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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #1541
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wow, those stairs are freaking awesome!! if they are really going to be built, nyc will become even more interesting then it already is (in terms of architecture)!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 11:03 PM   #1542
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The best city, the best sky, the best projects...NY =)
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Old October 26th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #1543
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Amid flurry of major approvals, New York moves forward on the High Line.



The City Planning Commission decided on four major development proposals yesterday (clockwise from left): the Hudson Yards, Kingsbridge Armory, MoMA Tower, and Broadway Triangle.
Courtesy Related; Hines

When the real-estate industry went into deep freeze, word had it that developers would use their recessionary downtime to get planning approvals in line for the uptick to come. And sure enough, New York’s City Planning Commission had a marathon day yesterday, approving the Related Companies’ Hudson Yards project and Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment, the rezoning of the Broadway Triangle in Brooklyn, new approvals for Jean Nouvel’s MoMA tower, and—the biggest surprise of the bunch—the announcement that the city was moving ahead on acquisition of the final stretch of the High Line.

The High Line news came just after commission chair Amanda Burden voted in favor of the re-rezoning of the western portion of the Hudson Yards, which had been designated for a stadium in 2005 as part of the city’s Olympic bid. Burden perked up noticeably when she made the announcement, declaring, “The vision of the High Line will not be realized until it extends all the way from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that the city is preparing an application to acquire the final piece of the High Line.”

Burden added that she expects the process to be completed by the end of the year, at which point it will enter the public review process. The continuation of the elevated park, the first phase of which opened to great fanfare earlier this year, has been an open question throughout the Hudson Yards development process. While commensurate open space was required, some developers bidding on the project wanted to replace the High Line with a new park north of 30th Street, arguing its preservation would make building the deck over the rail yards more difficult.

Related, which took over the project after Tishman Speyer backed out last year, was ambivalent about including the High Line in its plans. The developer did seem to warm to the idea as the commission increasingly indicated that was the direction it was leaning, working language supportive of preservation into the rezoning in September. Until today’s announcement, though, nothing was assured.

Peter Mullan, director of planning for Friends of the High Line, said after the announcement that he was excited by the news, but more work remains. “This does not guarantee preservation, but it’s the beginning of the process to ensure preservation and the most significant and concrete step in the process,” Mullen said.

The city must now come to an agreement with CSX, the national railroad operator, to purchase the final stretch of track. No previous deal had been made because the tracks would have been demolished under the stadium plan, and then the city was unsure what action the developers would take.

As for Related’s massive project abutting the High Line, the commission approved changes to the 2005 rezoning, replacing the stadium with one commercial and seven residential towers surrounded by acres of open space, by a vote of 12-1. This will be a part of the completed Hudson Yards, which also includes a parcel east of 11th Avenue that was rezoned in 2005 for commercial and residential use.

The commission made some changes to the Related plan for the western yards that was certified in May, following criticism from the local community board and the borough president. In further deference to the High Line, one tower at the project’s southwest corner that would have straddled the elevated park has been pushed back and its height reduced, though it still overhangs the tracks by 50 feet (the Standard rises 30 feet above).

Changes were also made to the open space, which had been described as “too Bryant Park” by the board. Now, it will be more tightly integrated with the surrounding buildings, along with more seating and other minor changes. Burden also announced the assent of the School Construction Authority to develop a new primary school within the western development. Related could not be reached for comment about these changes.

“They heard everything we said,” Lee Compton, former chair of Community Board 4, told AN after the vote. “They did not agree with everything, though, and we’re going to continue to fight for them.”

The major sticking point, and the reason for the one dissenting vote, is affordable housing. “This project will contribute a number of important, positive aspects to the borough,” commissioner Karen Philips said. “But I am concerned by the lack of onsite affordable housing.” Related has pointed out that 600 units will be created off-site, but Compton said that those were promised during the 2005 rezoning. “To take credit for them would be double dipping,” he said. The community hopes to sway the City Council to require the developer to include more affordable housing, ideally within the site, when the council votes on the project in the next 50 days.

Things did not go as smoothly for Related’s Kingsbridge Armory, an old military hall in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx that has lain vacant for 15 years. The developer wants to turn the massive 57,500-square-foot building into a mall, including a 60,000-square-foot grocery store, which has drawn fire from two local grocers that fear it will put them out of business. Four commissioners sympathized with this issue and voted against the project, though it was still approved by 8-4 with one abstention.

