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September 1st - 7th, 2018


Regional Updates

PSEG Long Island

PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10.4 billion and operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a 12-year contract.

They have pledged to build a Long Island utility with PSEG’s same record of service, reliability and customer satisfaction. It will take some time to make all the improvements they’re planning, but in the end, they will create a utility of which Long Islanders can be proud. Keeping the lights on isn’t just a job: It’s their mission. 

“This was very much a collective. Nothing like this happens without bringing a lot of people together to make it happen.” - Governor Cuomo speaking at the groundbreaking for the third track

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Hempstead Officials seek Feedback on Grand Ave Plan

Vision recently supported a meeting with over 250 members of the Baldwin community and Town of Hempstead officials hearing input on a proposed overlay district for Grand Avenue.

In the past, local owners and developers have expressed frustration at what they consider an onerous and difficult process when it comes to getting variances and building permits.  In response, the Town has been working with engineering firm VHB to create a zoning overlay district along Grand Ave that expands slightly beyond in the East and West.  The exact boundaries will be established during the planning process.

The plan is modeled after the Baldwin Downtown and Commercial Corridor Resiliency Study, which was officially adopted by the Town as a guiding document for the revitalization of Grand Ave.  The new district was originally suggested in that plan, and will aim to establish new criteria for properties in the district.  Those criteria will allow developers to build more projects as of right instead of needing to apply for variances from the board of appeals.

The district has drawn interest from local residents as they have pledged to keep an eye on it to ensure that the vision for their downtown comes to fruition.  “Many people are already watching it,” said Karen Montalbano, president of the Baldwin Civic Association. “I’ve already been approached … there are people who are out there who keep their eye on it.”

Vision is happy to see the process that began with civic engagement is playing out, with the Town working with local communities to implement their plan.  Economic incentives coupled with a new overlay district has the potential to provide much more economic growth than empty storefronts will.

You can read more here.

Oceanside Project Receives County Support  

Vision Long Island supported elected officials and developers in Oceanside this past week as they lauded a project that will bring back to life a project that was demolished by Superstorm Sandy.

The project will feature a 260,000-square-foot transit oriented development with 230 units within walking distance of the local LIRR station.  The apartments will be market-rate rentals, with 23 to be designated as workforce housing and reduced pricing for individuals making below 80% of the area median income.

The property, owned by the Manhattan-based Feil Organization since 1979, was previously the 150-unit Woodcrest complex before being destroyed in Superstorm Sandy.  Feil would receive approximately $2.3 million in incentives from the Nassau IDA to rebuild.  The Town of Hempstead would also grant a zoning change to allow for increased density at the 5.29 acre site.

Vision was happy to see Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and the Nassau County IDA get behind the proposal and we look forward to the pending redevelopment in the community.

You can read more here.

Governor Cuomo Breaks Ground on Third Track Project

Vision board and staff were at groundbreaking ceremony for the LIRR Third Track project at the "Yes We Can" Community Center in New Cassel.

Governor Cuomo highlighted the numerous infrastructure projects underway on Long Island and around New York State before he and numerous local leaders, including County Executives Steve Bellone and Laura Curran, put shovels in the ground for the beginning of the Urban Avenue track underpass. It is one of the seven underpasses to be constructed to eliminate congested grade level crossings.  This underpass is scheduled to be completed by autumn of next year and the entire third track project is scheduled to be completed by 2022.

“This was very much a collective. Nothing like this happens without bringing a lot of people together to make it happen,” Cuomo said at the event.

While previous attempts at moving forward with the third track project, originally proposed in 1949, have failed, this time the railroad worked with numerous municipalities and communities along the 9.8 mile stretch to address their concerns.  Many of the towns and villages along the Main Line needed more parking to allow for enough downtown capacity when commuter hours were at their peak, and several new parking garages at stations will be built as a result.  Additionally, seven grade level crossings will be eliminated to minimize congestion when trains pass through, and sound barriers will be constructed to reduce noise. 

The project would not have moved forward without the support of the Village mayors and the NYS Senate who negotiated significant public benefits for the local communities.

At the ceremony, Cuomo also touted infrastructure projects both already underway and in the works.  He spoke about the ongoing re-construction of LaGuardia Airport, the proposed air-train line to connect it to Willets Point LIRR station, the new LIRR concourse at Penn Station, and the Moynihan-Farley Complex.  The double track project from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma is scheduled to be complete by the end of this month and 38 stations are undergoing renovation. 

There are also many less visible projects to improve system performance including power substations, a Mid Suffolk Rail Yard, new signal systems and new parking facilities.  The new infrastructure improvements should help to ease delays and provide for additional parking to accommodate local commuters.

You can read more here.

PSEG Long Island Vacant Space Program Bringing Revitalization to Main Street

PSEG Long Island has been working to revitalize Main Street with a variety of programs designed to help out local residents.  One of those programs is the Vacant Space initiative, which provides a discount on the first year energy delivery charges for a new business that takes over a space that had an electric account that was vacant for at least 12 months.  The idea is to help draw tenants into vacant storefronts, making the local economy more vibrant.

