Mayor de Blasio, the CEO of Amtrak, and the leadership of the Queens Chamber of Commerce want to build a series of decks over the Sunnyside Yards, that would then serve as platforms for new apartments, offices and possibly parks and attractions. Some of my neighbors have expressed opposition on various grounds, and have tried to recruit me to join them.
When I was first approached, I was sympathetic, and there is still one very good reason the city shouldn’t build these decks: they’re not worth it. Decking advocates claim that the project will allow new affordable housing, bring in more tax revenue and connect Sunnyside more closely with Long Island City. Those are nice, but we can get them all without spending billions of taxpayer dollars on decks.
We can get more housing and bring in more tax revenue by rezoning our miles of single-family and attached house zones to allow for new apartments, and building new trains to connect these neighborhoods to Manhattan. Modern, quiet elevated trains like those in Vancouver cost a fraction of what we spent on the Second Avenue Subway.
To the extent Sunnyside feels disconnected from Long Island City and Astoria, it’s because the bridges over the Yards are noisy and feel unsafe. They are desolate at night, and filled with speeding cars at most hours. Shops and homes along the route would make them feel safer, but that doesn’t require giant decks; it could be done by doubling the widths of the bridges.
The noise of the 7 train could be mitigated by extending the concrete cladding that shields us from the tracks in Sunnyside. The noise of the roadway could be mitigated by removing the large metal barriers that reflect noise back onto the sidewalks and replacing them with fences. These are expensive projects, but much less expensive than building giant decks.
I oppose the decking proposals on these fiscal grounds. I do not object to them on any of the other grounds that my neighbors assert without evidence. I do not believe that they would contribute to displacement or overcrowding in our existing buildings; if anything, the added supply would probably give us more room and bring rents down.
I also disagree with the claims by some of my neighbors claim that new buildings on the decks would add to construction noise, dust or car traffic, or significantly increase crowding on the 7 train. I do not agree with the claim by one of my neighbors that these decks will result in a net increase in carbon emissions and heat simply by containing buildings.
These decks are not a worthwhile use of our tax dollars. If private investors are willing to pay for these decks, I have no reason to oppose them. I would much rather see the money spent on new subways, and the housing achieved by upzoning.
Today I took a walk along Queens Boulevard in my neighborhood, where the Department of Transportation has been working to transform the medians into walking and cycling paths like those on Eastern and Ocean Parkways in Brooklyn. One of the most interesting changes is the closing of the “slip lanes” which allowed drivers to switch from the express to the local lanes and back. The slip lanes between 54th and 56th Streets are already closed (see above).
Back in January I attended a DOT revisioning workshop for the Boulevard. We packed the cafeteria at my son’s old elementary school, and in a very encouraging contrast to a similar meeting in 2003, everyone seemed to agree that we need to do something. Peter Beadle, a fellow pedestrian advocate who lives down the Boulevard in Rego Park, focused on the slip lanes when reporting his table’s recommendations. After the meeting, he pointed out to me that Ocean and Eastern Parkways in Brooklyn have no slip lanes, which is a major factor in why they feel so much safer than avenues that are otherwise similarly designed, like Queens, Woodhaven and Linden Boulevards and the Grand Concourse. Here is a slip lane on Queens Boulevard that has not been closed, between 58th and 59th Streets:
Reviewing the presentation that the DOT gave to Community Board 2, it looks like they are not planning to close this slip lane. Instead, they will make it safer by putting a stop sign in the middle of it. Knowing how cavalierly drivers treat other stop signs, I’m skeptical about this, but it will be an improvement over the current slip lanes.
More importantly, it will allow for a continuous pedestrian path alongside the bike path on this entire stretch of Queens Boulevard. This afternoon I walked from 51st to 58th Streets on this path, and because there was only one lane of moving vehicles to my right it felt relatively safe. Once this path is continued all the way to 63rd Street (and hopefully beyond, one day), I think it will become a popular stroll, like the paths on Ocean and Eastern Parkways are now. The DOT has already painted crosswalks and put up signals for pedestrians:
(If you zoom in on this picture, you can see that the last car that went through here was doing 38 in a 25 mile an hour zone. We’ve got a lot more work to do.)