During the meeting, the room was stormed by about two dozen unionists who have also been fighting Related for wage guarantees, along with the borough president Ruben Diaz, Jr., who was in the audience. The commission did not comment on this issue, but pressure will no doubt be brought to bear on the council. “I vote yes on this item trusting that progress on this project will continue,” commissioner Richard Eaddy said.

Another contentious community project was approved yesterday, this one with little uproar. Despite an alternative plan with the support of some 40 community groups, the commissioners approved the city’s rezoning application for the Broadway Triangle 11-1 with one abstention.

The commissioners who did speak up embraced the position of the community board, which argued that a good plan—with contextual zoning and nearly 1,000 potential units of affordable housing—was created in the worst of ways by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which largely ignored the community in the process. “We have had these issues with HPD in one manner or another in the past,” commissioner Irwin Cantor said. “I hope we don’t see HPD making similar errors in the future.”

As for Jean Nouvel’s midtown tower, it had already been approved in September, when the commission unexpectedly chopped 200 feet off the top, leaving it at 1,050 feet. Then, at City Hall two weeks ago, the council decided further changes needed to be made to the street-level facade, which had been more of a concern to the community all along.

Despite a personal plea from Nouvel to restore the full height of the tower, the council instead referred it back to the commission after reducing the hotel square footage from 150,000 square feet to 100,000, which eliminated the requirement for a loading dock on 54th Street. (The council also requested that MoMA make the wall to its sculpture garden more transparent and community friendly, something that has been a bone of contention since the expanded MoMA reopened in 2004, though that changes was not under the purvey off the commission.) The changes were approved unanimously, and the council is now expected to vote on them in the next few weeks.

links: http://archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=3944
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Old October 26th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #1544
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Foster’s 980 Madison wins approval, finally!

Two years after rejecting Foster and Partners' controversial 30-storey glass tower proposal for 980 Madison Avenue, the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) has approved a smaller, less intensive expansion of the five-storey gallery building. The new design, Foster’s third, tops out at 108 feet, is set back along Madison Avenue, and features a light bronze coloured scrim. The design is a tame one for Foster, who is known for creating buildings that break the rules rather than follow them, but the changes were necessary for the project to go forward.



The road to the project’s approval has been a long and arduous one for developer Aby Rosen and his architect Norman Foster, who are both associated with great projects in the city. Foster’s Hearst building is much admired and Rosen is the owner-cum-curator of a distinguished group of properties that include the Lever House, the Seagram Building and 40 Bond. Yet, in spite of their architectural good deeds elsewhere in the city, the team’s tower design was met with a firestorm of opposition from neighbourhood residents and a cool reception from New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff that doomed it to the archive of good ideas gone bad. The design was ultimately denied by the LPC as being too ambitious for its historic Upper East Side location. Two and a half years hence, Foster returned to the LPC with a second scheme- this one a five storey box wrapped in a dark bronze coloured scrim set atop, yet back from, the existing gallery building. It too was rejected by the LPC as being out of scale for the neighbourhood. The third design, approved last night by a vote of 7-to-1 is like the second one, only a storey shorter and with a redesigned scrim that is lighter in colour and feel.


In a statement expressing strong support of the proposal, AIA NY Chapter President James McCullar and Executive Director Rick Bell called the design, “an appropriate addition to an existing building in an historic district”…"a modern complement to the brick upper level that makes up many of the elegant buildings in the neighbourhood”.

In spite of losing the opportunity to create an iconic piece of architecture in the district, Aby Rosen thanked the board for its approval. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate that you can build with distinction in a historic district if you respond responsibly and work collaboratively with the Landmarks Commission", he said.


Link: http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com...pload_id=12559
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Old November 24th, 2009, 11:27 PM   #1545
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Atlantic Yards Project in Brooklyn Clears Legal Hurdle


The Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn has been delayed for three years by a flurry of lawsuits, the collapse of the credit and real estate markets and a glut of luxury housing.

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
November 24, 2009
nytimes.com

The last major obstacle to a groundbreaking for the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn fell Tuesday when New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, dismissed a challenge to the state’s use of eminent domain on behalf of the developer, Bruce C. Ratner.

