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April 7th - 20th, 2018

Regional Updates

H2M Architects + Engineers

Since their early roots, H2M’s focus has remained steadfast: to provide quality service with sound judgment and to serve as an honest professional resource to their clients. With a dedicated, responsive staff and multiple service offerings under one roof, they blend “can-do” with “can-be,” developing real, workable solutions with a dose of innovation. Their diverse in-house expertise reduces the need for sub-consultants and ensures that their architects and engineers develop a comprehensive understanding of every project. 

Providing solutions to a wide variety of markets, H2M brings the combined expertise of architectural design and building systems engineering to make your project a reality. With in-house MEP and structural teams, they’re able to take a holistic approach to project design that combines a practical approach with creative results.

“A few years ago I thought that as a legislature we’re not doing enough to do outreach to small business community. We wanted to hold forums that encourage them to do business with the County.  But as legislators we play an integral part with our local economy.  It is important that we have a big development plan and a strategy to do outreach and provide those services.” - Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory

"We have a newly constituted (IDA) board with protocols, procedures, and policies to lend to more accountability and transparency so that when we have our communities investing in our businesses, in our development, that the community is going to get something out of it." - Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

"We share the same ideas and concepts in terms of economic development in terms of smart growth, transit oriented development, and affordable housing where it can fit into a development plan.  We’re proud of the idea that the IDA is moving forward as well.” - Nassau County Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello

“Small businesses are a major driver of the Long Island economy. We’re trying to get the word out about the programs that can help them.”

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Long Island Business Council Tackles Downtown Energy Programs, Taxes

The Long Island Business Council held a meeting this past week with both Nassau and Suffolk County Presiding Officers in attendance to give updates on what the Counties are doing to promote small business on Long Island.

The meeting opened with a welcome and the pledge of allegiance before Nassau County Executive Laura Curran gave opening remarks reflecting on her first 100 days in office.  The County Executive stated that she’s enjoying the challenge of the new position and is looking into how best to create wealth and opportunity in the County.  Curran touted the newly authorized bipartisan tax assessment bill, the newly reconstituted board for Nassau County’s IDA, and also gave an update on the first meeting of the Nassau HUB advisory task force.

"We have a newly constituted (IDA) board," said Executive Curran, "with protocols, procedures, and policies to lend to more accountability and transparency so that when we have our communities investing in our businesses, in our development, that the community is going to get something out of it."

The Presiding Officers were next with Nassau County’s Richard Nicolello speaking first.  Legislator Nicolello’s address also included a mention of the recently approved tax assessment as well.  He also acknowledged legislation currently being proposed to create an internet sales tax for NY.  However, Nicollelo indicated that while he understands the loss of revenue from not having such a tax, he won’t support the bill since Republicans in the NYS Senate are opposed.  He also laid some of the blame for Nassau’s fiscal situation on Medicaid costs, which the state requires partial payments on from local municipalities.

"We share the same ideas and concepts in terms of economic development," said Presiding Officer Nicolello, "in terms of smart growth, transit oriented development, affordable housing where it can fit into a development plan.  We’re proud of the idea that the IDA is moving forward as well.”

Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory was up next and also spoke on the internet sales tax.  He stated that around $11 million in online sales tax isn’t being collected and should be considered lost revenue.  He also touched on the strength of business in Suffolk County and how numerous programs are being implemented to increase communication between government and business owners.  Part of this includes his series of forums, Charting the Course, that are designed to bring new ideas from business directly to local leaders.

“A few years ago I thought that as a legislature we’re not doing enough to do outreach to small business community,” said Legislator Gregory.  “We wanted to hold forums that encourage them to do business with the County.  But as legislators we play an integral part with our local economy.  It is important that we have a big development plan and a strategy to do outreach and provide those services.”

The issue of internet sales tax is one that the Long Island Lobby Coalition has been working to correct in Albany for several years now.  The Coalition supports the leveling of the playing field in order to make sure that both local and online businesses are playing by the same rules and are not given an unfair advantage.

