Volume 20, Number 49 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 20 - 26, 2011
Countdown getting louder
We are only a few months away from the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that changed how we live and how we look at the world. At the granular level of our neighborhood, we now have to closely examine and forecast how we will deal with the dynamics such as traffic, tour bus parking, and in general coping with the influx of tourists and residents alike that will be flocking to the W.T.C. site in the coming months and the coming years.
We applaud the Dept. of Transportation for finally including community members in their working group that had been meeting monthly, and now thanks to the pressure applied by our community representatives, are meeting weekly to consider all of the above and how our neighborhood will be affected.
We commend the Community Board 1 W.T.C. Redevelopment Committee for unanimously passing a resolution to promote mass transit. Our transit system is more than capable of accommodating the visitors expected to flock to Lower Manhattan. This solution needs to be heavily promoted throughout the hospitality industry, particularly in this early phase when the vehicle security center is not operative. Within the mass transit system, planning needs to step on all of the issues dealing with moving more people downtown from the numerous nodes.
We also commend C.B. 3’s Transportation Committee for passing a resolution supporting a metered parking scenario, advanced by D.O.T., that could play a major role in policing the tour buses and identifying appropriate parking areas for them. We would like to see what areas are proposed for these metered spaces and how many buses they can handle. The N.Y.P.D. has said they plan to enforce the metered parking, but we wonder to what extent that is truly possible. Anyone can park in front of a metered parking space, turn on their hazard lights and when a police officer approaches them, simply move on to another space or street without incurring a fine. These compliance problems need to be resolved.
Of utmost importance in terms of making sure things go smoothly in the face of the inevitable influx of people and buses is the need for the public and private sectors to work together. The D.O.T., M.T.A. and other agencies should be coordinating with cultural institutions and with the tourism industry to create maps to assist those who will be traveling from all over the world to come see this memorial that has been ten years in the making. Social media should be utilized, advertisements should play a role and the tourism and hospitality industries need to become part of the dialogue and solutions.
These issues will affect all of us living and working downtown, and the millions who visit. The countdown is getting louder.