity. Biogas is a renewable form of energy that should be put to work for us, rather than causing emissions issues in landfills and being wasted."
It is estimated that approximately 180,000 tons of local food waste a year will be diverted to project in order to create clean energy. In turn, this will reduce emissions from gas and diesel vehicles that would have been used to transport this waste for disposal in other parts of the region and country. This will be the equivalent of removing 18,000 cars from the road.
Governor Cuomo has praised the move and it will help to attain his administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40% of 1990 levels by 2030. The project has received support from NYSERDA’s Cleaner Greener Communities Initiative and was also chosen for a $400,000 Empire State Development grant.
"New York State continues to lead the way with clean energy initiatives and innovative solutions that benefit both our neighborhoods and our planet," Governor Cuomo said. "By implementing this groundbreaking technology on Long Island, we can not only produce clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases, but also spare our landfills and keep our communities cleaner and greener for decades to come."
Suffolk County Announces New Hike and Bike Trail Tool is Live
Suffolk County is happy to announce that the Public Input Tool for Suffolk County’s Hike and Bike Trail Plan is LIVE! This tool allows for users to make specific comments or recommend routes or improvements to Suffolk County’s network of hiking and biking trails across an online map. They look forward to all of your input!
It is available to be shared and to accept location specific comments and recommendations to best inform the creation of the plan. You can access it at https://connectli.org/ under the ‘Transportation” tab or at http://hikebikesuffolk.com. Please spread the word to anyone you feel is interested in improving hiking and biking in Suffolk County!
Town of Southold nears Completion of Comprehensive Plan
After 8 years, the Town of Southold is drawing closer to completion of its Comprehensive Plan.
The Town has completed all 12 chapters of the plan and will now move forward on the remaining steps until completion. Planning Director Heather Lanza outlined those steps at a recent work session, which will need to be done before the final adoption of the plan.
The plan is currently in the editing phase, with multiple chapters having been completed years ago. As such, staff is currently working to update numbers as well as current practices that were implemented in recent years. An example of this is the Town’s recent efforts to create more affordable housing as well as an economic development committee that was formed shortly after the chapter suggesting it was written.
The next step will be the hiring of an environmental engineering firm to complete a SEWRA review, which is required by state law. Ms. Lanza recommended AKRF for that job as well as the creation of a graphic design, formatting, and final editing of the plan. The purpose of the graphic design will be to create an easy-to-read final plan that can be presented to both the public and future Town Boards. This will help to guide future development in Southold by creating a blueprint and set of rules going forward.
That process is expected to be completed by the end of May, setting up another round of public outreach before final approval. This will conclude an effort that began 2010 and included more than 3,000 hours, 64 public meetings, and a cost of $106,990 that will be reimbursed by the state.
Developer looks to Build first Garden City Apartments in 50 years
Nassau County and the Southern Land Company of Tennessee have agreed to negotiate on preliminary tax breaks for a 150-unit apartment complex in Garden City. If the proposal is completed it will make the first such complex to be built in the past 50 to 60 years in the Village.
The development will be located across from Roosevelt Field at 555 Stewart Ave in Garden City. Out of 150 units there would be 15 affordable units, which will help to address a need for such units in the Village. This also comes after Garden City recently settled housing discrimination lawsuits concerning the lack of such units.
“This is a win for everyone,” said IDA chairman Richard Kessel. “It’s a critical need, and the first new housing project under the settlement the county and the village reached. This is exactly what we want to encourage in the county.”
The developers are seeking a 20-year PILOT program to help relieve some of the tax burden as well as a sales tax exemption of up to $4.4 million on construction materials and an exemption from the mortgage recording tax. Any tax deal under the current proposal would require five units at 80% value, five at 60% value, and five at 40% value.
The IDA has voted to begin discussions but cautioned that they will need to see more details on the plan before final approval. They also indicated that they would like to see more affordable units as well and Southern Land has indicated it may be willing to add more in exchange for further tax breaks.
The property in question is a 4.5 acre lot which has been vacant for over 20 years. The proposed project would cost in the neighborhood of $90.8 million and create a four-story building on the site as well as 416 construction jobs for the local area. If approved, work could begin in six months.
You can read more here.
Freeport Mural to Have Official Ribbon Cutting
The Arts Council of Freeport has announced that they will hold a ribbon cutting for the official displaying of their new outdoor mural, located at the Freeport Public Library, on April 11th.
The mural is the product of an AARP Community Challenge Grant that was awarded to the Arts Council a while back. In response to the grant the council held an open call for mural submissions after which a winning submission was selected by a judging committee comprised of Arts Council board members, selected artists and art administrators, and Freeport Memorial Library board members.
