Volume 20, Number 43 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 20 - 26, 2010
More pedestrian managers, bridge still ultimate goal
BY Aline Reynolds
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation recently allotted funds for pedestrian safety managers at three intersections along West Street during rush hour, per Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s request. The Battery Park City Authority is managing the contract, which was awarded to Sam Schwartz Engineering.
But the Speaker would like to take pedestrian safety a step further, now fighting for a pedestrian overpass above West Thames Street. He established a West Street Task Force last year to address the safety issues. The bridge has always been the ultimate goal and Silver said it is essential to ensure children’s and B.P.C. resident’s safety.
“I will continue to press the city on the vital need for a pedestrian bridge over West Thames Street, which has been a priority for Community Board One and the P.S. 276 Parent-Teacher Association,” Silver told the Downtown Express last May.
“It’s much safer… and better for overall traffic management to have that bridge going across,” said Silver. “It’s going to happen, the question is going to be how it’s going to get paid for.”
Possible funding streams include the L.M.D.C. and the B.P.C.A. A spokesperson from Assembly Speaker Silver’s office said they were hopeful a vote on the funding of the bridge would come up at the November L.M.D.C. board meeting.
Councilmember Margaret Chin brought up safety at last week’s P.S. 276 ribbon-cutting ceremony, saying, “It’s a great ribbon-cutting, but we still [have to] talk about pedestrian safety being here.”
Pedestrian crosswalks have recently been established at 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place. “We’re continuing to work with [the city Department of Transportation] on Battery Place to make sure our kids are safe,” said P.S. 276 principal Terri Ruyter, who wants to see more pedestrian safety officers patrolling Battery Place.
She brought it up with Dennis Walcott, deputy mayor for education and community development, as they strode into the school auditorium for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The current number of crossing guards in the area, including the one on Battery Place, is “not enough,” Ruyter said.
“It’s Battery Place, there’s a lot of traffic here.”
There have been no pedestrian accidents along Battery Place in 2010, according to the city D.O.T.