Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hot Off the Presses

The Hunts Point Express is running an article on the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance's efforts to spread the word about the Sheridan Expressway's future to New Yorkers in all five boroughs. Reporter Daniel Allen had this to say:
"The Sheridan, Silva noted, was the brainchild of Robert Moses, whose bridge, tunnel and highway projects, including the Bruckner Expressway the Cross Bronx Expressway, transformed New York. He originally planned to link the Sheridan with I-95 by steamrolling through the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden. When opposition doomed that effort, he was left with the short stub of the Sheridan, dubbed by opponents “the road to nowhere.” It remains underused and unwanted, according to Silva."
Thanks to our friends at Solar One for the venue. Check back soon for video of our presentation at Stuyvesant Cover Park in mid-November.

If you'd like the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance to come to YOUR organization, contact Philip Silva, Alliance Coordinator, at psilva[at]ssbx [dot]org.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One Week Later

It's been over a week since automobiles were restricted from the Sheridan Expressway, making it available to the thousands of bicyclists participating in the 2007 Tour de Bronx . Most of the 1.25 mile highway was closed to traffic for much of the day on October 21... and trucks and cars continued to flow throughout the rest of the City - and the Bronx - without a hitch. There were no catastrophes. There were no monumental traffic jams (at least not resulting from the Sheridan's closure). We are proud to report that, one week later, there's little chance that any motorist in New York City would know that a "major" highway was closed to traffic for hours on end this month.

So why not make it permanent?

Thanks to Clarence Eckerson, Jr. of New York City Streets Renaissance for the excellent photo showing the Sheridan at it's best: empty and ready to be replaced with greenways, bike paths, affordable housing, and new economic development opportunities.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our Hats Off to Jane

The Community Vision for replacing the Sheridan Expressway with affordable housing, open space, and new economic development opportunities was a huge hit at last night's SOLD OUT "Civic Activist Boot Camp" panel discussion at the Municipal Art Society.

The panel was just one in a series of events connected to "Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York", an exhibit at the Municipal Art Society that explores the life and work of New York's Patron Saint of community-driven urban planning. The exhibit comes on the heels of three exhibits launched last spring in tribute to Sheridan-builder Robert Moses.

Alexie Torres-Fleming, Executive Director of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, represented the Alliance on a panel that included such local luminaries as the Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping, Joshua David of The Friends of the High Line, and Marshall Brown of the Atlantic Yards Redevelopment Project.

Couldn't make it to the discussion? Stay tuned for links to a PBS webcast. In the meantime, download, print, and sign our new Letter of Support for the Community Vision and mail it to:

Philip Silva
Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance
c/o Sustainable South Bronx
890 Garrison Avenue, 4th Floor
Bronx, NY 10474

It will just take a minute, but collectively, all of your letters will have a huge impact!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On The Road With The Alliance

The Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance will be hitting the road this fall with the following four event dates secured through to November (click on event title for location, time, and additional information):

Bronx River Festival :: September 29 :: Bronx River Alliance
A Civic Activist Boot Camp :: October 16 :: Municipal Art Society
Tour de Bronx :: October 21 :: Bronx Borough President's Office
Sheridan Swap :: November 13 :: Solar One

The Alliance is actively seeking opportunities to participate in panel discussions, lectures, and other public events to promote the community vision for replacing the Sheridan Expressway with affordable housing, green space, and new economic development opportunities. Email psilva [at] ssbx [dot] org with your suggestions and invitations.

Check back for more event dates in the near future...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Park(ing) the Sheridan

The Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance celebrated Park(ing) Day 2007 with a wildly successful installation on Southern Boulevard near the Hunts Point Avenue 6 Train station. Hundreds of community members stopped by to play card games, eat snacks, and learn more about our plan to replace the Sheridan Expressway with affordable housing, green space, and new economic development opportunities. Folks came out to see the parking space that became a park and walked away eager to see a highway turned into a greenway. Even News Channel 12 stopped by to produce a four minute segment on the campaign! Special thanks to the folks at Transportation Alternatives who helped with press and logistics.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sheridan at the Guggenheim

The Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance is participating in an "interactive discussion of New York City's Public Space" at the Guggenheim Museum today at 12 pm. The event is hosted by Transportation Alternatives and coincides with the museum's Shapes of Spaces exhibit. Check out the Streetsblog calendar for details.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mini Swap

Swapping streets with green space in New York City isn't as outlandish as some folks might want you to believe. Just look at the new public plaza in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood (pictured here). What as once a motley collection of parked cars, warped traffic cones, and trash is now an oasis under the Manhattan bridge.

In recent years, cities throughout the world have been replacing obsolete highways with new housing, parks, and riverfront promenades. Highway replacement projects can be found in cities as far off as Seoul in South Korea or as close to home as Milwaukee.

The trend has finally caught on in New York City, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale. Streetsblog has the scoop on NYC Department of Transportation's efforts to transform underused street spaces into public plazas. The initiative comes out of the City's long-term plan for environmental sustainability for the year 2030. According to Streetsblog, the DUMBO plaza is just one of 31 similar initiatives in the pipeline throughout the city. How about making the Sheridan's replacement #32?

Monday, August 6, 2007

NYSDOT To Consider Community Vision

The New York State Department of Transportation announced last month that it will weigh the costs and benefits of its plan to expand the Sheridan Expressway against a Community Vision for the highway's removal and redevelopment.

The Community Vision, which includes decommissioning the Sheridan and replacing it with affordable housing, open space, and new economic development opportunities, will be included in NYSDOT's Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed expansion.

If the analysis finds that the Community Vision makes more economic and environmental sense than the expansion proposal, NYSDOT will be hard pressed to move forward with its plan to stretch the Sheridan south into Hunts Point.

Check back soon for updates on the DEIS process. In the meantime, check out what Wikipedia has to say about Environmental Impact Statements

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Missed Connections

The Sheridan Expressway begins at the point where the Bruckner Expressway veers east across the Bronx River and it ends abruptly at the Cross Bronx Expressway about a mile to the north. Relatively few people use this stretch of road, and traffic (if you can call it that) is sparse even at rush hour. It's no wonder the Sheridan has, over the years, earned the nickname "Highway to Nowhere."

Yet the Sheridan wasn't always destined for such a fate. Robert Moses, the "master builder" that oversaw the Expressway's construction, was never one to take on small transportation projects. This 1950's map of projected construction for new arterial roads in New York shows the Sheridan zooming past the Cross Bronx Expressway to link up with other highways heading north into New England.

There were just a few complications with Moses' plan. After the initial stretch of the Sheridan was built, communities to the north had little enthusiasm for a new highway. In fact, there was outright opposition. The communities organized and fought, alongside their elected officials, to fend off the Sheridan's expansion. And then there was the minor fact (to Moses, at least) that the extended Sheridan would cut through the Bronx Zoo and come disastrously close to the New York Botanical Gardens – an untenable proposition for the well-heeled patrons of both institutions. The expansion never happened, and to this day the Sheridan is a stump of highway taking up valuable land that could be put to better uses.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Welcome to SheridanSwap, a news and information resource for the campaign to decommission the Sheridan Expressway in the South Bronx. Hosted by the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance, SheridanSwap will offer updates on local and city-wide efforts to replace the Sheridan with affordable housing, open space, and more. Check back regularly for profiles on Alliance members, details on the Community Vision for the Sheridan lands, and tips for advocating for the Sherdian's replacement over the coming year.