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.