On the evening of September 28, 2013, college student Luis Bravo was killed by a hit-and-run driver in my neighborhood while walking down Broadway on the way home from the supermarket. As I wrote a few days later, that part of Broadway is too broad, and has always felt dangerous to me. I asked for the roadway to be narrowed from four lanes to two, and the width given to expanding the sidewalks.
At the request of our City Council member, Jimmy Van Bramer, and other community leaders, the Department of Transportation studied the road and determined that we do not need four lanes there. Just this week they repainted it, transferring that width to a painted median and extra-wide parking lanes. Compare the above picture that I took today with one that I took last year, from just a block further west:
At 5:30, the height of rush hour, there was no gridlock, no cars backed up for more than half a block, and many gaps in between platoons of cars. The cars were moving steadily, but slower than before. There were also several bike commuters taking advantage of the extra-wide parking lanes, as you can see in the photo below (at the corner where Bravo was killed):
I haven’t ridden a bike on this section, so I don’t know how safe the parking lanes feel, but I still would rather see wider sidewalks than these painted medians and turn lanes. The real test, as my neighbor Al Volpe wrote to the Woodside Herald, is whether the paint will slow down cars at 11PM. If it does, we may well have saved others from Luis Bravo’s fate.
This past Saturday, a young college student was killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking on Broadway at 58th Street here in Woodside. I know the danger he felt. Just two weeks before I was walking home from a dinner date in Jackson Heights. At 59th Street, a block before the corner where Luis Bravo was killed, I said to my wife, “Let’s turn here. This stretch of Broadway always feels dangerous to me.”
The width of this stretch of Broadway is puzzling. It’s a strange gap: years ago, before I moved to Queens, I walked most of the length of Broadway, from Elmhurst to Astoria, and this area almost made me regret my trip. A few blocks east, at 63rd Street, it’s seventy feet wide. A few blocks west, at 53rd Place, it’s also seventy feet wide. Between those two streets, the road widens to ninety feet, and from two travel lanes to four.
Maybe the people digging the subway needed a ditch that wide because the local and express tracks come together at Northern Boulevard. Maybe the city engineers thought that Broadway needed to be four lanes wide to bring cars from 34th and 35th Avenues to Northern Boulevard. If so, they were wrong. There is never a traffic jam on those blocks, even in the height of rush hour. There’s lots of room for the cars, which encourages drivers to speed.
We have already looked into ways to make this area safer. My City Council Member, Jimmy Van Bramer told Streetsblog that earlier this year, at the request of my neighbor Ed Surmenian, his staff asked the City Department of Transportation to study changing the timing of the traffic signals. The DOT responded that the signals were properly timed.
Stephen Miller of Streetsblog tells us that the DOT has proposed “road diets” for similarly overbuilt streets like Morningside Avenue, to take space away from cars. The Morningside Avenue proposed configuration would certainly be an improvement over what we have, but it would just waste that space on painted medians.
The sidewalks on Broadway should be widened, giving that space to pedestrians. The sidewalks on the south side are relatively comfortable, varying from ten to fifteen feet wide, but the ones on the north side are all under ten feet wide. The sidewalks on both sides should be a minimum of twenty feet wide.
You may say that you don’t see that many people walking on that part of Broadway, so why have twenty foot sidewalks? I say that people don’t walk because they don’t feel safe, just like my wife and I turned off when we got to 59th Street. With wider sidewalks and slower cars, more people will walk. It’s a natural connection between Jackson Heights and Astoria, after all.
Another thing that would bring people to walk in that area would be interesting stores and restaurants, but the zoning doesn’t encourage it. West of 63rd Street the avenue is zoned for residential construction, and west of 57th Street it’s manufacturing, but there’s very little manufacturing on Broadway itself. A C2-5 commercial overlay would allow people to build stores along Broadway in this section that look just like the ones west of 49th Street and east of 72nd Street.
I know that Jimmy Van Bramer and his staff have been working hard to make the district safer to walk in. I know that Borough Commissioner Maura McCarthy wants pedestrians to be safer in Queens. So let’s take away those extra lanes of Broadway and make the sidewalks wider. And let’s bring in the Department of City Planning and make it legal to build stores and restaurants right up to the sidewalk. Let’s make this part of Broadway a place where people can stroll in comfort.
