April 3rd - 9th, 2016
St. Joseph's College
Since 1916, St. Joseph's College, New York, has had a rich history of providing a strong academic and value-oriented education led by faculty members who are leaders in their fields.
“We are glad NYSDOT is concentrating safety infrastructure and amenities for pedestrians in this stretch of the region’s notoriously deadly corridor. Sidewalks and pedestrian medians are indeed prerequisites for safe mobility, but it’s time to consider reducing speed limits and adding curb extensions to calm speeding on these arterials...The drop in pedestrian fatalities in Suffolk is a good sign, but more concentrated safety projects are needed throughout the county.”
-Veronica Vanterpool, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
“New Yorkers 65 and older are more than three times likelier to be victims of pedestrian fatalities than younger New Yorkers... Once again Tri-State’s report shows we still have traffic safety issues in our state. AARP believes one way to address these pedestrian safety issues is to make our communities more livable by investing in complete streets, which takes into account all users of the roads, not just motor vehicles. In an AARP-commissioned 2014 survey, large numbers of New York Voters age 50 and over cited traffic safety-related issues as problems in their communities. We must stop these trends.”
-Beth Finkel, AARP
“What needs to be made clear is that the numerous deaths along our roadways can be addressed through improved design and prioritizing DOT resources to make the streets safer. As Ryan Russo from NYC DOT stated clearly at last week’s Complete Streets Summit- "we can design fatalities out of the system". It is not a surprise that safety has improved in NYC streets while Long Island roadways creep up the list of the most dangerous”.
-Eric Alexander, Vison Long Island
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Long Island Still Among Most Dangerous Roadways
Route 25 in Suffolk and Route 24 in Nassau were tied this year for having the most pedestrian deaths in the Tri-State area according to the annual Most Dangerous Roads for Walking study released by Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The report comes out only days before two pedestrians were struck and killed in Suffolk County, within an hour of each other; one on 5th Avenue in Bay Shore, the other on Nesconset Highway in Nesconset.
With 413 pedestrian deaths in Connecticut, New Jersey and downstate New York, 2014 was less deadly than 2013 (445 deaths) and 2012 (440 deaths). Four of the top five most dangerous roads for walking in the tri-state area were on Long Island, with Route 25 ranking the highest (24 deaths), 25A ranking 3rd (18 deaths), Route 27 ranking 4th (16 deaths), and Route 24 ranking 5th (14 deaths). Both Routes 25 and 27’s fatality count did include some that occurred in Queens. Without the amount of fatalities for Queens included, Rote 25A would have been tied for 6th place. Route 25 — also known as Jericho Turnpike, Middle Country Road and Main Street at various stretches — had been ranked first last year and the year before, and Route 24, also known as Hempstead Turnpike, had been ranked second last year.
All of Long Island’s highest ranking roads for pedestrian fatalities are state roads. The state DOT said in response to the report that it was “making more bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements across the state than ever before. Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility. Both motorists and pedestrians need to use good judgment and make smart decisions to protect themselves and others,” the statement said.
There were 116 deaths in Suffolk during the most recent period, and 94 in Nassau. In the previous period, between 2011 and 2013, there were 130 deaths in Suffolk and 90 in Nassau, according to Tri-State Transportation. Vision Long Island’s Director Eric Alexander said, “What needs to be made clear is that the numerous deaths along our roadways can be addressed through improved design and prioritizing DOT resources to make the streets safer. As Ryan Russo from NYC DOT stated clearly at last week’s Complete Streets Summit- "we can design fatalities out of the system". It is not a surprise that safety has improved in NYC streets while Long Island roadways creep up the list of the most dangerous”.
“The drop in fatalities in Suffolk is a good sign, but more concentrated safety projects are needed throughout the county,” Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said in a statement. To curb the fatalities, which were up 6.8% for the downstate region over the last report, Tri-State Transportation made several recommendations that can help Long Island, including the dedication of a minimum of $100 million in state funds to pedestrian and bicycling projects over the next five years, giving localities the power to lower speed limits, and allowing localities greater flexibility in road design.
“New Yorkers 65 and older are more than three times likelier to be victims of pedestrian fatalities than younger New Yorkers,” said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York. “Once again Tri-State’s report shows we still have traffic safety issues in our state. AARP believes one way to address these pedestrian safety issues is to make our communities more livable by investing in complete streets, which takes into account all users of the roads, not just motor vehicles. In an AARP-commissioned 2014 survey, large numbers of New York Voters age 50 and over cited traffic safety-related issues as problems in their communities. We must stop these trends.”
If these levels of fatalities occurred through some form of an allergy, food born illness, playground equipment or other social or environmental factor there would be widespread calls for action. The good news is that over the last ten years there have been over 40 traffic calming projects across the Island. Clearly more are needed.
