CB3 Approves Essex Street Lighting Plan

There are 18 bishop's crook light fixtures on Essex Street.

Tuesday evening, Community Board 3 voted in favor of a proposal from the Lower East Side Business Improvement District to replace 28 street lights on Essex Street, between East Houston and Canal.  The plan now goes to the Public Design Commission for approval.

Newspaper Truck Smashes into Olympic Diner on Delancey Street

Olympic Diner, Essex and Delancey streets.

This morning customers and employees of the Olympic Diner, 115 Delancey Street, are feeling pretty lucky. You wouldn’t think that would be their reaction following an overnight accident that sent a Daily News delivery truck sailing through the restaurant’s facade.

But when we stopped by a short time ago, they were indeed relieved that the incident happened at 1:30 a.m., when the metal drop-down gates were down and the diner closed. The owner said he hates to think what would have happened if people had been sitting at tables alongside the window when the truck came barrelling through.

Family of Accident Victim Sues City; 523 Accidents at Essex & Delancey

Woman Struck by Garbage Truck at Essex and Delancey

Photo by Adrian Fussell.

In May, we reported that a 51 year-old woman was killed after being struck by a garbage truck on Delancey Street.  Witnesses indicated that Patricia Cuevas (Crockett) was walking in the street, alongside the barrier you see pictured above, and fell down before the tragic accident occurred.  The driver was not ticketed or changed with any crime.  But now, according to today’s Daily News, the victim’s family is suing the city, the driver and the owner of the truck for $20 million.

In the same article, the News says “crossing Delancey is taking your life into your hands.”  It cites state Department of Transportation statistics indicating 523 motor vehicle accidents have occurred at the intersection of Essex and Delancey in the past decade.

Fun & Games on Essex Street

A friend of The Lo-Down shares this birds-eye view of the very well used Essex Street athletic field.  If you’ve got a Lower East Side photo you’d like to contribute, send it to us at: tips@thelodownny.com.

Good Morning!

Essex Street, below Grand

It’s officially summer on the LES! Partly cloudy this morning with increasing clouds as the day goes on, and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Look for a high of 83. This afternoon, the LES BID will hold a meeting for local merchants in the neighborhood to discuss ways to improve safety in the wake of the recent assault and robbery at Pilgrim.

This evening, CB3’s Arts Task Force will hold an Arts Education Forum followup and over at Tenement Talks, you can learn about how one small font (Helvetica) changed subway signs forever.  Speaking of Tenement Talks, they are co-hosting our fun night of LES Trivia at Fontana’s next week. Please join us – it’s free and we’re providing snacks and great prizes from the neighborhood! Visit our Calendar for details on these events and more.

Delancey Street Pedestrian Killed; Accident Details Emerge

Photo by Adrian Fussell.

We unfortunately have some sad news this morning about the victim of Tuesday afternoon’s traffic accident on Delancey Street.  51-year old Patricia Cuevas was rushed to Bellevue Hospital after being struck by a garbage truck, but doctors could not save her.  She had suffered severe injuries to her legs.

Also today, we have more details about the accident. According to witnesses, Cuevas was walking in the street, on the south side of Delancey, just east of Essex Street, heading towards the Williamsburg Bridge.  The witnesses said she was outside the barrier (pictured above) and fell down. The privately owned garbage truck, also heading east, could not stop in time. Cuevas became trapped under the rear wheels of the truck. As we reported Wednesday, the NYPD did not ticket or charge the driver.

Woman Struck by Garbage Truck at Essex and Delancey (Updated 6:09am)

Photo by Adrian Fussell.

Photo by Adrian Fussell.

Tuesday afternoon, a woman was struck by a garbage truck at the intersection of Essex and Delancey. According to the NYPD press office, she was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.  The victim is 51 years old and a resident of Brooklyn. She was walking eastbound on Delancey at about 3 p.m. when the accident happened. The woman became trapped under the rear wheels of a private sanitation truck. The police spokesman said there was “no criminality” on the part of the driver and he was not charged.  The Essex and Delancey intersection is one of the most dangerous in the city. Thanks to Lo-Down reader David Flaherty for alerting us to this story. If you have photos or additional information, email us at tips@thelodownny.com.

