Monday, November 7th, 2011
The landmarked Avenue H station house has finally reopened. It’s not completely finished–a worker told me today that they still have some minor things to do, including hanging shingles on one side, all of which he estimated would take another couple weeks to complete–but it is open, and the agent booth is manned.
The installation of bronze rocking chairs outside the station as part of Arts for Transit will happen in the spring. But the tree trunk columns on the front porch and the beautiful wood ceiling inside are enough of a reason to stop by and check it out now.
Granite Construction did a really terrific job–compare the renovated building to the original, and you can see that though they’re slightly different, the spirit is definitely there.
The entrance on the opposite, southbound side of the tracks is currently closed while the booth is dismantled. It was put in as a temporary structure, and once it’s removed, access will be available to the platform via the wheelchair ramp that is already in place. Construction is expected to be complete on that side by December 31.
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Granite Construction and New York City Transit presented a number of completion dates at last night’s Community Board 14 Transportation Committee meeting. All these dates could change due to unforeseen circumstances. Here ya go:
* The landmarked Avenue H station house is scheduled to open Saturday, October 29 (possibly one week past that, though). Work will be going on day and night until it’s done, but night work will be painting and finishing work (i.e., quiet).
* An ADA ramp at Avenue H on the northbound side will not be complete by end of this contract, which is December 31. The scope of the work will exceed that time limit, so trailers will remain in the area until the work is done. On the southbound side, a ramp has been built, and it will be open after the agent booth on that side is removed.
* The underpass turnstiles will remain a permanent part of the station. Who is responsible for sanitation in that underpass remains to be seen.
* The Arts for Transit installation–bronze rocking chairs to be installed on the station house porch–is being fabricated, which will be ongoing through the end of the year. Installation will take place in the spring.
Avenue J is awaiting paint to the iron gates at the station entrance, if they have money for it.
At Avenue M, a southbound exit-only stair wasn’t open previously, and it will now be open to the public, but not done before the December 31.
Elevators at Kings Highway will be operational by November 6.
All five stations are getting pigeon control (electroshock wires, apparently), including Newkirk Plaza, which has a number of other updates as well–see the Ditmas Park Blog for the full list.
Expect ribbon cuttings all over the place as everything gets finished.
Monday, September 26th, 2011
Just a head’s up in case you didn’t notice already, but the Department of Transportation is still paving around the neighborhood today, Monday, September 27:
Bay Ave (E 17 St to Ocean Ave)
Cedar St (E 16 St to E 17 St)
Chestnut Ave (Coney Island Ave to E 17 St)
Elm Ave (Coney Island Ave to Bay Ave)
Locust Ave (Coney Island Ave to Dead End)
According to the DOT’s schedule (PDF), it’s only for today, and there are no other streets listed for work in the area this week.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
Brooklyn College is set to begin construction on a new athletic field at the back of the campus near Avenue H, with the potential completion date of summer, 2012. The softball and soccer teams are psyched, but what about those avian athletes who are using the current field most right now: What’s going to happen to the parrots?
They’re not going to have to leave the nest, per se. The school has given consideration to the flock of Monk parakeets that made the campus their home decades ago, and the construction includes bird-friendly plans.
“I was wonderfully surprised by their stated intentions to work around the parrots,” Steve Baldwin of BrooklynParrots.com, who gives monthly tours of the parrot colony on the campus, told us in an email. “It really seems to me that they’re employing ‘best practices’ for wild parrot conservation.”
Those best practices include doing the work around the birds’ mating schedule, and making sure the new lighting is welcoming for the flock. Though they will have to dismantle the existing nests to replace the light poles, the Daily News reports that BC has set aside about $5,000 to install nesting platforms on them.
These best practices have been picking up steam in recent years. Baldwin has been involved in a few projects where a lot of thought and resources were given to accommodating the existing parrot residents, and he’s heard of more on the way, in addition to the BC field.
“I also learned that a light replacement project in Pelham Bay Park includes the construction of ‘parrot baskets’ so that the parrots can go on living there,” he said.
