Sunday, December 14, 2008

What you need to know about Chatham Square that the DOT and City Hall aren't telling you

Chatham Square Reconstruction Project

• Existing street from Bowery to Park Row (between Mott & Doyers) will be eliminated. Several lanes of North/South bound traffic on Bowery will be gone.

• Project will last 3 years, likely to be 5 judging from our neighbors to our South in the Wall Street district.

• D.O.T. start date for this project is scheduled for June 2009, test pits are already being dug.

• Brooklyn Bridge reconstruction should start first so Chinatown businesses can survive the current recession.

• Project will cost $50 million dollars, while 20 billion dollars worth of City projects are being cut elsewhere in the City.

• All streets in Chinatown will be affected, ONLY stores/businesses that have construction going on that contacts their business will be eligible for hard-to-get grant money from LMDC. Some businesses downtown around Ground Zero are still waiting.

• Water main work will cause water to be shut off periodically.

• Businesses around Fulton Street and Wall Street have gone out of business waiting for construction to finish. Some streets have been under construction for more than three years.

There is no promise of money of any kind for the affected businesses.

• The maximum amount of money any business might receive for construction inconveniences and losses is $25,000.00 (if and only if the business can meet certain criteria and guidelines) regardless of how long the construction lasts. A business owner pointed out his rent is $25,000 per month.

• Public access to the construction plan was made available via online on November 26th 2008, while the plans have been available to both Community Board and D.O.T. for many months prior.

• Public outcry sparked the release of the plans/ drawings/ background/ on November 25th 2008 – without this, citizens and businesses would not have had access to these plans unless special arrangements were made. The vast majority of Chinatown residents and businesses still have not seen the plan/schematics/schedule.

• After review of the plans, the consensus is that the plan will NOT make pedestrians any safer (and possibly less safe) and will NOT improve traffic.

• Loss of pedestrian walkway on St. James Pl. affects two elementary schools, and a Church with many children and elderly crossing.

• Double length buses will have difficulty making new turns, particularly left turns on Worth Street to Park Row impacting eastbound as well as westbound traffic on Worth Street. These buses will also need to make two traffic lights instead of the current one.

• Reduction of lanes on Bowery and St. James Pl. will create bottlenecks as well as make it difficult for emergency vehicles, thereby affecting Canal St. and Worth St.

DEMAND Community Board 3 to OPPOSE proceeding with
this flawed reconfiguration of Chatham Square
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 6:30pm
PS 20 - 166 Essex Street, (E Houston & Stanton Sts)

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