Monday, January 13, 2014

Albemarle Road Getting Safety Upgrade

Councilman Brad Lander
The stretch of Albermarle Road in the heart of Kensington is notoriously hazardous for drivers and pedestrians alike. That fact is about to change as the Department of Transportation responds to pressure from community leaders and Councilman Brad Lander to install safety measures to the stretch of road between Ocean Parkway and McDonald Avenue.

Over the coming months the DOT will be making driving lanes narrower to slow down drivers; “No Standing” signs will be put up to improve visibility; and two speed bumps will also be installed to slow down cars.

Lander says that it is commonplace for cars to drive too fast, making the area dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists as well as drivers. In just one year, 2013, there were 10 car crashes in that corridor. Earlier this month two cars collided at East 2nd Street.

“The community spoke out and Department of Transportation listened,” Lander said. “I am looking forward to walking the safer Albemarle Road next year,” he added.

The problem has been going on for so long and is so serious that residents voted to budget part of their tax money to fix the problem as part of Landers’ experimental Participatory Budgeting program.

“This has been a decade long fight. We look forward to the implementation of these devices in the springtime,” said Larry Jayson, president of the Albemarle Neighborhood Association.

“This is an important victory for residents in Kensington, who have come to Participatory Budgeting neighborhood assemblies for the last several years and noted Albemarle Road as an area that needs traffic calming measures,” said Rachael Fauss, Kensington resident and member of the Participatory Budgeting District Committee for District 39.

“With these new improvements, the community will be safer and know that its voice has been heard,” Fauss said.

Councilman Lander said that the “No Standing” signs are already in place. Residents will be able to hear more about the safety improvement plan from the DOT at a Community Board 12 meeting this month.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NYC Trading Cards Coming Soon

You may soon see NYC Trading Cards around Kensington. Brooklyn-based artist Alex Gardega has spent six years drawing cover art for the Ambassador Yellow Pages. Now, he's using those pictures of everything from the Brooklyn bridge and the Bronx Zoo to the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows and more to create trading cards.

As Gardega, 44, said,

“I’m one of these New Yorkphiles, for lack of a better term. I always love learning about New York things. Especially the ones you see all the time but don’t know anything about.”

Card by Alex Gardega

Each of his cards will have information on the back of it about the personality of the person or the information about the place. The cards will come in packs of five and will sell for $6 a pack. He's hoping to start with a limited run of 2000 cards and will take pre-orders through the site

Who will decide what qualifies as being from New York? Gardega plans to take on that task himself. As he said,

“Andy Warhol was from Pittsburgh, but you think of him as a New Yorker through and through. Even Dali was an eternal Spaniard but I think of him as a New Yorker, because he lived at the St. Regis forever.”