Some aren’t crazy about these squawking neighbors, however. Students wonder about the birds fouling up the new field with feces, and Con Edison has long been an enemy of any nests found on transformers. But these are intelligent birds who will find a way to survive (these South American natives are thriving in Brooklyn, after all), so people may be better off working with them, and creating alternatives like these nesting platforms is a good beginning.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome, not just at BC but in all the recent renovations that have threatened to impact the birds,” Baldwin said. “There have been so many enlightened people out there who have stepped up to the plate and done the right thing by the parrots. It gives me much hope for humanity, as well as our avian friends!”
The next Brooklyn Parrot Safari at Brooklyn College led by Steve Badlwin is scheduled for Saturday, October 1 at 11am. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 12th, 2011
As of this morning, every station along the Brighton Line is in operation! For two years, access to both directions of the Q train at the Avenue H and Avenue M stations has been limited to just one side, but those stations are completely open once again.
The B line is still running on the local track, however, and is expected to be back to express on October 3. When running express, following 7th Avenue, the B stops at Prospect Park, Church Ave, Newkirk Plaza, Kings Highway, Sheepshead Bay, and Brighton Beach.
The Avenue M station still seems to have quite a bit of work left before it’s all done. Though you can see the new tiles have been installed up the staircase to the Manhattan-bound platform, there is still a lot of finishing to be done throughout the station. The Avenue H station house is still under construction, and a worker told me he expects they’ll be finished soon–hope to hear a more definite answer at tonight’s Community Board 14 meeting.
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
The Department of Transportation is working on Avenue H from Ocean Parkway to Campus Rd through at least tomorrow.
They are milling the street (pulling up the top layer of pavement to prepare for paving, and the paving will happen at a later date). There is no parking or driving on those stretches during the work.
If your car was parked on Avenue H and it’s been towed, it’s most likely been relocated to another spot nearby. Call the 70th Precinct at 718-851-5511 for more information, but if they can’t help, just check the blocks surrounding your previous parking spot.
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
The Brighton Line Rehabilitation project is coming to an end! Starting in September, the Q train will once again stop at all the stations that have been closed temporarily, and the B train will be back to running express. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that to complete the work, the line will terminate at Prospect Park for a weekend, when there will also be street closures in Midwood. Granite Construction provided Community Board 14 with the following street closures for the weekend of September 9-12:
* Avenue P between E. 15th and E. 16th from 8:00 PM Friday 9/9 thru 5:00 AM Monday 9/12.
* Avenue J between E. 15th and E. 16th from 8:00 PM Friday 9/9 thru 5:00 AM Monday 9/12.
* Chestnut Avenue between E. 15th and E. 16th from 8:00 PM Friday 9/9 thru 5:00 AM Monday 9/12.
* The current one-way traffic between Ave. I and Ave. J will become two-way traffic from 8:00 PM Friday 9/9 thru 5:00 AM Monday 9/12. Vehicles will not be able to access Avenue J from East 16th street during this period.
Detour signs will be in place to direct motorists accordingly.
Trains will not be running between Prospect Park and Stillwell Avenue from 8pm Friday, September 9 through 5am Monday, September 12. Here are the alternatives for that weekend, from the MTA:
* B68 and free shuttle buses provide express and local service between Prospect Park and Stillwell Av.
* Express shuttle buses run between Brighton Beach and Prospect Park, stopping at Sheepshead Bay, Neck Rd, Avenue U, Kings Hwy, the Flatbush Av 2 Station and Prospect Park.
* Local shuttle buses run between Prospect Park and Kings Hwy, making all Q station stops.
* B68 bus service is available between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Av (additional service will be provided overnight).
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
It’s bad enough to drive over those enormous metal plates that are sometimes placed over holes in the road, but imagine living next to one and hearing the cars clank over them constantly? One woman tells Courier Life that she’s fed up with the noise outside her home on Bedford Ave, between Campus Road and Avenue I, which has been going on for months.
A company came in to work on pipes, but never finished, and covered the work area with those plates. After complaining to everyone possible, the work remains unfinished, and Ita Mermelstein is left with the noise:
In early May, contractors paved around the edges of the metal, but a passing fire truck soon knocked it loose. After another two weeks of insanity-inducing noise, crews returned and welded the metal down — but that didn’t hold either.
“They just can’t get their act together. It’s just unreal,” she said.
Anyone else live over there that’s noticed the never-ending banging?
Monday, April 25th, 2011
East 14th by carryboo.
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