Finished Shopping? Come to a protest!
Are you fed up with the Transportation Department (DOT) using SoHo as a Petri dish of urban experimentation, ruining your quality of life, but allowing you no input in the process? You are not alone!
SoHo residents and businesses have constantly been complaining about the autocratic and paternalistic attitude of the new DOT commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan. She views SoHo as a trendy place for new traffic experimentation, while refusing to fix our broken crosswalks and historic cobblestone streets.
First it was the ridiculous Broadway bus bulb-outs, the islands DOT planted in the middle of Broadway. This has reduced a broad way into a single lane of traffic, creating incredible congestion and traffic problems. For what benefit, no one knows.
Then there was the Prince Street bike lane. The SoHo Alliance worked with cycling advocates to request a protected bike-lane on Houston or Broome Streets, both wide thoroughfares. However, DOT ignored us and instead gave us a silly lane where no one in SoHo wanted it: Prince Street. That lane is underutilized by cyclists; instead it is used primarily by street peddlers and strolling tourists with the loss of 220 precious parking spaces.
The same with the new Grand Street bike-lane: installed with no input from the SoHo community. This lane is causing major congestion and gridlock, blocked FDNY and EMS trucks, as well as creating incessant horn-honking, extending to Little Italy and Chinatown. DOT’s response to this problem they created: Get used to it!
This spring witnessed the DOT’s ill-fated proposal to close Prince Street to traffic on weekends that the SoHo Alliance defeated, but only after a massive turnout of between 150-200 people at the community board. This cockamamie DOT proposal would have turned SoHo into a Disneyland Mall experience for tourists.
SoHo is not alone. We are working with community groups throughout the city who are also fed up with the new DOT commissioner’s dictatorial behavior: groups in Chinatown, the Meat Market, Little Italy, the Civic Center and TriBeCa.
We are demanding that the City Council investigate the DOT and establish an Oversight Committee that will make sure DOT comes to us for our opinion first, instead of the way it works now: DOT telling us, “This is what we are building. Take it or leave it. Fiat accompli. If you don’t like it, tough!”
SoHo arose from the ashes of DOT traffic Czar Robert Moses’ failed Lower Manhattan Expressway. We are still fighting the DOT bureaucrats.
Join your neighbors for a demonstration at the DOT headquarters to demand representation and input . Apologies for the short notice and don’t let the weather deter you. Tomorrow should be nice.
Rally now or suffer more botched DOT traffic disasters in front of your home/business.
WHEN: Saturday, December 20, 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: DOT Headquarters, 40 Worth Street, between Broadway & Church
Please distribute to your friends and neighbors. Bodies Count!
Any questions, email ([email protected]) or call Sean Sweeney at 212-353-8466.
If you absolutely cannot attend the demonstration, please email us your opinion, so that we can forward it to the City council.