John Keating from PSEG Long Island was the final featured speaker, talking about the numerous programs that PSEG Long Island has implemented to help small business.  A major part of that is the Vacant Space Revival program, which aims to help out small businesses that are just getting started.  The program provides discounts that decrease as a business goes through its first year of operation.  He also talked about the Main Street Revival program, which provides grants to new businesses that are looking to open in downtown areas on Long Island.  This is in addition to standard energy efficiency programs that PSEG LI has been implementing for years.

“Small businesses are a major driver of the Long Island economy,” Keating said. “We’re trying to get the word out about the programs that can help them.”

The meeting provided updates from John Cameron from the Long Island Regional Planning Council, previewing a report on taxation for the region; Michael Harrison on his white paper on the internet sales tax;  Francesca Carlow from the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce’s spoke of efforts to shop local.  Finally, Gina Coletti, co-chair of the Suffolk Alliance of Chambers, gave a brief update on her organization’s recent efforts and the next quarterly meeting.

You can read more in LI Business News here.

Long Island Complete Streets Coalition Hosts the 6th Annual Summit (Expanded)

The LI Complete Streets Coalition held its 6th annual Complete Streets Summit this month at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in East Farmingdale, with over 100 local civics, engineers, small businesses and government officials in attendance.

Complete streets advocate Jivanna Bennaeim from Families for Safe Streets welcomed the group, sharing her story of a lost loved one on Middle Neck Road in Great Neck Plaza. Since the tragedy about a year and a half ago, Jivanna has been pushing hard to find ways to improve road safety and get people to slow down through the Great Neck peninsula to try preventing another tragedy. Since the time that her husband was killed by a driver who has still not been found, at least four other people have been seriously injured trying to cross Middle Neck Road at various points.  Unfortunately, Jivanna’s story is one that is heard too often in our region, with families losing loved ones to unsafe roads.

“Hearing my story sometimes helps people to see that this is a human tragedy, it’s not just about politics,” said Ms. Bennaeim.

Denise Carter from GPI spoke next about how some of the concepts of Complete Streets are “simple, but not easy”, especially when working with multiple layers of government.  To make a simple change of adding a flashing beacon to Grand Ave in Baldwin in order to slow traffic near Baldwin High School.  The process enjoyed local support and was generally seen as the right thing to do, but required a collaboration between interested parties and Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King-Sweeney and the County Executive to get a project done that should have been completed a while ago.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was the featured speaker and welcomed the event with supportive remarks drawing on her leadership on Baldwin's Grand Avenue project and looking to improve other roadways in Nassau.  Part of this includes looking at design and function on how best to improve local roadways.  This dovetails with goals of how communities should look as well as local visions of municipalities who wish to shape their own communities.  She noted that it is important for streets to be safe for all users, and that Complete Streets plays a key role in growing the local tax base as well as quality of life.

"With the amount of land dedicated to these public rights-of-way," said County Executive Curran, "it is critically important that public officials, community members, first responders, and other stakeholders collaborate to ensure that the design and function of these public spaces are not only safe for all users of our streets – cars, of course, along with pedestrians, buses, bicycle riders – but that they mesh with our local communities’ revitalization efforts."

Elissa Kyle of Vision Long Island then reviewed a list compiled by the Coalition on what can be considered the top 30 most dangerous roadways for walking and biking with information generated from recent crash data provided by Tri-State Transportation Campaign via the New York State Department of Transportation. The areas focused on our downtowns, near train stations, and commercial corridors undergoing revitalization – places that naturally draw foot traffic and places where people should be expected and encouraged to walk and bike. The roads spotlighted have had nearly 600 pedestrian and bicycle crashes in recent years and represent prime areas for traffic calming and design improvements.

While last year’s summit highlighted five hotspots across Long Island, this year we wanted to broaden the scope to address dangerous areas in downtowns across the island.  Vision identified clusters of crash locations and looked at where these locations overlapped with downtown shopping districts, areas adjacent to train stations, and commercial areas of communities undergoing revitalization.  These are areas where high numbers of people on foot and on bicycles should be expected and encouraged in order to create healthy communities and support local businesses that depend on foot traffic.

