Transit-Oriented Growth Is No Universal Cure-All for Villages on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York On the North Shore, the Village of Bayville is looking to keep young professionals on Long Island, and so it plans to allow additional apartments in its downtown business district to attract them.On the South Shore, the Village of Lindenhurst is seeking to reinvigorate its downtown, and so it is working with the Lindenhurst Economic Development Committee to explore its growth options.Bayville’s residents reportedly aren’t happy with even the prospect of additional growth. Lindenhurst’s villagers seem more open to the idea of future development, but are cautiously optimistic.Although these two villages differ in size and background, they both want to take a similar approach to revitalization: transit-oriented development. The question is not about their similarity but their difference, and whether the same approach makes sense for each community.Bayville is a small beachfront village with more than 6,700 residents living within its 1.4-square miles. It takes more than an hour to reach the community from New York City via the Long Island Rail Road and a cab ride. Its relative isolation and the cyclical nature of its local economy make it hard to envision Bayville as a transit-oriented destination, let alone a vital hub. After all, Halloween only comes once a year and even its Bayville Adventure Park has to adapt to the seasons to stay viable.Understandably, citing a commercial property vacancy rate of 40 percent, Bayville’s Mayor Paul Rupp wants to reduce blight, but his approach to doing so—letting new apartment buildings contain up to nine units in the business district—highlights the lack of cohesive planning guidance that Nassau County provides each little municipality within its domain. Left on their own, these village officials too often spout the faulty concepts of Brain Drain, and a new inductee into the Hall of Buzzwords, Revitalization. Given that census figures don’t exactly support the notion of a mass exodus of 20-somethings, it is a faulty foundation on which to build policy upon—especially when it comes to the legitimate concern of nurturing the next generation of suburbia.From a planning perspective, placing apartments on the storm-vulnerable spit of land occupied by Bayville, which is already limited in both LIRR and road access, is not only a bad application of the “cool downtown” cliché, it is also irresponsible.Instead of trying to reinvent itself, Bayville should further embrace its identity. The village should maximize its assets, revel in its seasonality, and in this instance, grasp the sentiment shared by its residents. A cohesive business district isn’t the worst idea, but shoehorning additional density into a tight space in order to lure those ever elusive “young professionals” certainly is.Though Lindenhurst has around 27,000 residents within the village limits and another 11,500 people living to its north, it is similar to Bayville in certain regards. Both waterfront communities are roughly an hour or so from Penn Station. But what Bayville has in isolation, Lindenhurst shares with many South Shore communities directly east and west of it: being another stop along the well-used Babylon branch of the LIRR.Bayville’s residents are reportedly protesting the mere notion of growth, and in response the village board has postponed the vote on the mayor’s apartment-zoning proposals until next month. Lindenhurst’s Economic Development Committee is issuing surveys and taking stock of the community’s existing assets. Those actions signify a respect not only for the village residents, but for the urban planning process, which is fueled by public input, as a whole.Bayville has limited transportation options both in and out of the village thanks to Mother Nature, but Lindenhurst is constrained by the man-made suburbia that surrounds the municipality. Pursuing growth in Lindenhurst isn’t so much a question of whether it’s possible—as it is in Bayville—but whether the area’s overburdened transportation network can adequately handle it.Given the different challenges facing each community, is transit-oriented growth appropriate?Every small village on Long Island seems to want to emulate the sterling example of the Village of Patchogue, which revitalized its downtown, but without considering the unique factors that made that revitalization possible as well as the impacts that the sought-after success can bring.Could Bayville or Lindenhurst handle the consequences of copying Patchogue’s success? Rapid growth raises questions like where to place suddenly much-needed additional parking capacity, how to fill the vacant new developments and its accompanying retail frontage, and just as important, how to compete with other downtowns trying to follow the same model? What’s going to make this place unique? Until the village officials can answer these issues with data-backed studies, they’re taking a risk by plunging into the unknown.Rich Murdocco writes on Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco will be contributing regularly to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

