The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the New York City Department of Transportation announced today a new study of Chinatown traffic and transportation improvements. The study will be used to evaluate existing conditions and to develop an action plan for improving traffic flow and safety, parking, and accessibility to Chinatown’s businesses and restaurants.
One of Lower Manhattan’s most pressing challenges since September 11, 2001 has been the closing of Park Row North, which once served as a major artery connecting Chinatown to the Financial District. The study will outline strategies to reconnect Chinatown to adjacent neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan and to improve the streets for parking, buses, freight vehicles, garbage disposal, and tour buses.
LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, “Although Chinatown was severely impacted on September 11th, the people and businesses in the area have worked hard to cope with the economic aftermath. This new study will help us find solutions and, working with area leaders, support the area’s economic rebound.”
NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall said, “We are looking forward to working with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on this important proposal for the Chinatown area. Chinatown always has presented unique parking and travel challenges, so we need to ensure minimal disruption to Chinatown area businesses as we proceed with the task of reconstructing streets along Lower Manhattan."
LMDC President Lou Tomson said, “Chinatown is one of Lower Manhattan’s most vibrant and diverse communities. This study will help us to enhance their transportation infrastructure, and in doing so, bring more visitors to the area and bolster economic recovery.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “Many severe problems continue to plague the transportation system that is so vital to the people of Chinatown and to its economy. I applaud LMDC and the City Department of Transportation for recognizing that traffic in Chinatown presents a serious challenge that must be dealt with right away. I hope that today's request for proposals will quickly lead to a solution in which streets are reopened and mass transit options are expanded so that my community can continue its recovery and the neighborhood can assume its rightful place as a key component of the City's economy."
The LMDC and DOT have issued a Request for Proposals seeking consultants to conduct the study. Responses are due back by 5pm on December 2, 2002. The selected consultant(s) will be asked to render services and complete a detailed report consisting of the following four parts:
1. Baseline Analysis and identification of problems.
2. Action Plan for major transportation and traffic-related issues in Chinatown, to be coordinated with other ongoing efforts to study the areas around the Brooklyn Bridge and Canal Street (Canal Area Transportation Study or CATS).
3. Implementation Plan outlining potential strategies, governmental actions, community outreach efforts, etc.
4. Benefits of the plan, in terms of improved circulation, reduced traffic impact from trucks and buses, shorter travel times, and potential benefits to the local economy. The consultant may be asked to work with an urban design firm retained separately by LMDC