Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fewer studies, more action

This was posted via Street Blogs about a situation all too common in New York City. Residents have made their case to local elected officials and the community board, but still DOT seems reluctant to take any action on this intersection. This article gives you all the details:
Since 2005, the Friends of Washington Market Park have begged city transportation officials to bring Greenwich St. traffic under control. Our Tribeca Kids Zone coalition comprises the P.T.A.s of the area’s dozen schools — public, private, nursery and religious — along with the Independent Plaza North Tenants Association. We’ve enlisted the support of Community Board 1 and local electeds, we’ve shot photos and videos documenting the danger (see, we’ve tabulated vehicle frequencies and timed “traffic gaps.”

We’ve “dialogued” with city officials till we got blue in the face. We’ve traded data with the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Signals, which subjects traffic signal requests to the voodoo science of federal traffic “warrants.” We’ve met with three different D.O.T. borough commissioners in as many years, and we’ve submitted a petition demanding a traffic light, signed by 600 neighborhood parents. All to no avail.

Sadly, D.O.T.’s much-ballyhooed regime change hasn’t made a dime’s worth of difference. Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan has been lauded for pushing innovative traffic policies like congestion pricing and protected bike lanes, but she has turned a deaf ear to our pleas. Sadik-Khan has even rebuffed our invitation to come observe conditions for herself when schools have let out and Greenwich St. swarms with kids and caregivers.

It seems that a neck down, raised cross walks, and a stop sign (traffic signal) would be a simple fix. Once again, this intersection is an example of DOT and engineering versus the reality of the pedestrian environment. Sometimes the best approach is for those that are doing the planning to actually use the space in context. This process will increase understanding of the multiple uses of a space, as opposed to it being dominated by a single use.

No comments: