Monday, June 16, 2008

$900,000 to put cops on car-free streets

Mayor Bloomberg's next big idea: Shut down Park Avenue.

City Will Close Five Miles of Manhattan Road to Car Traffic

A five-mile stretch of road running from Lower Manhattan to Central Park will be closed to automobiles for three days in August, as part of a city Department of Transportation program that, if successful, could lead to regular street closings.

The proposal, expected to be announced by Mr. Bloomberg at an event today, is intended to provide New Yorkers and visitors with a safe place to jog, stroll, and ride without the congestion normally associated with the city's streets. The car-free zone will run from the start of Centre Street in Lower Manhattan to 72nd Street on the Upper East Side by way of Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue, and Park Avenue, and it will be closed between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on three consecutive Saturdays: August 9, August 16, and August 23.

But while the plan is intended to accommodate residents, some fear that, even on a weekend, the toll on businesses will be higher than the value gained.

None of the businesses The New York Sun spoke with yesterday said they were consulted by the city about the road closings.

Closing the 5-mile stretch of roads requires a lot of manpower to cordon off hundreds of side streets and direct traffic on crosstown thoroughfares.

The cost of police presence along the thoroughfare could total $900,000 for all three Saturdays, according to a Department of Transportation official, Dani Simons, quoted in a recent story in Downtown Express. The police department did not offer comment yesterday.


Taxpayer said...

This moron, Commissar Death, impudently refuses to perform the job he was hired to do: manage the various city agencies.

Nobody hired this small-bore mind to manage us; we did perfectly well before his arrival from Boston, and will do so again when he finally disappears into the Caribbean sunset.

He sees New York as his own Soviet laboratory to experiment on the "little people" with the "little people's" own money.

This is the result of our allowing him to pick lickspittle yes-men to serve his needs instead of our interests. All on our dime.

Anonymous said...

NYC's crumbling infrastructure is like an inefficient boiler that's constantly leaking steam.

It sprouts new leaks each day
due to unregulated over development
that out-srips its ability to deliver adequate service.

And the best that
Mayor Midget can suggest is to patch up those holes with wads of bubble gum!

Somebody ought to put a cork up his ass. Let's see how long he can hold in his gas before he explodes!

Erik Baard said...

I've been suggesting a car-free (even greenway) Broadway for years and I've heard that others came to that notion long before.

I argued against the congestion pricing program and emphasis at Citizens Committee for NYC when I was their environmental program manager because I felt a physical access change was easier to grasp, could be made more permanent, and couldn't be portrayed as anti-outer borough. I got forced aside in part because of that. As a biker later supported congestion pricing (albeit lightly) because that was where momentum gathered and it had merits over inaction.

Bloomberg's Park Ave. plan (and other arteries?) now doesn't call for a physical change, so like CP it could be easily undone. But it does provide a safe passage down the spine of Manhattan, as opposed to just the fringes.

But I believe this move, along with allowing cross-town car traffic to cross at only certain points and not each corner, could do enormous good in shifting people to bikes, subways, and onto their feet.

The ultimate goal for bike paths, protected bike lanes, and such is widespread use of planted meridians and islands - though we've seen in Maspeth and might see in Ridgewood that trees are not as sacred to the city government as some PR materials would lead us to believe, they are certainly tougher to remove than highway markers.

Erik Baard

Anonymous said...

Look guys, this is one of the reasons they want congestion pricing - they want to turn sections of NYC as pedestrian / bike areas.

I have seen depictions of Broadway as a Eruo style Boulevard with cafes, plantings and the like.

Not like Queens with streets filled with brutal looking TLCs, SUVs, and SANO construction vehicles.

But then again, with the exception of Election Day, who cares how 'staff' lives or thinks.

Anonymous said...

why does every idea get "slammed" on this blog.

you guys are way too angry and look to complain about everything.

enough with the negativity.

Queens Crapper said...

"why does every idea get "slammed" on this blog."

I only post the city's stupid ideas on this blog. There are plenty of other Queens websites that eat up everything and wrote about how wonderful it is. Check Astorians or Queens Central if that is your thing. Otherwise, don't come back now, y'hear?