Saturday, April 15, 2017

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz Supports Michael Heller for new CB 8 District Manager

At the October 2016 meeting of Traffic and Transportation committee Mr. Michael Heller chairs the following is in the minutes of the meeting as taken from the CB 8 website.

The meeting opened at 7:40 PM. The September 2016 minutes were reviewed. The Committee approved unanimously. 

Below are the minutes (all three pages as noted) of the September 20, 2016 Bronx Community Board 8 Traffic and Transportation meeting as taken off the boards website on Saturday April 13th at 7:00 PM that were submitted by Mr. Michael Heller the committee chair. 
Please read my comment at the bottom.


BRONX COMMUNITY BOARD NO. 8, Traffic and Transportation Committee Minutes of September 20, 2016 

Meeting Committee Attendance: 

M. Heller 
D. Fuchs 
A. Creaney 
E. Bell 
N. Friedman 
S. Alexander 
G. Santiago 
Myra Joyce Community Committee member 

Committee Absences: 

M. Donato 
S. Sarao 
J. O’Brien 

Board Attendance: 

Paul Ellis 
Amy Joy Robateau 
David Gellman 
Bob Bender 
Herb Young 


Maria Nochimson – local resident 
Richard Nochimson – local resident 
Michael McCormick – Horace Mann School 
Peter Clancy – Horace Mann School 
Walter Hickey – MTAB&T 
Joyce Mulvaney – MTAB&T 
Cassandra Edgehill – MTAB&T 
Richard Campisi – MTAB&T 
Bruce Furman – local resident 
Joshua Stephenson - Office of Councilman Cohen 
Hugh Keenan – St. Margaret of Cortona School 

The meeting was conducted at the Fieldston Lodge Care Center, 666 Kappock Street, and was called to order at 7:40 PM by Chairman M. Heller, with a quorum present. The minutes of the March meeting were approved 9 – 0 – 0 by members M. Heller, R. Press, A. Creaney, D. Fuchs, E. Bell, N. Friedman, H. Young, G. Santiago, M. Joyce. 

Mr. Heller welcomed everyone and gave an overview of the next several months, including meeting on west 254 street, north Riverdale transportation plan and TA bus issues.

Minutes of the Traffic & Transportation Meeting, September 20, 2016 Page 2 

He Announced presentation by Joyce Mulvaney, director of community affairs of MTA B&T who introduced her staff to talk about the Henry Hudson Parkway (HHP) toll booth and other projects. 

She described the previous conversion to open road tolling, HHP cashless pilot since 2012 and we were the first. The goal is convert all MTA bridges and remove HHP tool booths starting at the end of 2016. A gantry system will read all ez passes and license plates. The Upper level will start at the end of 2016, lower level will take longer. 

Skew backs, which secure the bridge arch are to be rehabilitated starting early next year. Concrete pedestals will also be replaced over a 33 month period with all work at ground level and no impact on traffic. There will be an incentive for contractor to reduce duration to take off three months. Work is to be done only 8-4 pm weekdays on Bronx side. 

Replacement of bridge plazas, upper and lower: 45 months total contract period for both decks. The lower level is a much larger job requiring 31 months and reduction to 2 lanes. The upper deck will require five months. There will be incentives to shorten work on the lower level by 9 months and the top by 2 months bottom to three lanes. 

The bike path will be closed during lower level work. A bus shuttle service will run from Kappock to Dyckman during daylight continuously from March 1 through November, not during winter months due to low usage. 10.6 in lanes. 

Representatives confirmed the MTA jurisdiction is from Kappock to Dyckman Street. 

There was discussion as to the feasibility of turning over a lane to the Hudson River Greenway or somehow expanding the existing walkway. TBTA staff has rejected giving up a lane. Traffic too heavy, 1800 vehicles per hour requires three lanes to relieve congestion and requires a small shoulder. 

Bob Bender and David Gellman say the only issue is where the two lanes of the southbound HHP turn to three lanes, on bridge or south of it. MTA looked at a possible cantilever for an additional lane, but of course it would be a huge cost though the bridge is ready. Low bike usage does not justify such an expense. 

Gellman suggested move the Jersey barrier slightly over, to which they said no. He also objected to length of pedestrian path closing, saying nothing is being given back to the community. MTA staff also said they cannot create a path to Dyckman Street. 

Mr. Heller said the community board is not altogether happy with a lack of flexibility on bike path issues, and may engage in further correspondence with the MTA. 

The meeting turned toward discussion of requests to install Play Street in various locations. 

1- St. Margaret of Cortona: The principal discussed the merits of the application, safety provided, etc. Approved 9 – 0 – 0 by members M. Heller, R. Press, A. Creaney, D. Fuchs, E. Bell, N. Friedman, H. Young, G. Santiago, M. Joyce. 

2- PS 307, Eames Place: Mr. Heller mentioned the difficulty of the plan as it blocks access to Claflin Avenue, one way northbound from the T intersection with Eames. DI O’Toole agreed that street configuration is difficult. A teacher Rochelle Matera (?) from the school spoke and reiterated the situation, with a bit of disagreement as to how it could happen. There could be a plan to reverse part of Eames but that would have to be an application to DOT. It was mentioned that reduction of their application from full day to one hour in the morning and evening might be more acceptable or mid-day even better. Sylvia 

Minutes of the Traffic & Transportation Meeting, September 20, 2016 Page 3 

Alexander reiterated the need for the closing due to the poor condition of school facilities. After discussion, it was recommended that a meeting take place with the school staff to see if compromise is possible. 

3- Horace Mann: Mr. Heller spoke about how the application is not in compliance with the intent of the application. Mike McCormick, Director of Security told about current configuration of staging on parts of Tibbett Avenue by using the whole street. School security regulates street traffic. The question is, is it necessary to formalize the process, which DOT will not accept. It was asked whether the PD had another process they could implement, or if the traffic flow could be reversed. The current process is in compliance with what FPOA wants. Residents of Tibbett Avenue spoke and said Horace Mann staff has been very cooperative. CB member Paul Ellis spoke and advocated for a solution, even approving the application though it does not fit with the intent. After much discussion, a two tiered approach was selected to continue to flag cars through and explore if the PD or DOT has another methodology. 

It was recommended that the committee take another look at north Riverdale proposal on their website. 

At the next meeting of the committee, scheduled for October 19, there will be discussion of the West 254 street sidewalk issue. 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM. 

Minutes submitted by Michael Heller. 

Editor's Note:

As the former Vice-Chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee from June 2014 until May 31, 2016 when I was not reappointed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to CB 8, I took the minutes of the meetings, and sent them to the chair Mr. Heller for any revisions or changes. 

I was not present at the September 2016 meeting as I am not listed in the attendance log. However note that I voted twice on two different issues (which are highlighted in bold) as a Community Board 8 member. 

As full disclosure I applied for the vacant position of District Manager of Bronx Community Board 8, and I was the only person to openly admit that I had applied. The Riverdale Press had a front page article for the past two weeks about the secrecy of the process, and revealed that Mr. Michael Heller also applied for the position of District Manger which became known when he and another applicant from the board were asked to leave an Executive Session to discuss the screening committee results since it would be a conflict of interest if they were to be in the room during the discussion.

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