Here’s one announcement from Jimmy Van Bramer’s MTA Town Hall that didn’t really make it into the news. In addition to closing the Steinway Tunnel for sixteen weekends this year and not running a bus through the Midtown Tunnel, the MTA will close the Court Square station from January 21 through April 6 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The E, G and M trains will stop in the subways, but when the #7 is running to Times Square it will cruise right by Court Square without stopping.
At the town hall, Peter Cafiero, Chief of Operations Planning for the authority, said that workers would replace almost every part of the station, including the platforms and windscreens. It’s kind of hard to board a train with no platform there, and unlike the Metro-North stations where they’ve replaced platforms recently, there’s nowhere else to build a new platform. This makes sense, but as with the weekend closing of the Steinway Tunnel, the alternatives are bad.
On weekdays while the Court Square platforms are closed, the MTA will offer no additional service. Passengers who want to take the #7 are advised to take the E or M trains. That’s it.
People who used to transfer from the G to the #7 will have to walk to the E or M instead, or else go the other way and transfer to the already crowded L train at Metropolitan.
Since they’re going to shut down the station completely, I wish they could build another staircase at the north end of the platform so that we can transfer directly from the #7 to the E and M trains. The existing transfer at 45th Road takes you to the G train, but transferring to the E or M involves walking another block underground. At 44th Drive north of the 53rd Street tunnel there’s just a parking lot now. It would be relatively cheap to build a staircase (and even an elevator, to be ADA accessible) connecting the el to the subway.
If they don’t do it now, they should at least require anyone who builds on that parcel to put in another transfer.
Yesterday I wrote about the need to shut down the #7 line through the Steinway Tunnels between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square for eleven weekends from January to April, and for five weekends in the fall, as articulated by the MTA staff who attended a Town Hall organized by City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer. The MTA convinced me: they showed how the emergency weekend shutdowns allowed them to improve reliability on the line, and made an argument that Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) will improve train frequency and reliability.
Okay, so what do we do in the meantime? For years, every time they have to shut down the Steinway Tunnels, the MTA planners’ response has been the same: run shuttle buses from the bypassed stations to Court Square and Queensboro Plaza. This turns a ten-minute ride from Vernon-Jackson to Grand Central into a 45-minute odyssey. There is a better way.
In 2009, Cap’n Transit observed that according to Google Maps, a car driven from Penn Station through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel could get to Broadway and 21st Street in Astoria, the 39th Avenue station in Astoria, the 46th-Bliss Street station in Sunnyside or the Greenpoint Avenue station in Greenpoint in ten minutes without traffic, or thirty minutes with traffic. Following a similar suggestion for Red Hook in 2007, he suggested that the MTA run shuttle buses through the tunnel and along 34th Street instead of – or in addition to – up Jackson Avenue to Queensboro Plaza.
Last year I suggested to Jimmy that he ask the MTA. He did, with support from Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, Council Speaker Christine Qunn and State Senator Mike Gianaris. The MTA gave a lame response and that was the end of it.
On Tuesday night, I asked the MTA staff directly for a tunnel bus. Jimmy again supported my request and offered to contribute city money for it. I was heartened to hear several other residents echoing my request. Peter Cafiero, Chief of Operations Planning, said that they had looked at the issue, the bus would get stuck in traffic, and it would cost $50,000 a weekend to run buses through the tunnel every ten minutes. Their usual solution is to run buses to the nearest station, and that’s what they plan to do this time.
To me this sounds like an excuse to avoid trying something different. Jimmy (I’m pretty sure it was him, although it might have been one of the other town-hall speakers) said that it was a failure of imagination, which pretty much sums it up. The planners have no incentive to do anything beyond a shuttle bus, so they’re not going to try and make things any easier for residents.
Here’s why I don’t think the tunnel buses would have to cost so much or get stuck in traffic. The request that Jimmy made last year was for a bus to Grand Central. It kinda makes sense to run a bus to Grand Central since that’s the next stop on the #7 train, but to do that they’d have to run four blocks west on 39th Street, three blocks north on Madison Avenue, five blocks east on 42nd Street and six blocks south on Second Avenue, all in mixed traffic. Yes, that would make them slow and unreliable.