You can check out media coverage of the annual report in Fios1, Newsday and News 12, as well as view the report, factsheets and maps by county, state and region here
Two MicroTargets Opening This Year
While the trend has been for big box store to come into a community and bring challenges of parking and traffic amongst others, one company is trying something different. Two new Target stores are slated to open up in Freeport and Elmont later this year, but on a smaller scale than their usual sized stores.
The average full-size Target store usually range between 120,000 and 160,000 square feet. The two proposed Long Island stores will be significantly smaller, joining the 19 “flexible format” stores already in existence in urban and high-density suburban areas throughout the country. The smaller stores will offer a pharmacy, apparel, health and beauty items, home goods and some sporting goods and toys. The smaller stores mirror the Walmart Neighborhood Market concept, which allows the retailer to operate in regions that lack the developable space for the larger stores.
The Elmont location, which will operate in the space that was used by OfficeMax alongside a Home Depot and Marshalls, will be the smaller of the two locations at 24,500 square feet. The location in Freeport will be almost twice as large, with grocery items being added to the inventory on the corner of Meadowbrook Parkway and Sunrise Highway. The location hosted a Stop and Shop grocery store that announced its closure in January, with the new Target store filling the void in the area. Retail real estate broker Jayson Siano of Sabre Real Estate Group in Garden City said the smaller Target may end up competing with drug stores like Walgreens and CVS.
“It will be interesting to see if the Long Island consumer will choose to go the smaller format stores out of convenience or continue to drive a little further to stock up,” Siano said. “From a real estate perspective, I am happy that Target will be an active tenant in this size range since there are not many currently and Long Island doesn’t need too many more fitness clubs.”
You can read more about the openings of the two new Target stores in Newsday and LI Business News
Glen Cove Planning Board Approves the Villas Project
The City of Glen Cove’s planning board voted 6-1 this week to approve a modified site plan for a proposed 160-unit condominium development, The Villa. Dan Livingston, owner of Livingston Development Corporation hopes to begin construction this summer, saying that “this has been a long process, but the journey is well worth it considering the destination.”
“It is replacing an economically disenfranchised facility and blighted area with a whole new gateway for Glen Cove that will provide a strong tax base and rejuvenate an entire area for further improvements,” said Livingston. The number of units to be built has been significantly decreased, from a 251-unit complex to 160-units, since the plan was first proposed nearly a decade ago. Other conditions will apply in order to make the project a reality, including downsizing the height of the proposed buildings to a maximum of four floors. City officials feel that the plan will increase tax revenue and generate more customers for nearby business.
Some residents feel that views will be obscured, that alternative affordable housing options are not available nearby for the 23 occupied apartments to be razed, as well as other concerns. Ten percent of the units, totaling 16, will be made “affordable” for buyers, as required by city codes. Under current guidelines, the income cap to be eligible for those units is $87,200 for a family of four and $61,050 for a single person. Apartment resident Bertha Adams said Livingston is “a good landlord,” but, she said, “there’s only so much he can do” to assist residents with lower incomes who have few affordable-housing options in pricey Nassau County. Livingston has pledged to help residents find new homes and pay some of their relocation expenses.The builder was willing to build more affordable units but the City wanted to have more market rate units in the development.
Additionally, Livingston is to provide a shuttle for Villa residents to travel downtown, the Long Island Railroad station, and to a ferry terminal that has the hopes of opening up this year.
Vision Long Island has been in support of this project at numerous public hearings through the years.
You can read more about the planning board’s recent decision here
Long Beach Aims to Build Planned Disaster Center
Almost three and a half years after Superstorm Sandy devastated Long Island, the Long Beach City Council voted to hire a consulting firm based out of Manhattan to help work towards building a $1 million emergency services center at City Hall.
Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman has been working towards establishing resilience as Long beach rebuilds, saying that “one thing we learned as a community is we’ve got to prepare for these things. It’s far better to prepare before and not react later.” According to FEMA, the cost to repair after a disaster can be more than four times the cost of mitigating against future events. The Manhattan-based RedLand strategies was hired to take on the project, and will receive $4,000 per month from Long Beach for one year. The city has the option of renewing the contract thereafter for two years.
Funding for the project comes from the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which some say has been slow to roll out projects for areas affected by Sandy. Long Island has 22 NYRCR Communities-13 in Nassau and 9 in Suffolk- each receiving between $3 million and $25 million in funding to prevent against future disaster, and to recover from the effects of Lee, Irene and Sandy. The Long Island Lobby Coalition recently expressed concern in Albany regarding the rollout of projects from the NYRCR program, asking for the projects to move ahead a lot faster than they have been.
You can read more about Long Beach’s newest step in preparing against future disaster here
Mastic Beach Village Comprehensive Plan Public Workshop
The Village of Mastic Beach invites the public to attend the first public meeting for the Village’s developing comprehensive plan for a visioning workshop.