Here is the story of one such storeowner, direct from PSEG Long Island:

When Mika Rose (pictured above) saw an empty storefront in Westbury, she envisioned a place where the community could get the ethnic foods they couldn't find nearby. When PSEG Long Island heard her plan, we were glad to help out by lowering her electric costs through our Main Street Revival Program - and turn an empty space into a thriving vommunity business. It's one more way that PSEG Long Island is helping people like Mika make our community even better.

You can find more information on this important program here.

Lowering Speed Limits has Led to Improved Safety in Boston

A recent study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHAS) shows that reducing speed limits on congested city streets can improve safety for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

The IIHS study set its focus on Boston, which lowered the default limit on city streets to 25 from 30.  This move was in response to the Massachusetts legislature passing a law allowing cities to lower their speed limits to 25 mph on municipal roads.  Beginning in 2017, Boston would do just that for every city street unless marked otherwise.

"Speeding occurs on roads of all types, not just highways and freeways," says IIHS President David Harkey. "Even on lower speed roads, speeding can have deadly consequences, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. Some cities are lowering speed limits to reduce the risks for these vulnerable road users, who are increasingly dying in crashes."

The research was conducted on straight, flat, one-lane municipal roads that were away from intersections.  The study also included a control group of roads from local Providence, Rhode Island that were similar to the Boston streets.  Results showed a 29.3% drop in the number of drivers exceeding 35% in comparison, with an 8.5 and 2.9 percent drop off, respectively.

While the study didn’t examine the effects of the lower limit on crashes, the IIHS has already pledged to do so in a future study.

The initiative to lower speed limits is part of the Vision Zero movement, which is working to make inner-city streets safer for all modes of transportation.  Lowering speed limits to afford drivers more time to see and respond to pedestrians is just one step of the overall initiative.

You can read more here.

The 8th Annual Farmingdale Cultural Arts Day is Sunday, September 16th

Join the community, attend Cultural Arts Day - Art in the Park on Sunday, September 16th, starting at Noon at the Village Green, next to Village Hall, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale, the rain date is September 23rd. From 10am – 3pm the Farmers Market will be held in conjunction with these events on Main Street in front of the Firehouse. Main Street will be closed from Prospect Street to the parking lot entrance of Minuteman Press during the Farmers Market. Thanks to the Farmingdale Village Cultural Arts Committee and the Woman’s Club of Farmingdale for planning the events. While in the Village; remember to shop & dine downtown!

Visit the website for the event here and Facebook page here. You can also call 516-249-0093, or email arodenburg@farmingdalevillage.com. Free admission and free Parking is available in Village Parking Lots, along Conklin Street, on Main Street, neighboring streets; and in Train Station Lots (after 4pm without permits Monday-Friday, and on weekends all day). Additional parking is available behind the Village Green in the Weldon E. Howitt Middle School parking lot off of Cherry Street.

Car Free Day Long Island is Friday, September 21st

Beat the Rush Hour!

Join us for the 6th Annual Car Free Day Long Island and leave your car home or drive it less on Friday, September 21, 2018.

Join in this worldwide movement to celebrate sustainable transportation on Car Free Day.  In 2017, 6,808 Long Islanders pledged to be car free or car-lite, resulting in the avoidance of 134,000 miles of driving and 67 tons of CO2 emissions!

To participate in this event, all you have to do is pledge to be car free or car-light on September 21, 2018 by filling out the pledge form on www.CarFreeDayLI.com.  Those who take the pledge will automatically be entered for a chance to win great prizes.

You can download a free online tool kit here.

NY CNU to Hold Chapter Summit this October 12th - 13th

The New York Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism is holding their chapter summit, “Re-Imagining the Suburbs,” a suburban retrofit themed workshop focusing on “new towns” and emerging transit corridors in Amherst.

The event will take place from Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 8:00 AM – Sat, Oct 13, 2018, 5:00 PM EDT. It will be held in Williamsville, NY, a 200 year old mill town, for a weekend of expert speakers, tours, and charrettes aimed at unique retrofit opportunities. The program will kick off with an Urban Land Institute breakfast and wrap up with a celebration tour of the CNU 22 legacy.

You can register for the vent and get more details here.

Suffolk County Purchasing Office Posts New Procurement Opportunity

The Suffolk County Purchasing Division, on behalf of the Department of Economic Development and Planning, is Seeking Contractor Services to Provide a Public Private Partnership (P3) Viability Analysis Based on a Specific Case Study.

To obtain a copy of the document, please log on to the Suffolk County website here and select from the Menu Bar Offerings/Search.  Locate Document #18026 and click View Detail.

You must be registered to search for offerings on the County’s website.  Instructions on how to register are located at the above link to view the County’s website.

How does America use its land? New maps show a whole new way to look at the U.S.

There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is. Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014. The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century. What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their Read the full story here.

Smart Talk

Editor:
Eric Alexander, Director

Contributors:
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Elissa Kyle, Planning Director; Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to info@visionlongisland.org for consideration.

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Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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