Rendering of a plan to convert the Peck Slip parking lot used by Fulton Fish Market trucks into a plaza with a reflecting pool by Richard Rogers Partnership, SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Landscape Architect.
Proposed Peck Slip plaza hits road bump over traffic
By Ronda Kaysen
Plans for a new park on a swath of Peck Slip between Water and South Sts. ran into a roadblock at Community Board 1s Oct. 12 Seaport/Civic Center committee meeting: cross-town traffic.
When New York City Department of Transportation presented the committee with a proposal to change the geometry of Peck Slip, dividing eastbound and westbound traffic with a new reflecting pool plaza, committee members balked at the suggestion that Peck Slip, between Pearl and Water Sts., be converted to a westbound one-way street without a comprehensive traffic-impact study. Peck Slip is currently a wide, cobblestone two-way street with no clear directional or parking markers.
It gets pretty hectic for pedestrians down here. A park sounds like a great idea, committee member Heather Hobson said in a telephone interview. But we need to know about the traffic impact. Some board members suggested converting Beekman St., a one-way westbound St. into an eastbound St. as a way to accommodate the lost traffic flow along Peck Slip.
The new park is part of a capital reconstruction plan to improve the East River waterfront, which will include, among other things, a reflecting pool and large plaza on Peck Slip. Josh Rosenbloom and Meghann Rowley of the D.O.T. also showed the committee the Department of City Plannings illustrations of the park, emphasizing the preliminary nature of the plans. This is a rough sketch its a total concept, said Rosenbloom.
The Peck Slip plaza plans were first unveiled at a C.B 1 meeting a week earlier. At that meeting, attended by City Planning Chairperson Amanda Burden, officials said three architectural firms, Richard Rogers Partnership, SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Landscape Architect, would design the plaza.
The committee sent the D.O.T. back to the drawing board to come up with a crosstown traffic alternative and a traffic impact study for the area. Crosstown traffic is our toughest traffic condition here, said Hobson at the meeting. Without making it really clear that its not going to negatively impact traffic, I cant support [the proposal.]