Mr. Ratner, whose 22-acre development has been delayed for three years by a flurry of lawsuits, the collapse of the credit and real estate markets and a glut of luxury housing, plans to begin selling tax-free bonds next month to finance the development’s cornerstone project: an 18,000-seat basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues near downtown.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the state could exercise eminent domain in seizing the 22 acres, much of which sits within an urban redevelopment area, for Atlantic Yards. Critics of the project had argued that eminent domain on behalf of a private developer was improper and a violation of the state’s Constitution.

“Once again the courts have made it clear that this project represents a significant public benefit for the people of Brooklyn and the entire city,” Mr. Ratner said. “Our commitment to the entire project is as strong today as when we started six years ago. Today, however, this project is even more important given the need for jobs and economic development.”

The developer expects that construction of the arena will take about 28 months, enabling the Nets to move from East Rutherford, N.J., to Brooklyn about June 2012.

Those opposed to the project said that the decision, while a setback, was hardly the end of the fight.

“The fight against the Atlantic Yards project is far from over,” said Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, a community group that opposes the project. “The community has four outstanding lawsuits against the project and, meanwhile, the arena bond financing clock ticks louder and louder for Ratner. While this is a terrible day for taxpaying homeowners in New York, this is not the end of our fight to keep the government from stealing our homes and businesses.”

If construction begins in the coming weeks as expected, Atlantic Yards will stand out in a city where 530 different construction projects are stalled, sitting lifeless and without adequate financing in virtually every neighborhood.

Atlantic Yards would transform a busy intersection of two major thoroughfares dominated by a deep railroad cut where Long Island Rail Road trains are cleaned between rush periods. The billion-dollar arena would be the most expensive in the country and home to Brooklyn’s first major league ball club since the Dodgers baseball team left after the 1957 season. Plans also call for 16 high-rise towers on the adjacent blocks, mostly residential buildings with as many as 6,430 apartments.

Still, Mr. Ratner and state officials, who support his project, have to contend with at least three other lawsuits, an uncertain real estate market and a lack of construction financing. The developer has said that he will start the first residential building six months after beginning the arena. But with so many new apartments sitting vacant, analysts say it could be many years before demand would justify building so many units in one neighborhood.

The arena would be built on an 8.5-acre railyard and on adjacent property. Some of the owners of the property oppose the project, and brought the initial eminent domain lawsuit. On Monday, Mr. Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner, turned over a $50 million temporary yard, just to the east of the original, to the Long Island Rail Road. Also on Tuesday,, a state-sponsored local development corporation approved issuing a combination of tax exempt and taxable bonds to finance construction of the arena.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:23 AM   #1546
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NYC passes energy-efficiency bills for buildings
9 December 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City passed a package of legislation Wednesday intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which are the city's largest source of heat-trapping gases.

The City Council voted to pass several bills that Mayor Michael Bloomberg said will help achieve his goal of reducing the city's carbon count by 30 percent by 2030 by making buildings more energy-efficient.

New York City's hundreds of thousands of buildings -- skyscrapers, hotels, stores, office buildings and apartment towers -- generate the majority of the city's emissions, according to a report released by the Bloomberg administration in 2007.

Building operations, which consume electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and steam, account for 79 percent of the city's greenhouse gas emissions.

Among the legislation passed Wednesday is a law that requires owners of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to conduct energy audits once every 10 years and to make environmental "tune-ups" to operations and maintenance systems, like replacing weather stripping and insulating hot and cold steam pipes.

The legislation initially required building owners to make more costly environmental improvements to their buildings, like major overhauls to heating and ventilation systems or replacing windows, but the Bloomberg administration dropped that because of opposition from building developers and real estate interests.

The mayor said this week that, in this tougher economic climate, requiring such improvements would unfairly burden building owners.

Also, the bill as originally written would have allowed landlords to pass along the cost of mandated building improvements to their tenants, even though the landlords would be saving money by reduced energy bills.

Despite the change, environmental groups praised the legislation and said it puts New York City far ahead of other U.S. cities on addressing buildings emissions.

"It's one of the most comprehensive, aggressive efforts anywhere in the country," said Donna De Costanzo, a senior attorney specializing in energy policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The council also passed a measure creating a New York City energy code that existing buildings will have to meet whenever they make renovations.

A third bill requires buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to upgrade their lighting systems to comply with the new energy code by 2025.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:06 AM   #1547
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Former sugar refinery master plan seeks approval from ULURP





01/06/2010
World Architecture News

Rafael Viñoly Architects’ design for The New Domino has entered the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) public review process. This is a major step forward for the project, which will create 660 units of affordable housing and four acres of public park space including a riverfront esplanade along the East River in Brooklyn.

Viñoly was commissioned in 2005 to design the master plan for the 260,000 sq m mixed-use complex on the site of the former Domino Sugar Refinery complex and processing facilities, an unused industrial site just north of the Williamsburg Bridge that separates Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhood from the East River. The firm’s master plan design transforms the industrial complex into a modular, mixed-use and residential development that emphasizes open space and public access to the river, while simultaneously preserving the landmark Refinery complex and the famed 40-foot high Domino Sugar sign by incorporating them into the master plan design. Beyer Blinder Belle developed the architectural concepts for the Refinery complex.

Rafael Viñoly said: “The New Domino’s master plan seamlessly integrates the waterfront park into the urban public realm, welcoming residents and non-residents alike through direct pedestrian extensions of the Williamsburg street grid. Set back from the water’s edge, four residential complexes break the standard slab typology into elements of varying heights and slender proportions, creating unparalleled views of the City.”

Under the master plan, the landmarked Refinery complex is preserved and adapted for new residential, commercial, and cultural uses. New apartment buildings, constructed in phases, flank the historic Refinery complex to provide the 2,200 proposed apartments, 30 percent of which are affordable housing units designated for lower-income families. The placement of these new residences on the site opens visual corridors and pedestrian access between the Brooklyn community and the waterfront.

A nearly one-acre open lawn, sited between the Refinery complex and the river, anchors a new public waterfront esplanade, connected at its north end to Grand Ferry Park and linking the development with the pre-existing public spaces in the community. For the first time in over 150 years, the site will provide Williamsburg residents with access to open riverfront space and wide views of Manhattan, the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges, and the New York Harbour beyond.








_____________

However, the NYTimes is saying that we should not expect the size of the project to appear overnight.
Quote:
[The New Domino proposal] will take nearly a year to get city approval; once that is secured, only the first building will immediately go up — on the east side of Kent Avenue, between South Third and South Fourth Streets. The rest will follow on the waterfront parcel, with construction to be completed in 2021.
The developers look like they have done their homework with community views included in the design and a relatively large propotion of affordable housing units. That being said it is a huge project and this has the further possibility of becoming another Altantic Yards, yet the design is not as daring as Frank Gehry. The project should be credited for embracing the site's waterfront access on the East River, one of New York's most over looked features.


The Domino Sugar refinery, next to the East River, was built in 1884. It closed in 2004 and was designated a landmark in 2007.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:31 AM   #1548
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p.s.

It also looks like historic preservation will be a central feature of the New Domino proposal.





From the proposal's website
Quote:
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated the three buildings that make up the Refinery complex as New York City Landmarks on September 25, 2007. We applaud the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s unanimous decision to designate the Refinery buildings as landmarks. The New Domino will balance the old and the new, preserving the best of the past to inform and grace the future.

Proposed alterations for reuse of the Refinery complex include, but are not limited to, a new internal structural system, new historically appropriate windows, and a roof-top addition. The LPC voted to approve these alterations on June 24, 2008. Their findings on the appropriateness of the proposed alterations are contained in a Status Update Letter issued by LPC on June 26, 2008.

To reuse the Refinery complex, the entire interior structure and all the machinery will need to be dismantled and removed, leaving only the massive brick bearing walls and smokestack intact. These masonry walls will need to be braced temporarily while an entirely new structural framework with new floor slabs is built within the existing brick shell.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 06:13 PM   #1549
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SAMOO Wins Competition for Flagship Korean Cultural Center in New York City


SAMOO proposal from street perspective at night

01/11/2010
bustler.net

SAMOO Architecture PC, the New York studio of SAMOO Architects and Engineers based in Seoul, Korea, announced today that it has won an international competition for the design of The New York Korea Center, a new home for the Korean Cultural Service in New York. The eight-story, 33,000 square foot facility will offer spaces for exhibitions, performances, lectures, and administration. Korea House will be located on East 32nd Street, extending the vibrancy of Manhattan’s Korea Town to the Murray Hill neighborhood.

[...]

“The transparency of the façade opens the buildings activities to street life and energizes the surrounding area,” said Mr. Soon Woo Kwon Principal at SAMOO Architecture PC.