The program included a panel on Fixing Long Island’s Dangerous Roadways featuring: Glenn Murrell, NYS DOT; Sylvia Silberger, Car-Less Long Island; Bernard Macias, AARP NY; Jennifer Heymach, Greenman-Pedersen, Greg Del Rio, NV5 ; and Town of Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro.

Mr. Murrell began the discussion by talking about the various efforts the DOT has taken to reach out to local stakeholders and gather information on what can be done for improvement as well as opportunities for future efforts.  His speech covered projects currently in the works and what the future for the DOT on Long Island will look like.  Projects and upgrades that the DOT is targeting include those identified by the Pedestrian Safety Action plan, with Phase 1 currently in progress.  This phase includes implementation of audible countdown timers, upgrades crosswalks, and sidewalk improvements among other upgrades on 552 state owned roads in the region.  There were an additional 360 locations that will also be upgraded thanks to local municipalities who identified and requested the funding.  DOT is also administrating a Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, that is providing funding for on and off road bike and pedestrian projects, with a solicitation for projects coming this summer.  Hicksville is also a project that the DOT is focused on, with others including New York State Route 24, which saw a significant drop in crashes after improvement, a 110 Corridor Safety Improvement Project, which will target the entire length of 110.  New York State Route 25 will also see improvements, with some work already being implemented.

The next speaker was Sylvia Silberger, who talked about Car-Less Long Island and efforts to promote transportation by biking on Long Island as well as revitalization within municipalities to promote Complete Streets.  She also covered a variety of transportation alternatives and how difficult it can be for those who don’t use automobiles to get around.  Walking for transportation carries a set of unique challenges for both transportation and safety purposes, even for those who want to do it.  She considers this a social justice issue for that very reason.

Dan Losquadro was the next speaker and talked about how his perspective serving on all three levels of government have helped him in his position.  He spoke on efforts by Brookhaven to improve safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.  He also brought up funding as one of the biggest challenges for local municipalities.  Once a project is begun everything it is in proximity to must be brought up to current standards, which can raise the price of business and slows or stops projects.  Jennifer Haymach was the next speaker for the panel, talking about how to create safer pedestrian crossings.  She made a presentation about the various solutions that have been proposed in the past 15 years to better improve safety.  Part of this included the identification of what it is that make such crossings safe and how best to slow automobile traffic and create specified lanes for various forms of transportation as well as new tools to help implement these changes. 

Greg Del Rio was the next speaker, who talked about how to fix dangerous roadways through the design process.  He used examples from across Long Island to demonstrate how design implements create unsafe condition and encourage bad habits in drivers.  Poor sight lines, inadequate pedestrian safety measures, uneven grading, and lack of medians and roundabouts have all contributed to fatal accidents in the region according to Mr. Del Rio’s presentation.  The final speaker for this panel was Bernard Macias from AARP NY, who talked about Complete Streets as part of neighborhoods where people can “age in place.”  Seniors are particularly vulnerable to unsafe streets and may become discouraged from living in neighborhoods they’ve been in their entire lives because they are not in “liveable” communities.  AARP has been working to combat this through an army of volunteers to bring the message to local leaders.

The second panel covered the economic and placemaking benefits of Complete Streets designs in our downtown areas titled “Creating Walk Appeal” which featured Elissa Kyle, Vision Long Island; Sean Sallie, Nassau County DPW, Marwa Emam Fawaz, VHB ; and Paul Winkeller from the New York Bicycling Coalition.

