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Update November 5, 2013- At the November 4th CB1 meeting, Anthony Notaro explains how he blindly accepts the BPCA’s excuse for not funding traffic lights in unsafe zones of south BPC, despite having paid for the traffic lights on North End Ave by Goldman Sachs. The explanation he regurgitates is actually a bogus one. The lights on Murray and North End were funded and built only a year ago, long after the city took control of the streets. Therefore, the BPCA explanation breaks down.
Once again, the CB1 is more interested in carrying water for the BPCA rather than fighting for what is best for the community.
Update October 1, 2013- By Steven E. Greer
At the BPC subcommittee of the CB1 meeting tonight, Anne Fenton was asked about a traffic light at West Thames, and she replied, “We do not have the budget for it.”. However, a few minutes prior, she explained that the BPCA was raising $800 Million in new bonds, with at least $85 Million going to be used for “infrastructure”.
The BPCA runs an annual budget surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars. Moreover, the BPCA promptly paid for the numerous traffic lights at Murray Streets and North End Avenue, after Goldman Sachs requested them. Why has the BPCA not budgeted for an urgently needed traffic light, yet recently forked over $2 Million to simply “design” a possible West Thames bridge.
The CB1 board, which answers to the BPCA rather than the community in many cases, has made no effort whatsoever to push for this traffic light at West Thames, even though their own annual budget proposal (page 26) specifically lists a request for a traffic light at West Thames. Board member Tammy Meltzer expressed interest in the topic at the recent BPC block party, but failed to speak up at the CB1 meeting.
BatteryPark.TV confronted the board and DOT about these inconsistencies (see video above).
For more details, see below.
Update September 4, 2013- The listing in the CB1 proposed budget (page 26) for a traffic light at South End Ave is a significant development since it has not been requested in prior budgets, and previous locations for traffic light requests have subsequently received a light. For example, last year, the budget requested traffic lights for Murray and North End, which were promptly installed and partially funded by the BPCA.
The BPCA is preparing the capital project plan for the upcoming year. The BPCA can install a traffic light with or without the blessing of the City DOT if it is budgeted in as was done for North End and Murray.
Robert Serpico is the President and CFO of the BPCA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
August 9, 2013- By Steven E. Greer, MD
In the annual report and request for budget (page 26), the Community Board 1 (CB1) specifically requested a traffic light from the city for West Thames and South End Avenue. This is a significant step, since at the most recent CB1 meeting, board members were content with the City DOT’s decision to not place a traffic light based on mysterious secretive “warrant studies” never shown to the public.
BatteryPark.TV believes that the reason for this change is due to several factors. First, the spotlight directed on the problem by BatteryPark.TV initiated actions, such as a walking tour of the dangerous intersections. Secondly, Councilwoman Margaret Chin has become an advocate for changing the streets to improve safety withing all of Battery Park City. Thirdly, the DOT division that oversees BPC, managed by Josh Kraus, has been very willing to work with the community.
After decades of inaction by the city, and inept local leadership by past BPCA and CB1 boards, the poorly designed street intersections within BPC might finally see some improvements. Stay tuned.