November 30th - December 6th, 2007
Doctoroff to Leave Bloomberg Administration
December 6th: Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding in New York City, is leaving the Bloomberg administration, according to a report released by Crain's New York Business.
Doctoroff has been a key figure in the administration and a "chief force behind much of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's development agenda," Crain's reports. However, Doctoroff will not be leaving Bloomberg behind entirely. He will soon be taking over a new position as the president of Bloomberg L.P., the financial news, data, and analytics provider founded by the mayor, according to the report.
Crain's also reports that insiders believe that Shaun Donovan, chairman of the city's Housing Development Corp., will be named as Doctoroff's replacement.
Demands Continue for a Safer Crossing at Dangerous Intersection Downtown
December 6th: The intersection at Duane and Greenwich Streets has long been the cause of heated debate between Lower Manhattan community members and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), according to a report in the Tribeca Trib. A meeting held last month brought together the Friends of Washington Market Place, the group spearheading the campaign for a safer crossing, and the DOT's Commissioner for Lower Manhattan, Louis Sanchez.
Community members claim that the DOT's review of the intersection assumed "an unrealistic pace" for pedestrians. Sanchez told the Trib that his agency will continue to study the case, but he offered "little hope" that any real changes will be made. Federal criteria stipulates how such decisions are made, which is why community members are demanding that the DOT consider the intersection as a "special case," particularly because of the number of young children that frequent the area, according to the Trib's report.
Residents of 90 West Street Still Unable to Return Home After Flood
December 6th: Following a recent evacuation of 90 West Street caused by heavy flooding, the building's residents are up in arms about the continued delays that are keeping them from returning to their homes, according to a report in the Tribeca Trib. The November 26th flood occurred after workers at the World Trade Center site cut a sewer line and failed to cap it. Heavy rain coupled with the uncapped line resulted in heavy flooding in the building, with water rising as high as 16 feet in the building's two-level basement. Cars were submerged, residents evacuated, and the building's entire electrical infrastructure destroyed, reports the Trib.
Now, residents are complaining to the building's owner, Peter Levinson, who told them that they would not be able to return home for another two weeks. According to the Trib's report, many residents were outraged at the delay and the fact that Levinson was unable to provide answers to many of their questions. The Port Authority has announced that it will offer a 24-hour help desk and phone line for residents who need to have their claims for reimbursement for alternative housing and hotel bills addressed immediately, reports the Trib.
EPA Releases Test Results for Downtown Residences
December 6th: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released preliminary results this week from its voluntary testing program for residences nearby the World Trade Center site, reports the Tribeca Trib. The sampling tested for asbestos, lead, man-made vitreous fibers, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Of the asbestos samples tested, only three out of 1,142 exceeded safe levels. However, 71 out of 904 lead samplings tested registered "excessive" levels, which EPA spokeswoman Mary Mears attributed mostly to "the prevalence of lead paint in New York City buildings," according to the Trib's report.
Fifty-three apartments and the common areas of nine buildings within 1,500 feet of the World Trade Center site were tested, reports the Trib. "[The test results] confirm our initial impression that the internal contamination from Sept. 11 is minimal," Mears told the Trib. However, members of Community Board 1 question her assessment. CB1 member Catherine McVay-Hughes expressed concern over the structuring of the plan, primarily over the way in which sampling areas were selected.
New Windows Help Reduce Noise Level Inside Buildings
December 3rd: Even after the recent revision of New York City's noise codes, many residents in Lower Manhattan continue to report complaints of unreasonable noise disturbances associated with ongoing construction downtown, the New York Times reports. The city has received more noise complaints in the past year than it has since the induction of the city's 311 line, which offers New Yorkers an outlet to submit noise complaints, reports the Times. The revision of the code represented an effort by the city to address concerns associated with noise levels; however, the effects of the new code may take some time to be felt by the community.
Luckily, some residents have received relief thanks to new noise-blocking windows, the Times reports. "Alternating layers of air and thick glass can make a truck-jammed block seem no louder than a two-way chat," Eric Miller, a director of Architectural Testing, a company that rates soundproofing technology, told the Times. The property at 88 Leonard Street features the new special glass, which allows for residents, in this case mostly students, to enjoy peace and quiet while inside the building.