The site occupies 6,400 square feet on 32nd Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of the year. LEED accreditation will be pursued in this project.








Library


Entry lobby


Exhibition space
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Old January 18th, 2010, 12:07 AM   #1550
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Wow Great!
It will look wonderful,especially at night.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 11:36 PM   #1551
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I love these porjects
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Old January 24th, 2010, 01:07 AM   #1552
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Integrating Bus Rapid Transit into the Streetscape
New York City unveils plan for faster buses on First and Second Avenues, but Manhattan’s East Side deserves better.



January 18th, 2010
by Yonah Freemark
thetransportpolitic.com

[...]

New York City is planning a series of BRT corridors called Select Bus Service that will eventually extend across the city and connect areas that lack subway access. A line is currently in operation on Fordham Road in the Bronx, and upgrades have been made to 34th Street in Manhattan, but the real test of the program’s strength will come later this year when operations begin on 6.25 miles of dedicated lanes on First and Second Avenues between 125th and Houston Streets in Manhattan. With only 13 stations, the line is intended to relieve the overcrowded Lexington Avenue 4, 5, and 6 subway lines and offer better access to residents of the far east side of the island, whose north-south bus service is slow.

The city’s DOT estimates that the painting of red bus lanes on the pavement and the elimination of several stops along the way will result in a 20 to 25 percent reduction of travel times. The existing M15 Limited Bus requires about 48 minutes (as scheduled) to make the trip between Houston and 125th, stopping 18 times.

Despite the effort to complete the project as quickly as possible, the city’s department of transportation (building the project) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (to operate the line) have yet to settle on the final design for the streets on which the service will run. At a recent community meeting, the DOT revealed three service alternatives, all of which would incorporate improved amenities for bicyclists as well. Each follows a basic template: one-way bus service running north on First Avenue and south on Second in marked but not isolated lanes and improved stations. Buses would get traffic signal priority at intersections. Designs A and B include an isolated bike lane, though Design C does not; I’ll only consider the first two here, since the last would not include a vital element of any complete street.





[...]
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Keep reading at the TransportPolitic and there are several other designs that the author has created. It is great to see city and the community having an active debate on creating a more effective and approachable public transportation.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 01:33 AM   #1553
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some more shiny photos on the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) corridors proposed for First and Second Ave.







Again this is a great plan to improve the mass transit options for the the east side of Manhattan. I know trying to get around the Lower East Side can at best involve quite a bit of walking. Hopefully the planned and under construction portions of the Second Ave subway line will also stay on track. Combined with the BRT service, new bike lanes, and the eventual completion of the "T" line, the east side will transform from a congested nightmare to an oasis of public transportation.

Second Avenue Subway. Expected opening 2020

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Old January 24th, 2010, 01:45 AM   #1554
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Omar View Post


Citroen in new yrok? is that possible??
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Old January 24th, 2010, 02:23 AM   #1555
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Beautiful design.
This project is also in Best Cultural Projects - 2010 Contest in http://www.constructionfamily.com/ga...8&image_id=105
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Old January 24th, 2010, 02:25 AM   #1556
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Dumbest idea I've seen in a while. This will increase gridlock dramatically... how are you even supposed to hail a cab without standing in the middle of the street?
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #1557
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I think the strategy behind the new street design is to make New York's urban environment more accommodating to pedestrians rather than cars. If the city was concerned only for automobile traffic we would have followed the vision of Robert Moses to run expressways through the heart of Manhattan.



image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


Car centric city planning by Moses, like the Cross Bronx Expressway, have torn away at the fabric of urban life. Yes concerns over delivery trucks and street parking have to be addressed, but I believe that a more pedestrian focused urban environment can improve the quality of life and reduce travel times for community residents and commuters.

Plus, whenever I hail a cab I'm running out into the first or second lane of the street anyway. haha
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Old February 12th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #1558
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New York Traffic Experiment Gets Permanent Run


Traffic flow in Midtown hasn't improved, but parts of Broadway will remain closed to vehicles.

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Published: February 11, 2010
nytimes.com

New York’s ambitious experiment that closed parts of Broadway to vehicles last spring will become permanent, city officials said on Thursday, even though it fell short of achieving its chief objective: improving traffic flow.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that a reduction in injuries to pedestrians and motorists, along with a warm response from merchants and tourists, had persuaded him to retain the eight-month-old pedestrian plazas in Times Square and Herald Square, a marquee initiative for his administration that re-engineered the Midtown street grid.

