Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More pedestrian plazas for Manhattan

From Crain's:

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.


Anonymous said...

Its Official:
Why dont the just go ahead and build one big balcony over 34th street.

Anonymous said...

One wonders just which concrete and bench companies have the n.y.c. contracts? which democrat politicians are getting their graft?

Lino said...

This was on the local TV news last Friday night, I knew you would get around to it.

Saturday morning I was in a fifth ave bus that came to a crawl by the upper 60s. Look out the window and what do you see?...one mookmobile after another, the vast majority have just one slob. The bus driver constantly honking the horn as these nuisance cars dart in front and then stop abruptly.

This is why our city barely creeps along; too many damn private cars.

The area west of Madison Sq. Park has had it's lanes reduced as well and now people don't have to scurry across several roadways and often get stuck on narrow islands when "motorists" just can't wait a second longer.

So yeah, for once I have a reason to applaud Bloombag.

Anonymous said...

These plazas won't work. Bloomberg is attempting to use traffic calming solutions used in European cities; the thing is that our city is extremely dense and was not planned with such things in mind.

If Bloomberg truly wants to improve the flow of traffic and leave a legacy, he can construct an underground highway that circles Manhattan like the M30 in Madrid. This would be more beneficial than most of the useless projects he comes up with.

Anonymous said...

This truly defies any earthly understanding. All this will do will permanently jam up 35th, 37th, and 39th streets headed west.

Anonymous said...

They are doing this because of fear of terrorists in car bombs.

Sanctuary City my ass.

Detective McNutty said...

It doesn't just defy earthly understanding but thousands of years of history, which has shown the grid pattern to be the most efficient use of land. Even before the bicycle and automobile were invented ,cities that had a grid pattern grew faster and were more effective in moving people about.

At least one media outlet is reporting the other side of this story. If one only read the Daily News, they might think Bloomberg was a friend of the fashion industry.

Geoff said...

Its just Bloomberg taking it out on the motorist again. Since he wasn't allowed his congestion pricing he has decided to rid the city of all cars anyway he can. He doesn't give a crap about how expensive deliveries will become when goods need to be walked two and three blocks because of lack of parking. Bus stops have become 3/4 of a block long, where does commercial traffic go now?

Anonymous said...

I don't get it....first Mayor Bloomberg wants Congestion Pricing because there is too much traffic and now he is cutting off roadways with pedestrian plazas causing more traffic jams. Brilliant!!!!

Lino said...

"Geoff said...
Its just Bloomberg taking it out on the motorist again. Since he wasn't allowed his congestion pricing he has decided to rid the city of all cars anyway he can"

I can't know exactly what is in Bloombag's head but, for the last 80+ years there has been an average 6%-8%/ye increase of auto traffic in the central business district. Given the increasing population predicted for both Manhattan and the boroughs this rate is likely to accelerate if nothing is done to curb this trend.

Taxis and delivery vehicles are essential, low occupancy private vehicles are -not-. Therefore that is where pressure needs to be placed.

BAck when I worked in the theater during the 80s, I took taxis 7 days a week sometime as many as 5 rides in a day going from one rehearsal space to prop suppliers and stages. Cabs were a quick and efficient mode when you are on a very tight schedule.

Nowadays they crawl and are a waste of money because of all the added traffic..most of it in the form of single occupancy cars.

BTW: Queens seems to be next for consideration.


I am sure you are glad not to be left out.