Elissa Kyle spoke first on the opportunities inherent in our streets and what we can do to promote safety and longevity for our communities through transportation options.  She talked about examples of streets that encourage people to come and enjoy local businesses through walk appeal.  She covered the idea of a walkability scale that can help to identify streets that encourage local residents to frequent their local downtowns and businesses by creating public spaces.  Paul Winkeller was the next speaker, who talked on the importance of promoting alternative transportation, health, sport, recreation, environmental preservation, energy conservation, tourism, and economic development.  His organization does this by encouraging cycling and walking, which leads people to think about and appreciate those tenets more.  He covered the varied ways that NYCB looks to accomplish this through advocacy, education, technical assistance, and tourism.

The next speaker for the panel was Sean Sallie, who spoke on what Nassau County is doing to create walk appeal.  He talked about identifying targets for improvement and how the process is carried out by Nassau and how best to enhance safety in local communities.  As part of this he gave a presentation that covered spots and improvements that have been identified for future projects.  Challenges included how best to increase access to areas of the county for all modes of transportation as well as pedestrians.  He also covered communities that require improvement, which included Grand Ave in Baldwin, Post Ave in Westbury, Merrick Ave in Merrick, Atlantic Beach, and Downtown Hicksville.  Mr. Sallie also talked about the steps for taking for each of these areas and how funding was coming together to help implement the changes.

The final speaker of the day was Marwa Fawaz, who talked about VHB’s efforts to create Complete Streets and walkability in its projects.  She laid out the various concepts that streets should meet to be considered “complete.”  This included a benefit to all users, sense of community, promotion of local businesses, and adding to economic growth and vitality.  She then talked about how exactly to fold these concepts into design and what her company has done to bring these changes to the projects they have worked on.

Special thanks to our event sponsors, AARP New York, GPI / Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., VHB,, Nassau Inter-County Express / NICE Bus, Ennis-Flint and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

LIRR Selects New President

The MTA has announced that the next President of the LIRR will be transportation veteran Phillip Eng.

Mr. Eng has been with the MTA since last year when he was appointed COO responsible for leading major initiatives across all agencies with a focus on innovation and technology.  He worked on modernization of the system and improving customer service.  Innovations included a new fare payment system, mobile ticketing apps, technology integration, and procurement of new rolling stock and buses.  He also contributed to the delivery of the MTA’s 2015 – 2019 Capital Program.

The appointment comes at a time when the LIRR is working on several key infrastructure improvements.  Mr. Eng will oversee the completion of the double track project, the beginning of the LIRR Expansion Project, which is building a third track between Floral Park and Hicksville, and the continuation of the East Side Access Project.  He will also be in charge of implementing the Performance Improvement Plan, which was unveiled last month.

“My life’s work has centered on conceptualizing the best possible options to make transportation options more reliable, allowing commuters to get where they need to go safely and quickly,” said Mr. Eng. “I am honored to be chosen to lead the LIRR and its team of talented women and men as we work together to make the daily experience on the trains a better one. The transformational infrastructure projects that are underway, along with the implementation of the Performance Improvement Plan, will make a lasting impact on the region’s quality of life and economy.”

Mr. Eng has spent the last 35 years working in transportation, beginning in 1983 as a Junior Engineer with the NYS Department of Transportation.  He was born and raised on Long Island growing up in Williston Park before moving to Mineola and finally living in Smithtown, where he resides with his wife and four children.

On his second and third days in office he greeted Long Island commuters in Mineola and Ronkonkoma station and listened to many of their concerns.  That style of not shying away from communication will be very beneficial in the coming months and years as the agency seeks to remake and rebrand its operations.  

Vision Long Island is pleased with this move as Mr. Eng was extraordinarily helpful ten years ago when a number of civics and chambers where confronting the DOT on their dangerous road designs. He took a diplomatic instead of adversarial tone, and helped to assist in reshaping the Route 347 plan towards a greenway project.  Vision looks forward to his collaborative, accessible and more innovative approach to transportation planning and management in his new role at the LIRR.

Suffolk County Accepts $1 Billion Arena Proposal

In a move aimed at possibly attracting a professional sports team and revitalizing a transit hub, Suffolk County has selected a proposal for 17,500 seat arena for a 40-acre parcel between MacArthur Airport and the Ronkonkoma LIRR station.

