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Livable Streets Community News: UWS Synagogue Joins Up

4:26 PM EDT on April 3, 2009

B__naiJeshurunCongregation B'nai Jeshurun. Photo via Wikipedia.

Some good news comes to us this week of an Upper West Side synagogue's support for Livable Streets. From Gil Kulich on the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance group blog:

"I’m involved in an effort at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, one of thelargest and most influential synagogues on the Upper West Side, todevelop a plan for greening our street, the 200 block of West 88thStreet, between Broadway and West End Avenue. The Environmental Action Hevra, one of several committees in the synagogue’s social justice/social action program, has adopted this as its primary objective for this year. Using the UWSSR Blueprint as our handbook, we’re examining various options, including chicanes to divert through traffic, angled parking to replace parallel parking, secure bike parking, curb extensions, etc. We hope to make ours a model block and hopefully to extend the redesign to neighboring blocks." 

The committee plans to work with other businesses and residents as well as its community board, and hopes to get a proposal to DOT in six months' time. On a larger scale, Gil also brings word that Hazon -- an organization "promoting environmental awareness and action in the Jewish community" -- has recently begun working with synagogues throughout the UWS to further the livable streets platform.

The blueprint guiding Congregation B’nai Jeshurun's work includes many solutions applicable to other neighborhoods, and is available for download from the UWSSR group homepage. This group has a treasure trove of useful resources like these templates for letters to community boards in support of bike lanes and traffic calming.

Also this week, Safe Streets & Cycling, a grassroots transportation advocacy group for Co-op City in the Bronx, has joined the Community to connect with other organizations. They've started discussion forums on speeding in Co-op City, Bx12 Select Bus Service, and the Hutchinson River Greenway. Get in on their discussion or contact them to join up!

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