Notes From The Neighborhood

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Neighbors Try to Thwart Vendors with Parking Meters Last week, Community Board 7 narrowly voted down a resolution from their transportation committee that would have recommended a major change in parking regulations on a small strip of West 68th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The measure came about as a way to keep food vendors off of the mostly residential street, which some residents vigorously support. The resolution was to recommend that the Department of Transportation switch the street from regular alternate side parking to metered parking, making it illegal for vendors to set up there. When the measure came before the full board, however, many board members were adamantly opposed to a change that would inhibit resident parking on the street and give over spaces to temporary visitors. Despite impassioned pleas from some residents who say they're fed up with food vendors on their street, the board ultimately rejected the measure, and the street will remain, for the time being, open to both resident parking and street vendors with the proper permits. The UWS on Two Wheels Local preservation advocacy group Landmark West and the American Planning Associations Members are sponsoring a bicycling tour of historic railway, subway and greenway sites on the Upper West Side next Saturday, May 12, starting at 3 p.m. The tour will be led by transportation planner and Upper West Sider Josef Szende, who will take bikers past spots historically significant to the Hudson River Railroad and the IRT subway as well as the Hudson River Greenway and the Columbus Avenue bike lane. The trip is about 10 miles long, beginning at Columbus Circle Bike & Roll, 59th Street and Central Park West, and bike rentals will be available at the start of the tour. Tickets are $15; $10 for Landmark West members. Email to RSVP. West Siders Say No to Horn Noise Most New Yorkers would likely agree that horn-honking is one of the biggest disturbances of urban life-yet inevitable. Last week, however, West Side group CHEKPEDS (Clinton Hell's Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety) joined forces with the Citizens Committee and Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky to try to curb the incessant honking. The groups convened at 10th Avenue and West 44th Street to lure taxi drivers with free coffee and donuts and politely worded entreaties to lay off the horns unless it's absolutely necessary, like to prevent a collision or warn a pedestrian of oncoming danger. Citizens Committee is also upping the ante by offering implementation grants, from $500 to $3,000, to neighborhood groups with innovative ideas to reduce horn honking. Among other steps toward a more peaceful city, Yassky noted that the city's "Taxi of Tomorrow," the Nissan NV200 slated to hit the streets in fall of 2013, features a low-annoyance horn. Stated Citizens Committee CEO, Peter Kostmayer, "This is a small problem that we can solve on our own just by being a little more polite." Lincoln Square BID Annual Meeting The Lincoln Square Business Improvement District will be holding its 15th annual meeting on Friday, May 18, at 8 a.m. Property owners, commercial tenants, businesses and residents are welcome. The BID will review the past year's accomplishments and discuss new initiatives as well as adopt the 2012 fiscal year budget and elect directors for the coming year. Guest speakers include Thomas Farley, commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Alair Townsend, chairwoman of the City Center of Music & Drama Inc. Fordham University, 113 W. 60th St., 12th floor. Reservations required; call 212-581-3774 or email Help for Unhealthy Air Last month, Mayor Bloomberg announced deadlines for eliminating the use of heavy heating oils, No. 6 and No. 4, in all city buildings. While these oils are used in only 10,000 of the city's buildings, a mere 1 percent, they account for more soot pollution than car and truck usage combined. Many of these buildings are located in Manhattan, emitting a substantial amount of pollution on the Upper East and West Sides, where many older buildings use the outdated systems that rely on these heavy fuel oils. Air pollution contributes to 6 percent of annual deaths in New York City, afflicting those exposed with ailments ranging from asthma to heart disease. NYC Clean Heat, an initiative to expedite the city's conversion to cleaner fuels, anticipates that full compliance with these regulations will save 1,500 lives by 2030, alleviating the burden on our neighborhoods and health care system along the way. The initiative helps building owners by providing information, technical assistance, financial resources and incentives to encourage immediate action to convert heating systems before the compliance deadlines. For more information on the program, dial 311 and ask for Clean Heat, call 212-656-9202 or email Free Breast Health Screenings The American-Italian Cancer Foundation will be providing a mobile clinic for free mammograms and clinical breast exams on Friday, May 11, on the Upper West Side. The van will be parked near P.S. 84, at 32 W. 92nd St. To be eligible for the no-cost services, women must be age 40 or older, have a New York City mailing address, and not have undergone a mammogram within the past 12 months. Bring Medicare, Medicaid or insurance information if applicable. Appointments required; call 877-628-9090.

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