The proposal comes as a result of a request for qualifications to develop the site.  The winning bid was proposed by Chicago real estate developer Jones Lang LaSalle and investment banker Ray Bartoszek.  The duo will also be the master developers for the site.  It is hoped that the new arena will rival the planned sports and entertainment complex currently being planned for Belmont Park to house the Islanders.  They stated that while they do not have a commitment from a professional team, having the bid accepted will help to accelerate that process.  The group has also said that the $1 billion price tag will be privately financed. 

Proposals were submitted and reviewed by a committee appointed to oversee the process, which selected the winning bid.  While the Arena RFQ has been accepted, some questions and concerns remain for the ambitious project.  Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory said this past week that he would like answers on the impact to local traffic, community support, economic benefit to the area, and costs to the County.  Mr. Gregory also requested to review the other submitted proposals along with an explanation on why the arena was chosen. 

The proposal also includes several other features including a 500-room hotel, two community ice rinks, retail, dining, offices, and a sports medicine facility.  The developers cited proximity to the LIRR, MacArthur Airport, and the LIE as prime reasons why an arena complex could work in the area.  The site is a spot that local civic and community leaders have long eyed for development and is currently occupied mostly by county-owned parking lots.  The plan would still require approval by the legislation and an environmental review before it can move forward.  Other bids for the area included separate retail and residential developments by RXR and Tritec and an e-commerce distribution center by Renaissance Downtowns.

You can read more here.

Federal Agency Looks to Lease Offshore Wind Power for Long Island

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is looking for renewable energy companies to lease shallow waters off of Long Island and New Jersey.

The move comes at a time when NY is looking to increase renewables as part of its Wind Power Master Plan.  The agency is also seeking public input on the potential for wind energy development in the region.  The BOEM said that this comes as part of its mandate, which is to advance domestic enery production while generating local revenue and increasing job performance.  The agency has vowed to work with local governments in order to get this accomplished.

The announcement drew praise from NYS Governor Cuomo, who has been pushing for more renewable energy in recent years.  It sees this move as part of its goal to power 1.2 million New York homes with wind power and create 5,000 permanent new renewable energy jobs by 2030.  The Governor has stated that he sees offshore wind as an attractive alternative to offshore drilling.

You can read more here.

LI Press and Investors Bank Holds Art of Thriving Conference

Vision Board and staff were out at a packed conference for Not for Profits sponsored by LI Press and Investors Bank last week.
The conference worked to provide guidance on how to thrive in a time when resources for not for profits are shrinking as well as strategic practices can ensure survival.  Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander spoke on a panel moderated by Rhonda Klch​​ from the Equity First Foundation, with fellow panelists Terrie Magro from the Michael Magro Foundation, and Paule Pactor from LI Cares.

The panel collectively answered questions ranging from communication techniques, effective advocacy, management and fund development. Other notable attendees included Leadership Huntington, AARP, Pink Tie and local chambers of commerce in the crowd.

Vision Joins Women’s Council of Realtors Luncheon

Vision Long Island attended the Women’s Council of Realtors for their luncheon meeting last week. The luncheon included an informative panel with an engaged audience tackling the future of real estate and customer preferences for downtowns and green technology. It was nice to hear from Jay Best from Green Audits, Jim Macri from OAS, Christina Mathieson from Trinity Solar and Pink Tie.

Special thanks to Marilyn Urso​​, Joe Sinnona and Valerie Van Cleef for welcoming Vision to the group.

Village Walk Opens in Downtown Patchogue

Vision Long Island board and staff were out today for the grand opening of the Village Walk in downtown Patchogue. This amazing senior complex includes a main street bistro, wellness center, theater, luxury apartments, and more. Vision was proud to be a part of the evenings events with over 100 attendees including Leg. Rob Calarco, Supervisor Romaine, Mayor Pontieri, members of the Patchogue Chamber and community.