first_imgIn South Korea, which reported 191 cases, its biggest daily jump in 70 days, the government began fining people who don’t wear masks in public, The Associated Press reports. Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.What else we’re followingWhat you’re doingWell, what a fabulous 14 days here in Melbourne! Zero new Covid-19 cases and zero deaths. We are all close to tears with joy. After a horrendous error with quarantine issues for residents returning from other countries infested with the virus a few months ago, which caused an enormous outbreak of Covid-19, we are now in a wonderful position. It took 115 days of lockdown, mandatory mask wearing (still imposed for the foreseeable future) and social distancing. The figurative steel band around Melbourne has now been lifted, and we can all dance in the sunshine around the state. — Deborah McMillan, Melbourne, AustraliaLet us know how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.Sign up here to get the briefing by email.Email your thoughts to briefing@nytimes.com. Resurgences – Advertisement – Cases surge, and states go into lockdownThe fall coronavirus surge in the U.S. is at a dangerous inflection point, with cases spiking across a wide swath of the country.“What separates this moment is both the breadth of the struggle right now around the country, as well as the suddenness with which case numbers are going up,” said our colleague Mitch Smith, who tracks the coronavirus for The Times.- Advertisement – The governors of California and Washington urged their residents today to avoid all nonessential interstate travel, while the mayor of New York City warned that public schools could close as early as Monday.Elsewhere in the country, as case numbers reach terrifying heights, states, counties and cities are considering economically devastating lockdowns to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.The health care system in particular — as Ed Wong of the Atlantic reported today — is under intense strain.“The country, for many months, has seen consistent transmission, consistent infection, consistent suffering, and consistent death,” Mitch said. “But what we haven’t seen, in a widespread way, is not being able to fully help people. And given what we’re hearing from doctors and governors, I fear that’s where we could be heading.”How rules are changing in your state Sweden, where a second wave is beginning take shape, registered 4,658 cases yesterday, just under the daily record it set last week, Reuters reports. As cases have exploded in the U.S., governors have undertaken a flurry of actions to try to slow the spread of the virus. Just this week, Utah and Ohio, both states led by Republican governors, have mandated masks statewide. The governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, has long resisted a mask mandate, but this week she ordered that masks be worn at large gatherings. “If you look at the bar charts of cases in different states, a lot of them right now look like straight upward lines,” Mitch said. “And we don’t know where that goes.”center_img – Advertisement – In Illinois, where more than 75,000 cases have emerged in the past week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker suggested that he could soon impose a stay-at-home order, and he scolded local officials for not enforcing mask rules and restrictions on businesses. Mitch told us he was most fearful for the Midwest, from Nebraska north to Canada and east to Chicago. The near future looks incredibly dark for cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Omaha, Des Moines and Minneapolis, where hospital beds are filling up and cases continue to rise.- Advertisement – The New York Times is tracking coronavirus restrictions on the state level, including which businesses are open or closed — and whether officials require masks or recommend or order staying at home. Here are the latest rule changes in your state.Giving thanks, safelyHealth officials are dreading Thanksgiving this year, as the surging virus threatens to become even worse because of interstate travel and large family gatherings.The Times has assembled guidance on how to navigate this year’s holiday season if you plan to travel, from the types of coronavirus tests available for travelers to how to choose the safest seat on a plane. If you’re visiting relatives, you should expect to go into quarantine, with strict statewide requirements. (As a reminder, experts generally suggest two weeks for a safe quarantine. So for Thanksgiving, you should have started yesterday.)For college students, who may not have the option to stay on campus, it’s crucial to isolate themselves even if they test negative for the virus before traveling. “Their arrival on Wednesday with plans to see grandma on Thursday could pose a huge risk,” David Rubin, a pediatrician and public health expert at the University of Pennsylvania, told our colleagues.The actual Thanksgiving meal should look significantly different this year, experts advised, with lots of fresh air (through open windows or by hosting the meal outside), a small guest list and as short a celebration as possible. The Times’s Tara Parker-Pope writes that all guests should wear masks whenever they’re not eating and should all use separate utensils.You might be weighing whether to skip the family gathering altogether, and how to break that news to a disappointed relative. That conversation should happen as soon as possible, experts told the Times’s Christina Caron. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, told Tara that his three adult daughters had decided to skip the holidays this year to avoid putting him and his wife at risk. “You don’t want to be the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving,” he said. “But this may not be the time to have a big family gathering.” Puerto Rico will activate the National Guard to help enforce a curfew aimed at curbing the virus, The A.P. reports. Last Wednesday, the U.S. topped 100,000 daily cases for the first time. Eight days later, that number was up to more than 163,000. Thirty-seven states set weekly case records in the last few days, and 32 states — from Alaska to New Hampshire — hit that mark again yesterday. As far as bright spots, there really aren’t any, Mitch said. The only positive development, if you could call it that, is that populous states like Florida, California and New York are not deteriorating as rapidly as other places — although the situation in those states is also getting worse.In his first public address since losing his re-election bid, President Trump made no acknowledgment of the incredible surge in coronavirus cases gripping the nation. Because of the vacuum of leadership at the federal level, local elected officials across the country are begging residents to change their behavior, instituting fresh restrictions and warning of more changes on the horizon.Gov. Kate Brown placed Oregon in a partial lockdown for two weeks, shuttering gyms and restaurant dining and capping social gatherings at six people. In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a “stay at home” order, asking people to shelter in place except for essential trips, beginning Monday and lasting two weeks.last_img read more

Breaking ground

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Out-of-town clampdown

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img