Pedestrian Barricades Rear Ugly Heads Again
Once again, the City has penned in pedestrians with new crosswalk barricades at 3rd Ave. and 51st Street, and 8th Ave. and 45th Street. Additional barricades are proposed for 6th Ave. and 49th Street and 5th Ave. and 45th Street. Midtown pedestrians outnumber motor vehicles by more than 15-1, and the barricaded crosswalks subject pedestrians to more crowding and delays on already jammed sidewalks. T.A. found that existing barricades in Midtown contributed to 19,000 additional jaywalkers a day. Rather than taking away valuable pedestrian space in a misguided attempt to speed motor vehicle traffic, the City should be widening sidewalks, creating auto-free zones and increasing funding to the upcoming five-year transit rebuilding program.
In late March, Transportation Alternatives, Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Project for Public Spaces, Straphangers Campaign and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign sent a group letter to Mayor Giuliani demanding that he order the police to remove the barricades and place a moratorium on any new pedestrian barricades. State Senator Tom Duane also sent a strong letter decrying the lack of community consultation and the Mayor's overall course on Midtown congestion.