The city-like structure of the development reaches up to five stories and includes an observation deck with views of Fire Island and the Great South Bay.  The complex has 128 apartments, with 46 of those being set aside for residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases.  This is in addition to 24 hour nursing care, which is not a typical amenity for apartments.  The development will also bring 70 full and part time jobs to downtown Patchogue.

You can view the website for the Village Walk here.

Great Neck Plaza Considers Mixed-Use Project

Great Neck Plaza is considering a project that will transform a mostly-empty building at the corner of Maple Drive and Middle Neck Road into a mixed-use building.

The new building will feature below-ground parking and three stories with retail on the bottom and a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments.  The project is in line with the Village’s transit-oriented development zoning, which won a Smart Growth Award and was adopted in 2011 as part of an effort to increase mixed-use projects and increase financial diversity in the downtown. 

The plan is being proposed by Mojo Stumer Associates of Greenvale and the pitch was delivered by architect Mark Stumer.  Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender stated that the project will need to go through an environmental review process, but expects approval.

“It’s exactly the type of mixed-use project we envisioned and the design is so elegant and upscale, it will transform that corner and gateway to the village,” said Mayor Celender.  “Mojo Stumer has designed a really terrific looking building with great materials, interest and sleek, modern lines. It has a SoHo-boutique look that’s very elegant.”

You can read more here.

Smithtown Planning Director David Flynn Set to Retire

Vision Long Island was saddened to learn that Smithtown Planning Director David Flynn will officially retire in May.

Mr. Flynn has worked for Smithtown for the past 38 years, the most recent ones as the head of the Planning Department.  As part of that career he helped to create the update to the Town’s comprehensive plan in the 2000’s, the first such update since 1961.  Though it was submitted in 2015, the update was never fully implemented.

While the bulk of his career was under a former Town administration that didn’t want to see downtown or infrastructure growth Mr. Flynn was always thoughtful, open minded and can be credited for some of the recent success in both Kings Park and Smithtown.  His experience, knowledge base of the local communities within the Town and dedication over nearly four decades of planning should be lauded.

“He had to work under the tenure of (former town supervisor) Pat Vecchio,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander, “which was not a creative time for the types of things our organization supports: downtown redevelopment, sewer infrastructure, walkable communities.  We would not have seen progress in Kings Park downtown or the emerging plan in Smithtown without Flynn.”

Vision Long Island wishes Mr. Flynn luck in his well-deserved retirement.  You can read more here.

Hempstead Village School Working on Safety Upgrades 10 Years after Winning Grant

10 years after winning a “Safe Routes to School” federal grant, the Village of Hempstead is finally moving forward on implementing new signage, sidewalk, and crosswalk upgrades.

“The 10 years is hard to explain,” said Mayor Don Ryan.  “There was always something that was holding it up.”

The $510,000 grant will cover new sidewalks and crosswalks, pavement resurfacing, handicap ramps, pedestrian warning school crossing signs, school speed limit signs, speed tracking signs, and new pavement markings.  There will also be an educational component consisting of training initiatives, a neighborhood watch program, and bicycle helmets for children.  The project is being administered by the Village’s Community Development Agency and the school district.

The David Paterson Elementary School will be the first to undergo improvements with construction beginning in July and wrapping up by the 2019 school year.  Jackson Main School and Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School are also expected to undergo improvements in 2019.

You can read more here.

Creating ‘Walk Appeal’ Needs to be Priority

Elissa Kyle is Vision Long Island's Placemaking Director.

Since World War II, we have been building our roads to move cars as quickly as possible first, with all other users and uses of roads a distant second. As a result, many or our roads promote speeding and marginalize those on foot or on a bicycle leading to very dangerous conditions.

Many of these roads pass right through our downtown areas and past parks, schools and other community uses. Last year, at our Complete Streets Summit, we focused on five roads that saw a high number of fatalities in areas where people should feel safe walking or biking. This year we are widening our scope to look at roads across the island that are not as safe as they should be given where they are located and what is adjacent to them.

