14 times • MARCH 26, 2015 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.timesnewsweekly.com Addabbo suggests using proposed Glendale homeless shelter for veteran housing BY ANTHONY GIUDICE firstname.lastname@example.org @A_GiudiceReport The controversial plan to turn the abandoned warehouse located at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale into a homeless shelter appears to be moving forward, but state Senator Joseph Addabbo wants to make that proposal a little more specific. If the city is going to make the site into a homeless shelter, Addabbo said, it should extend the facility to the homeless who have fought for this nation’s freedom. “I will never agree that housing any individual at the Cooper Avenue site is a good idea,” said Addabbo, who is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “But if the city is insistent on housing people, why not focus our attention on an overlooked issue? We can help the veterans who helped us maintain the quality of life we have come to know instead of warehousing possibly over 100 families into this building.” “The bottom line is that nobody deserves to be without a home, especially those who initially left their homes to defend our rights,” he added. Nationwide, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that one-third of the homeless population has served in the military at one point. Reportedly, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) estimated that anywhere between 2,000 and 3,500 veterans in New York City are homeless. Bringing families to the site could run the risk of further crowding school district 24, one of the most overcrowded school districts in the city, Addabbo charged. Changing the site to veterans housing would have minimal effect on the surrounding communities and also address the citywide issue of overcrowded schools. Even so, Addabbo still believes that there are better uses for the long-defunct warehouse. “With this Glendale facility, we can repurpose it in a way that helps people but also doesn’t negatively impact the community,” he added. “This site could alternatively also be used as senior housing, school or an animal shelter, as was suggested by a constituent, all of which are lacking in the borough and the city.” While the DHS intends to address the current homeless crisis, the Cooper The site of a proposed homeless shelter in Glendale. Avenue site would not be ready for residents for over a year, the senator noted. “Keeping the proposal for 78-16 Cooper Ave. as a homeless shelter does not immediately serve anyone,” Addabbo said. The Glendale and Middle Village communities have been combating the proposed homeless shelter since its inception. Civic and business leaders in both neighborhoods formed the Glendale/Middle Village THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre Coalition for the specific purpose of filing legal action to stop the shelter’s development. Since its formation, the coalition has raised thousands of dollars to fight the placement of the shelter and have filed an Article 78, an appeal to the city’s Environmental Assessment that it did on the site. The coalition charged the assessment was not complete and wants the city to do a full Environmental Impact study before moving forward with any plans. DOT proposes expanding bike network in CB 5 area BY ANTHONY GIUDICE email@example.com @A_GiudiceReport Gear up for round two of bike lane construction in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village. Aaron Fraint, project manager with NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) bicycle program, presented three options for a second phase of bike lane creation to the Community Board 5 Transportation Committee members on March 24. All three options focused on creating a network of lanes. “We would like to do a set of streets that all connect to each other because we see the bike network as just that, a network, rather than sets of routes that aren’t connected to anything,” Fraint said. The first option would connect Ridgewood to Rego Park through Middle Village via Metropolitan Avenue, 69th Street and Eliot Avenue ending on Woodhaven Boulevard. “Metropolitan Avenue is very busy corridor…with a lot of commercial and industrial activity,” Fraint said, which is why creating safe bike lanes is so important. The avenue is also 41 feet wide, which allows just enough room for a shared bike lane in both directions. The DOT proposed using “sharrows,” symbols with a green background that notify motorists that bicyclists may be present. Option two connects Glendale to Rego Park through Middle Village by using Central Avenue connecting to Cooper Avenue to Woodhaven Boulevard, with a north/ south route on 80th Street turning into Dry Harbor Road and 63rd Avenue, ending on Woodhaven Boulevard. Fraint said that both Central and Cooper avenues — which are 40 feet wide — have enough space for 12-footwide shared lanes in both directions with 8-foot parking lanes. Cooper Avenue already has a shared bike lane on the extra-wide sidewalks that were installed on the underpass after its reconstruction. These connect to a shared bike lane on 80th Street, so “we would pick up where shared lanes left off on 80th Street and bring it over to Woodhaven Boulevard,” Fraint said. The final option seeks to connect Ridgewood to Long Island City through Maspeth along Fresh Pond Road, 59th Drive to Rust Street. In the opposite direction, the route would take Rust Street to 60th Street then to 60th Avenue and back down Fresh Pond Road. A segment of Fresh Pond Road, which is 44 feet wide, can accommodate 14-foot shared lanes in both directions, Aaron Fraint (standing left) presenting the Community Board 5 Transportation Committee with options for new bike lanes. keeping the configuration of one travel lane in each direction and parking on both sides. 59th Drive is one-way westbound from the turn off Fresh Pond Road up until 60th Street, and at 26 feet wide, “we will be able to keep the condition as is, but add a shared lane for cyclists,” Fraint said. As 59th Drive continues past 60th Street, it becomes a 30-foot-wide two-way street, and the DOT is looking to put in a center line and shared lane symbols. The DOT is still working out what type of bicycle facilities would be the best fit on Rust Street. Fraint added that a lot of cyclists are using that route and it is a logical connector between Ridgewood and Photo Anthony Giudice Long Island City. After the board heard all three options, they discussed which ones they would like to see implemented in the community. “I do like the Metropolitan, 69th and Eliot route,” said John Maier, co-chair of the committee. “I think Eliot makes a lot of sense.” For option two, Maier said that Fresh Pond Road is “already a traffic nightmare,” but that cyclists do use the route and it is worth taking a look at. Panel members agreed that the first option would be the best fit for the communities. They liked option two, with some modifications to the 80th Street section. The DOT needs to further study the third option before the board accepts it. The DOT hopes to begin installing the accepted routes during 2015.
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