The purpose of the public meeting will be to incorporate all community stakeholders’ input in terms of goals and aspirations for the Village’s future land use, utility, redevelopment, housing, resilience, and tourism.
The public meeting will be held on Saturday, April 23rd from 10am-4pm at William Paca Jr. High School, 338 Blanco Drive Mastic Beach. For more information, please call (631)241-0242, or feel free to email.
2016 Preserve New York Grant Program
The Preservation League of New York State is seeking applications for the 2016 Preserve New York Grant Program. This program provides support to identify, document and preserve New York’s cultural and historic buildings, structures and landscapes. Specifically, this opportunity funds historic structure reports, cultural landscape reports, building condition reports and cultural resource surveys. Preference will be shown to projects that advance the neighborhoods and downtowns that qualify for the NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit program, continue the use of historic buildings for cultural, interpretive and artistic purposes, and identify and preserve architecture and landscapes designed after World War II. Projects must be discussed with League Preservation staff before receiving an application. Applications are not available online.
Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations and units of local government are eligible to apply. Groups may apply for site-specific reports only if they own the site or have at least a six-year lease by the application deadline.
Funding: Grants are likely to range between $3,000 and $15,000.
Deadline: April 11, 2016
Contact: Frances Gubler Phone: (518) 462-5658 ext. 10 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: preservenys.org/preserve-new-york.html
HUD Announces HOPE VI Main Street Grant
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has opened up application opportunities for the HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program.
The HOPE VI Main Street Program provides grants to small communities to assist in the renovation of an historic or traditional central business district or “Main Street” area by replacing unused, obsolete, commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units. The obsolete building space property may be publicly or privately owned. The objectives of the program are to: Redevelop central business districts (Main Street areas); Preserve Historic or traditional Main Street area properties by replacing unused commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units; Enhance economic development efforts in Main Street areas; and provide affordable housing in Main Street areas. Main Street grant funds can be used to build new affordable housing or reconfigure obsolete or surplus commercial space (or extremely substandard, vacant housing) into affordable housing units.
There is one award expected to be given for this grant opportunity, with a total amount of up to $500,000 available for eligible projects. To see all of the requirements and restrictions, and to apply, please click here. The application deadline is April 12th, 2016.
TIGER Grant Application Period Now Open
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced $500 million will be made available for transportation projects across the country under an eighth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program.
TIGER discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
To date, TIGER has provided nearly $4.6 billion to 381 projects. The demand is of course high; during the first seven TIGER funding rounds, over 6,700 applications requesting $134 billion were submitted.
Applications are due by April 29th, 2016. For more information about the program and to view projects that have been awarded in the past, click here
Intern with Vision Long Island!
Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
To arrange a visit, call 516-571-8011 and for information and brochures, visit their website
For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505
140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Tickets and more information available here
The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Big Laughs in Bay Shore Comedy Night!
Tickets and more information available here
Cold Spring Harbor
Showtimes at Islip Cinemas
The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here
For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665
Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Tickets and more information available here
For information, visit their website or call 631-725-0770
For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494
For information, visit their website.
A Message from Vision's Director.....
Really honored to receive the Social Justice Leadership Award from the Ethical Humanist Society of LI this week. The dinner over at the Nassau Bar Association also recognized the contributions of philanthropist Esther Fortunoff-Greene, musicians Patricia Shih & Stephen Fricker and youth activist Matthew Berman.
Special thanks to the group that came out in support including: Vision Board members- Trudy Fitzsimmons, Bob Fonti, Ron Stein, Christine & Jorge Martinez; government, business and activist friends and colleagues - Adrienne Esposito, Gina Cafone Coletti, Jon Kaiman and Brandon Ray; former YES group Advisor Tara Klein and of course my partner in life Elizabeth Alexander and daughter Rayne.
A film outlining the history of the Ethical Humanist Society showed their longstanding work that has served as a catalyst or supporter of activism and education in the public interest.
This history is personified by members, friends and mentors in the audience such as Susan and Ken Feifer, Lyn and Arthur Dobrin, Alice and David Sprintzen, Joan Beder, Chris and Sharon Stanley, Sylvia Silberger, Deborah Strube and current EHS President Linda Napoli. These folks and others have provided support, guidance and leadership in social action and community work for many years.
I am honored to be a part of this organization since I was a relatively confused teenager in the mid 80s and now a basically functioning adult. Thirty years of a connection to anything is memorable and worth noting ..... 30 years connected to this group of people went well beyond personal growth and experience - we really helped support change across LI - I am happy and honored to be a part !
In a society that drives narcissism the focus beyond ourselves and on our communities is all the more valuable.
Thank you again!!
-Eric Alexander, Vision Long Island
Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Elissa Kyle, Planning Director;
Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator, Chris Kyle, Administrative
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Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
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