Businesses in the Garment District and nearby retailers are reeling from news of a city plan that would ban automobiles along the West 34th Street block between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
The plan, which would cost about $30 million and be ready by 2012, would change that part of the street into a pedestrian plaza, similar to a recent park in Times Square. Buses would still run both east and west in the center. Traffic would be re-routed, leaving apparel factories and design showrooms in the Garment Center with potentially delayed deliveries and altered schedules.
The West 34th Street changes would be yet another blow for the garment district, which is currently figuring out how to deal with the relocation of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week from nearby Bryant Park uptown to Lincoln Center.
Not to mention that 34th Street is part of I-495, has tunnels on both ends and a major bus line running along it. What the hell are they thinking?
(Broadway at Union Square is scheduled for the same treatment.)
Neighborhood Retail Alliance sums it up:
Oh well, soon Queens Boulevard will be turned into a pedestrian mall and we won't have to hear any more sob stories about old ladies being run over attempting to cross the dangerous thoroughfare. Pedestrian malls and bike lanes, the end product of electing a dilettante environmental poseur as mayor.