Volume 19 | Issue 28 | November 24 - 30, 2006

Under Cover

Waste Management
Promenade South, the recently completed walkway along West St. from Battery Park to W. Thames St., has been called “barren,” a “wasteland” and a “waste of space.”
So, UnderCover can’t help but note the irony that the first object to fill some of that empty space will be a public art installation entitled “Waste Management Project.”
Approved by Community Board 1 on Nov. 15, the temporary art project by Alex Villar will go on display in December for a two-week run. The installation will allow visitors to walk inside of a pair of overturned dumpsters to view video of the artist interacting with other vacant spaces.
No, we don’t understand what that means, either. But at least it gives us a reason to visit the “Waste” land.

Easy money
For those readers who skipped past page one to see what’s under the cover, the long-awaited study on the merits of Southbridge Towers privatization has finally been released. Both sides say the delay was caused because they asked the attorney to change some language. John Fratta, Southbridge’s president, said there were also very minor adjustments to the numbers. “I got $5,000 richer in about two weeks,” he said, explaining that the estimated value of his apartment increased to $730,000. Fratta can’t be bought for five grand though. He’s still opposed to privatization.

Liquor furor
Community Board 1 recently tabled a review of its liquor license approval process after learning that the State Liquor Authority is overhauling its own policies and procedures.
Until the state and the board finish their reviews, the following procedure will likely remain in place: 1) Angry neighbors arrive at board meeting and protest the noise, smoke, rudeness, smelliness or flammability of a particular bar and its patrons, 2) C.B.1 rejects liquor license renewal application, 3) S.L.A. approves license renewal.
Angry neighbors take note — general bar complaints should be directed to the Quality of Life Committee, but until further notice, liquor license renewals will still go through the geographic committees.

Truck Trouble
Here at Downtown Express, we’ve been so focused on the lack of parking for tour buses during the first two years of the World Trade Center memorial; we almost forgot about all the delivery trucks that also won’t have the vehicular security center to park in.
A big thanks to the Port Authority’s environmental assessment for reminding us. In addition to quantifying the tour bus quagmire (210 buses per day in 2009 and 2010 when there will be no garage versus 130 per day by 2015 when there will be a place to park), the study points out that pedestrians on sidewalks near the World Trade Center site would be “frequently interrupted” by loading trucks at street level.
The study goes on to say, “Not only would this disrupt sidewalk flow, but there would be safety issues related to potential conflicts between pedestrians and trucks.”
Anyone want to place bets on who’ll win that conflict? For more visions of the coming traffic nightmare, visit and click through to Volume 1, Section D: Transportation. For those who don’t speak study-ese, “non-action alternative” means “with no parking garage” and the “preferred alternative” means “with garage.”

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