But traffic speeds slowed on many crosstown streets, as well as on Eighth and Ninth Avenues, according to data from more than 5,700 test runs conducted by the Department of Transportation.

There were some improvements, but they mostly missed the city’s targets. Traffic along Seventh Avenue, for example, moved 4 percent faster, but the city had hoped for a gain of up to 17 percent.

Mr. Bloomberg, however, declared the project a success, emphasizing the improvements to pedestrian safety and foot traffic, along with the aesthetic enhancement to an area once associated with exhaust and gridlock.

“It’s fair to say that this is one of those things that has succeeded,” the mayor said. “Not in every way we thought, but in some ways we hadn’t thought about. Not as much in certain areas, but more than we expected in others.”

The change, which banned vehicles on Broadway from 47th to 42nd Streets and from 35th to 33rd Streets, was pitched last February as an innovative way to fight congestion. It quickly became a fascination for tourists and New Yorkers alike, drawn to the curious sight of a pedestrian mall, complete with picnic tables and folding chairs, under the neon lights.

The mayor’s office promised “reduced travel times throughout Midtown,” including an improvement of up to 37 percent along Avenue of the Americas. Travel times along that avenue improved by 15 percent, according to the city’s data.

But Mr. Bloomberg played down the Transportation Department’s test runs and said he was more trusting of separate data collected from GPS devices in yellow cabs. Those numbers encompassed 1.1 million Midtown taxi trips taken between Fifth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown. Of those trips, northbound travel times improved by 17 percent, and southbound trips slowed by 2 percent, but a street-by-street breakdown could not be calculated.

Some transportation experts said the city might have been unrealistic in its goals.

“This is the hub of the incredible demand to be in Midtown New York; the demand for volume to be there is always going to be high,” said Robert E. Paaswell, a traffic consultant and the interim president of City College.

The project, Mr. Paaswell said, “serves the public good, but it doesn’t necessarily reduce congestion.”

Asked about the traffic results, Janette Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner, noted that the city’s original projections did not account for tweaks to the plan, like the addition of a right-turn lane on 45th Street that was requested by a group of Broadway theater owners.

Advocates for the project said it had vastly improved safety in the area, pointing to a 35 percent decline in pedestrian injuries and a 63 percent reduction in injuries to drivers and passengers, according to city data. Foot traffic grew by 11 percent in Times Square and by 6 percent in Herald Square, and a survey of local businesses found that more than two-thirds of the area’s retailers wanted the project to become permanent.

Jeffrey M. Zupan, the senior fellow for transportation at the Regional Plan Association, an advocacy group, said that critics could always find fault, but he believed “there was much more gained than there was lost.”

The Times Square Alliance, a business group, surveyed residents and office workers and found that about 75 percent were “satisfied with their experience” in the area, up from less than half in 2007. Although some property owners objected to the design of the plazas, asking that the furniture and pavement be replaced, the majority of businesses said the plazas should be continued.

“It’s shifted the paradigm for what a street and sidewalk experience is supposed to be like in New York City,” said Tim Tompkins, the president of the alliance.

The Bloomberg administration had vigorously guarded its data, even from many of the city’s highest-ranking politicians, and those outside of City Hall scrambled on Thursday to get their first glimpse at the results of one of New York’s most radical experiments in a generation.

“I find it disturbing that nobody outside of the mayor’s office got to take a look at the data or the report before the decision was made,” said State Senator Liz Krueger, who represents the Times Square area. “It leaves one with the suspicion that they didn’t want the public to have time to take a serious look.”

Several city officials — including the comptroller, the public advocate and the chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee — all said on Thursday they would review the city’s findings.

“Too often we have seen this administration decide for the people, instead of engaging them in the process of making our city better,” Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, wrote in an e-mail message. “I believe that while this project has some benefits, we cannot make such a fundamental change to Times Square without first giving the community a greater say in the process.”

Mr. Bloomberg, whose administration has been criticized as too imperious in its social engineering, said the mixed results from the Broadway project would not discourage him from future experiments. “If something doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to try new things,” he said.

_________________

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Times Square

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Herald Square

the chairs
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Old February 13th, 2010, 03:22 AM   #1559
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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:02 AM   #1560
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