UPDATE 6:09am Photojournalist Adrian Fussell sent of the photos posted above. He says police officers had blocked Essex Street in both directions. There was a boot or shoe in the street, as well as some bits of clothing and bloodstains. Based on a report City Councilwoman Margaret Chin received from the NYPD, the victim’s legs were badly injured. We hope to have more details about her condition later today.

Read an update to this story here.

Good Morning!

We’re getting a respite from the rain! Mostly sunny and 68 today. Sunny with a high in the upper 60’s on Saturday. More of the same Sunday.  It’s a weekend full of outdoor events. Tomorrow, the LES Kids’ Art Bike Parade is held in East River Park. Sunday, a puppet performance in Luther Gulick Park. Check out our Calendar for many more activities.

Police, Feds Crack Down on Discount Bus Operators

Near Essex & Canal, Saturday afternoon. Photo by Brifget Bosworth.

New York City police and federal transportation agents spent most of the day on Canal Street, pulling over interstate bus drivers for spot inspections. They stopped dozens of buses at various locations throughout the city last week, in the aftermath of the deadly bus accident in the Bronx.

The photo above was taken by Lo-Down contributor Bridget Bosworth, shortly before 3pm. This morning, we noticed more buses pulled to the side of the street, on both Canal and Division. Employees of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation were both on the scene.

Canal and Division streets, this morning.


Valentine’s Day 2011 – Lower East Side Style

Valentine Girls

Photo by Pat Arnow.

Valentine’s Day 2011 is already history. But we couldn’t resist posting this photo from Pat Arnow — three ladies celebrating the day in style as they cross Delancey Street (near Essex). Send your photos to us at: info@thelodownny.com.

Main Squeeze Orchestra Preps For Valentine’s Day

If you’re looking for some exotic fun on Valentine’s Day weekend, The Main Squeeze Orchestra, (also known as the “Western World’s Only 14 Piece All-Female All-Accordion Orchestra”) will be celebrating their annual Valentine’s Day concert with a special performance from Last of the International Playboys and a snazzy debut CD release party at Drom on Feb. 13th.  A talented squeezebox ensemble directed by accordion guru Walter Kuhr, plenty of Cabaret camp, plus some Latin jazz with Vegas Lounge music (not to mention a free CD) – should all add up to a lot of fun.  $12 // Doors at 7p, show at 8p // 85 Avenue A.

Snowman/woman Mania Sweeps the Lower East Side

Photo by Bridget Bosworth.

All month long, the neighborhood has been captivated by the always growing and evolving snowman outside the bodega at the corner of Essex and Canal streets. But it is now clear his influence extends way beyond this bustling intersection. Take a look at some of the photographic evidence we’ve received in the past couple of days from Lo-Down readers:

Snow Day on The L.E.S.

Snow Ponies on the L.E.S. - photo by J. Strom

Today’s snowstorm took forecasters a bit by surprise, as they’d predicted more sleet and freezing rain and less of the fluffy stuff. But the flakes arrived mid-morning and will fall on and off until tomorrow morning for a total of 8 to 12 inches, according to forecasters. (more snow photos after the jump) Bundle up out there!

CB3′s Full Board Approves SPURA Guidelines

The Seward Park sites south of Delancey Street. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa.

The Seward Park sites south of Delancey Street. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa.

The emotions ran the gamut last night inside the auditorium of P.S. 20 on Essex Street. Elation, anger, relief, regret and pride were all palpable as Community Board 3 held an historic vote on the future of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. At the end of the evening, CB3 members accomplished what seemed impossible to many not so long ago: unanimous approval of a set of planning guidelines (you can read the full document here) for a 7-acre development site the neighborhood has been fighting over for 43 years.

The decision, backed by all of the neighborhood’s elected officials, dramatically increases the odds that CB3’s vision of a mixed use (residential and commercial) project, including 50% affordable and 50% market rate housing, will one day become a reality.

Real Estate Expert Jonathan Miller on SPURA

SPURA surface parking lots line Suffolk Street from Broome to Delancey.

Over the last several months, as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area planning process chugged forward, we’ve sat through countless community board meetings, interviewed dozens of local residents and decision-makers and published op-eds from various players invested in the proposed residential and retail project. As the guidelines face a vote this evening, we’d like to offer some observations from an expert, NYC real estate analyst Jonathan Miller.

Miller, the president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm, is widely respected across the industry for his comprehensive data collection and reporting and his market insights.