Stephanie Barber - Fixing the Kensington Part V

Stephanie Barber is the president of the Hamlin Park Taxpayers & Community Association. I sat down with Stephanie at the Merriweather Library on Jefferson Avenue to talk about the Kensington Expressway.   
Through her advocacy work as president of the Hamlin Park Taxpayers & Community Association, Stephanie persuaded New York State Senator Antoine Thompson to direct funding towards a feasibility study to fix the Kensington.
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E.B. Blue said...

Stephanie's a hero! She and the Hamlin Park group have accomplished with securing this study what most of us have only wished - and talked - about. She's walking the walk. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I really admire the tenacity and persistence of this group's efforts. I do fear, however, that NYSDOT has agreed to this study simply to prove to the community that nothing will ever change on the Kensington.

This is the only possible reason NYSDOT refuses to study the cheaper Boulevard Option, which would will the trench of the Kensington, divert some commuter traffic to the radials, and restore Olmsted's Humboldt Parkway as a richly landsaped, six-lane multiway boulvard. NYSDOT knows a mile-long "cap" will cost as much as a half-billion dollars, meaning the project will never happen in anyone's lifetime.

When NYSDOT studied removing the 190 along the Niagara River in 1994, it met with similar fanfare. The problem was, NYSDOT's study was predicated on rebuilding a highway between North Buffalo and Black Rock along the International Railway Bridge corridor. NYSDOT determined the cost to be in excess of $1 billion and so, nothing ever happened!

NYSDOT did not study a "boulevard option" that would have simply seen a new trucking street and a new parkway along the river absorb the traffic alonside radials like Niagara Street, which are desperate for traffic that drives neighborhood-level commerce. If they had, maybe NYSDOT would arrived at a menu of options that might have been accomplishable and, indeed, may have served the community far better! Instead, and undoubtedly NYSDOT planned this, we're stuck with nothing. NYSDOT loves the highways that are destroying our city and will spend millions of dollars on studies to "prove" nothing can ever be different. We're told we're stuck with the 190 and the Hamlin Park neighbors will be told the same if the agency refuses to study all the feasible options, including the Boulevard Option.

Which would really be a shame.

Anonymous said...

The "capping" option will not restore a park-like atmosphere to Humboldt Parkway. Unfortunately, the depth of the cap could never permit the large shade trees that of course were central to Olmsted's vision. Filling the expressway and replacing it with a narrowed, slower-speed, landscaped multiway boulevard would allow a true Olmsted vision to be implemented. Nothing wrong with NYSDOT seriously studying this option. Why are they refusing?

NMG said...

NYSDOT should, of course, study both options: capping and filling. The cap would certainly be an improvement over what we have now. So would the "filling" option with the Boulevard.

The only way for the community to know the costs, the engineering required to build, the traffic impacts, and the economic and social benefits, is to study all the feasible options. Only then can the public make an informed decision about the future of this corridor.

Yes, why is NYSDOT resisting? All the public is asking for is information.

Susan McDonnell said...

NYSDOT is simultaneously studying ways to "boulevard" the Scajaquada. Slowing traffic down and making it more park-like. Why does Middlesex Avenue get a boulevard option to consider and not Humboldt Parkway?