If instead the buses ran west on 34th Street to Penn Station, around the block on 35th Street and back on 34th, they could travel the entire way on exclusive bus lanes. True, sometimes the lanes are blocked, but they’re a lot quicker than fighting with cars and trucks on Madison Avenue and 42nd Street. This would allow riders to transfer to the subways at Park Avenue, Herald Square and Penn Station. Grand Central, Times Square and Bryant Park are a one-stop subway ride or a short walk away.
I hope that Cafiero and his staff will consider 34th Street and not Grand Central as the logical route for the tunnel buses. If they do, I expect that they will find the buses to be cheaper and more reliable on that route.
For years, the MTA has been running multi-weekend repair surges on the #7 line, where they turn all the trains around at Queensboro Plaza and run shuttle buses from there to Vernon-Jackson, Hunterspoint Avenue and Court Square. Last night at a town hall organized by City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, MTA representatives said that they would have to do it again.
Joe Leader, the Chief Maintenance Officer at the MTA, explained to us that the cars currently used on the #7 train are wider than the streetcars that originally ran through the Steinway Tunnels to Manhattan, so they take up almost the entire tunnel. Unlike other subway tunnels, in the Steinway Tunnels there is no room for maintenance workers to stand while trains are passing through. Because of this, it is necessary to shut down at least one tunnel completely for any work.
As the tunnels have not been maintained on an ideal schedule since they were dug in 1907, leaks have developed and the tunnels have regularly been flooded, leading to a buildup of “muck” and debris around the rails. Since the New York subways use the rails to “return” power (actually to draw electrons from the substation to the train, which are then sent back along the third rail), the muck can short this out, reducing power to the trains, which was a major cause of the delays and outages last year.
In October, Leader said, workers shut down the subway for a weekend and cleaned 4000 feet of track in each tunnel, removing over 8000 bags of debris. They then power-washed the floors to clean out any remaining muck. Crews also repaired signal boxes, replaced sections of the old third rail and hooked up the old ones as a “fourth rail” to return power more directly.
This year, for eleven weekends between January 21 and April 2, and then for five weekends between October 6 and November 17, the MTA will shut down train service from Queensboro Plaza to Times Square. In between those times they will run trains express in one direction between Queensboro Plaza and Willets Point. There is also a plan to renovate the platforms and replace the windscreens at the #7 train station at Court Square.
The latest Wall Street Journal told the world what many of us in Sunnyside already know: times are hard for small businesses. Many shops and restaurants have closed in the past year, and many storefronts sit vacant. This is partly due to the structure of this recession, where we’ve seen consumer spending drop while rents have stayed high. But it has a lot to do with how we feel when we walk down the Boulevard.
The great boulevards in Paris have many lanes for cars, but they became famous because they were great places to walk. For a century and a half, they have been destinations in themselves, where people from all over the city went to stroll, to flirt and to socialize.
This promenading has been great for business. When people stroll, they take the time to window shop, and that often leads to buying. When they see friends, they want to chat, and they often do that over coffee, drinks or dinner. This is why the boulevards of Paris are lined with shops and sidewalk cafes.
Like many of New York’s boulevards, Queens Boulevard was planned in homage to the Champs-Elysées and other boulevards in Paris, with wide sidewalks and medians.
In the near-century since Queens Boulevard was first built, auto traffic has increased, and the city has adjusted the boulevard to prevent drivers from complaining about getting stuck in traffic. The roadway was widened to four lanes in each direction plus a parking lane, and the traffic signals retimed to favor east-west traffic. The city even had plans to construct an elevated highway as on Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, but eventually chose Borden Avenue instead. In 1967 the parking lane was eliminated during rush hours.
The current configuration of Queens Boulevard does not encourage anyone to shop or dine. Drivers are not able to park at the curb during the peak rush hours, and much of the parking under the elevated train is available for twelve hours at a time and is taken by long-term commuters rather than short-term shoppers. There have been several pedestrian deaths and numerous injuries, and the speeding traffic does not encourage strolling, especially when there is no barrier of parked cars at the curb.
The pedestrian environment has improved somewhat with 2003 safety plan. Some streets were pedestrianized at the entrances to subway stations and some entrances to parking areas were closed, making it safer for pedestrians to cross the boulevard. Sidewalk extensions were constructed at several corners, making it safer to cross side streets. Traffic signals were retimed to give pedestrians more time to cross the boulevard. Although these improvements have helped, they are relatively minor.