Crash data shows that there are over 30 sections of roads that pass through our existing downtowns, near train stations, or through commercial districts in communities trying to revitalize, that have seen concentrations of motor vehicle crashes with both people on foot and on bicycles. These are areas where people should be walking and bicycling and roads should be safe for them to do so.

Since 2010 Vision Long Island and other local communities and advocates have been working to promote the concept of Complete Streets across Long Island and New York State. Thirteen municipalities have adopted Complete Streets policies that require them to consider all users of a roadway when they are rebuilding it, whether they are in a car, a bus, on foot or on a bicycle. This has led to more sidewalks, more cross walks and even some bike lanes being built in certain locations. However it’s time we raise the bar on the quality of our streets and roads. In places where we want to encourage people to walk, bike or take transit, it’s not enough to just provide adequate accommodations, we need to provide an inviting environment that people enjoy being in.

“Walk Appeal” is a concept coined several years ago that seeks to measure how enjoyable an environment is to walk in, in order to create more places where people would choose to walk rather than drive. While many may say that Long Islanders love their cars and don’t like to walk anywhere, it’s not because there is something in our genes or culture, it’s because we don’t have many places where anybody would like to walk.

Some aspects of a place’s walk appeal may be difficult to quantify, such as lovable things along the way, a sense of security, or the magic of a place. Others are more tangible such as street enclosure, changes in view and terminated vistas, or the transparency of facades facing the sidewalk. These qualities that can be measured and planned for make a space comfortable, interesting, and enjoyable for those walking.

There are many tangible as well as intangible benefits to creating spacing with a high level of walk appeal. Businesses in local downtowns can attract more patrons without having to provide additional parking, property values increase and transit systems can become more viable. In addition there are improvements to people’s physical and mental health as well as an increased sense of community in a place. All of these can lead to both a higher standard of living as well as a better quality of life.

In places where walking should be not only feasible but encouraged, we need to think about our streets and our public rights-of-way not just as thoroughfares to get you from place to place, but places in themselves. If we want to reap the economic, social, health, and environmental benefits of walkable places, they cannot be merely walk-able, but must have walk appeal.

Friends of the Bay to Co-Sponsor Beach Cleanup on Saturday, April 21st

Friends of the Bay is once again co-sponsoring the Harbor & Beach CleanUp with the Town of Oyster Bay and the North Oyster Bay Baymen's Association on Saturday, April 21. The cleanup will begin at 8 a.m. and will go to noon.  Three separate beaches will be cleaned, including the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay near the boat launching ramps & waterfront gazebo, Stehli Beach in Bayville, and Centre Island Beach in Bayville.  All are invited to spend a day making a difference, but be and sure to bring your gloves!

Call 516-677-5943 for more information and to pre-register or visit

Car-Less Long Island to Host 3rd Annual Bike-to-Work Parade on Saturday, April 28th

On April 28th, Car-Less Long Island will be hosting its 3rd Annual Bike-to-Work Parade along a 6.5 mile loop around Eisenhower Park that will begin and end at Hofstra’s North Campus.  There will be a police escort for safe riding. (See the map of bike route here and map of Hofstra here). There is a 1.9-mile walking route for those who want to see a more walk-able and bike-able Long Island, but do not want to bike themselves or are not ready to bike a 6.5 mile loop. There is also a short cut to a 1.5-mile route. (See a map of the full and short walking routes here. You can also see it on the Hofstra campus map here).  After the parade will be the bike to work festival with music, speakers, prizes, and fun for the whole family!

For more information on how to register, a flyer for the event, instructions on how to volunteer, and more, you can visit here.

2018 Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast to be Held on May 4th

On Friday, May 4, 2018, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, the APA Long Island Section will hold its annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast at Molloy College’s Suffolk Center at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale.

This year’s presentation will focus on shared mobility, travel trends of millennials/post-millennials and the emergence of self-driving technology. Key drivers of transportation changes and the implications for the planning profession will be discussed. Guest Speakers include Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Dr. Floyd Lapp, FAICP, an adjunct professor in Urban Planning, Columbia University.