The committee selected artist Ji Yong Kim as the winning submission, who will be present at the opening ceremony to answer questions about the mural.
In addition to the AARP grant, funding for the mural was also provided by the Arts Council at Freeport, Mount Sinai South Nassau, and a separate GoFundMe campaign. The Freeport Herald also helped to sponsor a mural naming contest among its readership. The name will be announced at the opening ceremony.
Help Island Harvest Stamp Out Hunger on May 11th
The National ASSOC of Letter Carriers Food Drive is taking place on May 11th and is asking for your help in gathering non-perishable food items for the hungry. All you need to do to participate is to leave a can of food or more at your mailbox on May 11th, and your postal carrier will pick it up for the drive.
>This year they are looking for canned or dry beans, canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter (or other nut butters), nuts & seeds, canned fruit (in water or juice), canned vegetable (Low‑Sodium), low‑sodium pasta sauce, rolled oats, low‑sugar cereal, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta, popcorn (light butter or kernels), shelf‑stable milk, olive or canola oil, and low‑sodium soup or stew.
As part of this, Island Harvest is seeking volunteers to help out at their warehouse on May 11th through 15th. You can register to volunteer at islandharvest.org and help to #StampOutHunger.
Please help to get the word out about this important event! You can view a flyer for the event.
Natural Gas Supplies at Risk. Act Now!
Round 17 of Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Now Available
Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone and the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Citizens Advisory Panel are pleased to announce the availability of the Downtown Revitalization Round 17 Grant Applications. Eligible applicants must partnet with a local municipality (town of village). That application incorporates the Panel's intent to support projects that will have an important and sustainable impact on downtowns. All applications will be reviewed and scored via a merit based grading system. Applications are due by 4:30pm on Friday, May 24, 2019
You can read the guidelines for the grants here.
You can download the application here.
GTSC Issues RFA for Federal Highway Safety Grants
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) is issuing a Request for Application (RFA) to solicit applications from state agencies, local governments and not-for-profit agencies for Federal Highway Safety grants. This proposal requires applicants to submit a narrative outline of the problem with supporting data, details of the proposed activities with milestones and an evaluation plan.
Proposals must address one of the program areas included in the state’s Highway Safety Strategic Plan, which can be found online here. Program areas considered for the general Highway Safety Grant funding include: occupant protection; traffic enforcement; motorcycle safety; traffic records; community programs; programs that impact our younger drivers or older drivers; pedestrian safety; roadway safety and impaired driving.
Opportunity Open for Public Transit Technology and Innovation Program
Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 3914, seeks proposals to develop and demonstrate innovative public transportation technologies and strategies that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and associated energy consumption of the existing bus, rail, and connected intermodal transit systems in New York State (NYS).
Proposals should focus on new or underutilized solutions that can help transit agencies make tangible improvements to their operations while achieving real energy savings, especially in bus efficiency and electrified rail. Proposals should demonstrate a feasible path to economic viability and be replicable and relevant to transit agencies in NYS. The goal of this program is to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies and operational approaches that are required for New York’s public transportation systems, while contributing to the State’s energy and GHG reduction goals. : Concept papers will now be accepted on a rolling basis through November 20, 2019 or until all funds are committed. Additional minor changes are summarized in the Summary of Revisions.
For additional details and associated documents visit: PON 3914 Solicitation Detail Page
Questions and comments can be sent to mailto:Richard.Mai@nyserda.ny.gov or call (212) 971-5342 x3476.
Local 66 Taking Applications for Apprenticeship Openings
The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of Local 66 of the General Building Laborers union will begin taking applications for 20 skilled construction craft laborer apprenticeships, officials said.
Applications can be obtained in person at the Local 66 office, 1600 Walt Whitman Rd. in Melville, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, excluding legal holidays. The forms must be completed in person. The recruitment period ends March 18, 2020.
Applicants should be 18 or older, have lived on Long Island for at least six months before applying, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, be physically able to do the work, have reliable transportation and a valid driver's license, pass a written exam and drug test, be interviewed and become a union member.
More information is available by calling 631-454-2330.
10th Annual NY Youth Summit Commences...
Vision Board and staff were out today co-sponsoring and managing the 10th Annual NY Youth Summit.
Nearly 200 High School students from around the region were selected to participate in the program that covers community health, renewable energy, climate change, leadership, diversity among other topics.
This year’s featured speakers include MIT professor and author Nir Eyal and Berthe Erisnor from Mt Sinai St. Luke's Hospital.
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