Many in the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce are aware of this problem and have put forward further proposals to improve the situation. Recently, the City Council passed legislation to allow sidewalk cafes to be placed on Queens Boulevard, and the Chamber has long been asking for the parking under the el to be limited to four hours at a time. We are working to get the rush hour parking restriction lifted, to improve safety and invite more customers.
I propose a bigger vision than this, a vision that draws from the experience of Paris, a vision of a boulevard with more trees, wider sidewalks and calmer traffic, a boulevard where people stroll and linger. This may sound pie-in-the-sky to you, but many of the Parisian boulevards were more like Queens Boulevard in the late twentieth century, and have only become more pedestrian-friendly in the past twenty years. The Champs-Elysées, with its thirty-foot sidewalks, is a great model, but Sunnyside is a middle-class neighborhood, and we can be a great walking neighborhood without becoming one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world. Paris also has middle-class neighborhoods that are more like Sunnyside.
The Boulevard Auguste Blanqui, in the relatively modest Butte-aux-Cailles neighborhood, has the same bones as Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside. It is about the same width, and has an elevated train in the middle with head-in parking underneath. But where Queens Boulevard has four driving lanes and a lane of parking (outside of rush hours) on each side, the Boulevard Blanqui has two driving lanes, two lanes of parking and a bicycle lane. The remaining space is devoted to wider sidewalks, big enough for two lines of trees, park benches and sidewalk cafes serving pizza in this historically Italian neighborhood. The strip of land near the elevated tracks is also wider, with a third line of trees in it.
Interestingly, it wasn’t always this way. The sidewalks were widened in the 1990s, along with those of nearby commercial streets, as part of the “Tranquil Neighborhood” plan of right-wing District Mayor Jacques Toubon. This is widely credited with making the neighborhood more of a destination for shopping and dining, particularly at sidewalk cafés. Incidentally, the sidewalks of the Champs-Elysées were widened at the same time.
If you like this vision, you’re probably wondering how we can get from here to there. Queens Boulevard is a major route to the Queensboro Bridge from eastern Queens and even Nassau County. The Department of Transportation is reluctant to make changes that will back up cars and bring complaints from drivers. How could we ever get them to go along with a plan to remove driving lanes and widen the sidewalk?
The answer is congestion pricing. The reason so many people drive through Sunnyside on Queens Boulevard is to get to the “free” Queensboro Bridge – whose recent multi-million dollar renovation has been paid for out of our income and sales taxes. Many of them would have a shorter trip if they took the Queens Midtown Tunnel or the Triboro Bridge, but they take the Queensboro Bridge because it’s free. If we charge a fair price to drive over the bridge and enter Manhattan, a lot of them will stay on the Long Island Expressway or the Grand Central Parkway. A number of others will take the train or bus instead. The City estimated that the amount of stop-and-go traffic in Western Queens would drop by 38.6%. With congestion pricing, the justification for five car lanes on Queens Boulevard disappears.
This, believe it or not, is just one of the many benefits that we could see in Western Queens if we passed congestion pricing. It won’t just benefit Manhattan, it will benefit every neighborhood that people currently drive through to get to Manhattan. It will be good for business and good for our quality of life. Will our leaders rise to the occasion? Will they be stuck in old arguments and petty rivalries, fighting for working-class drivers who don’t exist? Or will they have the courage of District Mayor Toubon, and Paris’s current Mayor Delanoë, who were able to see past the propaganda to a future of calm strolling and socializing on a great walking boulevard?
This appears today as a letter to the editor, on Page 8 of the Woodside Herald (PDF).
In a June 4 op-ed, Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce President Ira Greenberg laid out the Chamber’s transportation agenda for making Queens Boulevard better for business. One of his top recommendations was to allow for parking along the Boulevard at all times. This would not only be good for business, but it would also make the Boulevard safer for pedestrians.
For most of the day parking is allowed along Queens Boulevard, but from 7 to 10AM every weekday, there are No Standing zones on the north side of Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue. From 4 to 7PM, the south side of Queens Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue and one block of 43rd Avenue are No Standing zones.
