By Sam Schwartz
Dear Transit Sam,
At a recent Guides Association of N.Y.C. meeting, we discussed the current and future Downtown traffic situation with regard to cars and coach buses. In 2013, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is expected to receive seven to nine million visitors. I project that to be about 40 per minute, or one coach bus full. Where are these buses going to go? How will they reach the site? Where will they park? N.Y.C.’s fourth largest industry is tourism and hospitality. We need the income, but not the traffic. My preference would be to encourage the coach buses not to go Downtown, but for rapid, efficient, accessible, easy-to-use public transit to be available from New Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and other areas of Manhattan. Besides expanding the vehicle center, the Port Authority needs to find parking in New Jersey and dedicated easy PATH service from those parking fields. Developing ferries and facilities should be explored as well.
Jared the Tour Guide
Jared, you’re right. These buses have to go somewhere. Transit Sam is the transportation consultant to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I can tell you that all options are being considered with all relevant agencies (from off-site drop offs/pick ups to a temporary garage and additional ferry service). In my column, I’ll be encouraging visitors to take public transit and use “park and rides,” such as the one at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, which offers a connection to the light rail to Hoboken and the PATH to World Trade Center. More to come once we have a firm plan in place!
Dear Transit Sam,
There are cars parked in the same space for weeks and months in Battery Park City that to my knowledge have moved only to allow the sanitation sweeper to pass and then pull back into the spot. While I know that someone must spend time babysitting their vehicles, I rarely see a space open up other than to the usual complement of cars. Incidentally, I do not own a car and use mass transit.
Syl, Rector Pl.
N.Y.C. Traffic Rule Section 4-08 (m) (9) allows you to park in the same spot for no more than seven straight days. So when a driver pulls out of a spot to comply with ASP parking rules and then pulls back in, a new seven day cycle begins. Even if a car was parked in the same spot for more than seven straight days, it’s a difficult law to enforce and not high on the police department’s list of enforcement measures since it must be first observed, usually upon hearing a complaint by marking the tires and then waiting a week. Syl, I think you’re better off without a car because complying with ASP can be more trouble than its worth and mass transit options are plentiful.
Sam Schwartz, a former first deputy commissioner of city transportation, is president and C.E.O. of Sam Schwartz Engineering, a traffic engineering consulting firm to private and public entities. Send Transit Sam your traffic and transit concerns to TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or Transit Sam, c/o SSE, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, N.Y., N.Y., 10012.