“A New Transportation Paradigm [1.5 CM Requested]: Self-Driving Technology, Ridesharing and Culture” will be presented by Scott Le Vine, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, SUNY New Paltz.

Each year, the best and brightest of Long Island’s new and future professional planners compete for the Arthur Kunz Scholarship, which provides funds to its recipients for attendance at the annual American Planning Association National Conference. This year, the Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to four planners who were selected following a competitive process. This year’s recipients will each take a few moments during the breakfast to share with you some highlights from their experiences.

Registration costs before the event: $15 students; $20 municipal, APA members, non-profits; $25 non-APA members; ($40 at the door). To register for this event and pay online, please visit here or, send a check payable to “LI Section” to: Kathryn Eiseman, APA LI Section Treasurer, c/o Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, 572 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747. (If paying by check, please also send an email confirmation to Kathy Eiseman at A registration link can also be found on A healthy breakfast buffet will be provided. AICP-CM credits will be requested!

SunPower by EmPower Solar Holds Student Solar Competition, Registration Open until May 15th

EmPower Solar was founded in 2003 after participating in the DOE Solar Decathlon; a competition that encouraged us to problem solve, get creative and innovate our way to a sustainable future.  Fifteen years later, they carry this story with them and each year encourage students to get involved in the STEM and energy fields with a contest of their own. This year, they have partnered with the Alley Pond Environmental Center to launch the 2018 Student Solar Contest.

Students will compete by answering the common question of: How do our energy choices affect wildlife and our environment? Through posters, business letters, and mock-interview style videos, students will compete for scholarships and other prizes.
Students K-12 on LI and in NYC can sign up their teams here.  Registration is open until May 15th with final projects due on June 15th and the award ceremony on August 24th. 

Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Highway Safety Grants now Available for 2019

NYS is now taking applications for eGrants for Highway Safety.  Program areas to be considered include occupant protection, traffic enforcement, motorcycle safety, traffic records, community programs, programs that impact younger drivers or older drivers, pedestrian safety, roadway safety and impaired driving.  Local and tribal govnerments as well as not-for-profits are eligible to apply.  The deadline for applications is May 1st, 2018.

You can contact NYS at 518-474-5111 or  You can also apply and look up more info on the grants here.

The 2018 AARP Community Challenge

Have a great project for your community? The AARP Community Challenge is giving grants to fund quick action projects in areas such as housing, transportation, and public space that spark change and help build momentum to improve livability for all residents. It takes time to build great communities. But, AARP also believes that quick action can spark longer-term progress. The AARP Community Challenge funds projects that build momentum for local change to improve livability for all residents. Apply now at Application deadline is 5:00 pm on May 16, 2018.

To Reduce Pedestrian Deaths, Focus on Design

The following article originally appeared on the CNU's Public Square website

Pedestrian deaths have risen about 45 percent since 2009, reports the State Smart Transportation Initiative. Some experts have speculated that the cause is distracted driving, or even driving under the influence of marijuana.

While any potential causes are worth investigating, the best ongoing study of pedestrian deaths, Dangerous by Design, shows that pedestrian deaths don't happen randomly, where drivers happen to be high or distracted.

No. They occur year after year on the same automobile-oriented thoroughfares with large intersections that mix human activities with fast-moving traffic. Dangerous By Design was presented this year at the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

Furthermore, the metro areas where the most pedestrians die are also those where the fewest people walk. These cities are designed in such a way to make walking very difficult. And when people do walk—out of necessity—they often are struck by automobiles with tragic result. The victims are often people who cannot afford cars or cannot, or do not wish to, drive for other reasons.

And now, automated vehicles are beginning to kill pedestrians on these same thoroughfares. To reduce pedestrian deaths, we need a strategy for taming deadly thoroughfares that go through cities and suburbs.

Smart Talk

Christopher Kyle, Communications Director

Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Elissa Kyle, Planning Director; Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator

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