This restriction means that if morning drivers commuting to Manhattan stop for juice from Go Natural, they get parking tickets. Evening drivers who stop to pick up a bottle of wine from Lowery Liquors get tickets. Drivers who don’t want tickets shop elsewhere, and that means that Sunnyside gets the pollution, noise and danger from the cars passing through, but receives no economic benefit to offset any of it.
The rush hour parking restriction is not just an economic hardship. Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside has been the site of numerous pedestrian injuries and at least four deaths. There is a very real danger of out-of-control cars injuring people on the sidewalk. In 2007, the New York Times reported that a sixteen-year-old boy named Gonpo Dorjee was seriously injured while waiting to cross the Boulevard at 47th Street. He was unable to walk for months.
One thing that protects pedestrians like Dorjee from speeding cars is parked cars. Without the parked cars, the only things protecting pedestrians from a wayward vehicle are the parking meters, and they will be replaced by muni-meters in a few years. As Ira wrote, “Pedestrians waiting to cross every block feel unsafe as they stand inches from fast moving vehicles.” When we feel unsafe, we shop elsewhere. A double-whammy for the stores along Queens Boulevard: less business from drivers, and less business from pedestrians.
This parking restriction is a relic of the old Department of Transportation, where moving traffic was more important than business or safety. Over the past several years the DOT has made protecting lives a higher priority. We have already seen this change on Skillman, 43rd and Barnett Avenues, where speeds have gone down and injuries are less common.
Removing the rush hour parking restriction is the next step in the direction of safety. It would not have protected Gonpo Dorjee, because he was hit on the corner, but it will protect thousands more. It will also bring more customers to Sunnyside businesses, in cars and on foot. Good for business, good for safety, good for Sunnyside.
After tonight’s zoning presentation, I am fairly well satisfied that the current proposal is a good one. The existing zoning requires developers to build too many parking spaces, and the proposal would reduce those requirements as much as is feasible.
I had a chance to talk briefly with Tom Smith, the planner who is most directly involved in this project. He pointed out that my R5B proposal would invite people to tear down existing single-family houses and replace them with multi-family homes that would then be required to have more than one space per lot, resulting in a net increase in cars. Essentially, the R4 and R4-1 zones are the best we can hope for without rewriting the zoning code.
The most promising prospect for reducing parking requirements would be to expand the “Long Island City subject area” (PDF) to include Sunnyside and Woodside. That’s a much bigger deal, though, and I can understand why they didn’t want to bring it up in this rezoning.
With regard to the zoning of Sunnyhills and the Phipps Gardens, Tom observed that any new development would essentially require “a gas explosion” and maybe an earthquake too, so I didn’t need to be concerned about that. In the current draft, Sunnyside Towers would be rezoned R6A, which conforms to its current use.
There is a proposal to amend the zoning code, which prohibits sidewalk cafes on any street with an elevated railroad, except for a specific list of streets. The amendment would add Queens Boulevard to that list, which makes a lot of sense because the el does not cover the street there. I fully support this part of the proposal. Lily Gavin was in attendance, and I mentioned that I look forward to eating al fresco at Dazie’s someday.
The other people who spoke had various objections and concerns. A couple of them agreed with me about reducing parking requirements. Al Volpe disagreed with me, but chose to take a bizarre dig at bicycles, which hadn’t been mentioned up to that point. Gert McDonald of the United Forties spoke about providing parking for everyone, but I was distracted while she was speaking, so I didn’t hear everything she said. If anyone else heard her argument, please fill me in.
A number of people, including Angel Gil and Sherry Gamlin, pointed to the crowding in the schools and asked if there was a way to get more school space to accommodate the increase in population. I agree completely: my son’s second grade classroom squeezes 29 kids into a trailer, and it makes things difficult. John Young from City Planning said that when the proposal is finalized it will include an estimate of the potential population increase, but he did not discuss any steps that could be taken to accommodate that increase, either with schools or with transit.
Young said that once the proposal is finalized, it will have to be reviewed by the Community Board, the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. Each group will have to hold hearings, and the entire process takes around seven months. I will keep an eye on the proposals and try to make sure that no districts with high parking requirements creep in, but please let me know if you see any.
So far this looks like a good proposal. I appreciate the efforts of Jimmy Van Bramer and his staff, Joe Conley and the Community Board, and the City Planning staff, to make the process accessible and understandable to all.