Movement on West St. safety
To improve the safety of West St. crossings, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last week called for a new bridge at W. Thames St. and pedestrian managers at key intersections.
Silver held a meeting last Thursday with the many agencies whose money and approval would be necessary to make his suggested improvements happen, including the city and state Depts. of Transportation, the Battery Park City Authority, the Port Authority and the N.Y.P.D.
“Crossing West Street safely has long been a daunting task for Lower Manhattan residents, workers and students,” Silver said in a statement. “With a new school, P.S. 276, scheduled to open in September as well as the full occupancy of Goldman Sachs’ world headquarters building on the horizon, it is increasingly important that we take steps today to help people get safely across the street.”
West St. safety has been a key point of contention in the current school zoning debate.
The idea of a bridge over West St. at W. Thames St. is not new. The Battery Park City Authority already started designing the bridge, to replace the temporary one at Rector St., but the city balked at the price tag, which is in the tens of millions of dollars.
Silver told the agencies at the meeting to try to find a way to build the bridge and to report back in March.
He also suggested crossing guards at Albany, Vesey and Murray Sts. Vesey St. isn’t currently open at grade, but some in the community hope it could reopen soon.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who attended the meeting, said that while the cost of these improvements is an issue, an equally big challenge is getting all of the agencies to coordinate their efforts. Squadron said the meeting was a good first step in that direction.