Seen & Heard: Stoplight Construction

••• This came in yesterday from Nelle Fortenberry, mother of two children at P.S. 234, a past president of the Friends of Washington Market Park, and the longtime leader in the fight for a stoplight at Greenwich and Duane: ” Yesterday I followed the loud sounds of a jackhammer on Greenwich Street, which lead me to the intersection at Duane Street outside Washington Market Park.  Never has the hammering of concrete sounded so sweet! I got a little misty-eyed as I watched two electric teams begin to lay the utilities for our long-sought after traffic signal at this intersection. Last fall, after seven years of fighting for it, the DOT finally promised Tribeca residents that we would get a traffic light at Greenwich and Duane. I decided I would celebrate when I actually saw it installed. Well, now I’m celebrating! Luis Sanchez, the DOT’s Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner, confirms that work will be finished in February. We are thrilled for every pre-schooler on their way to the park, every elementary student en route to school, every elderly resident crossing to and from Independence Plaza, and the thousands of neighborhood residents who’ve traversed Greenwich daily at their own risk. Safer days are ahead.

The Friends of Washington Market Park had long ago identified this intersection, which marks the pedestrian entrance to our park, as a hazard. Along with my park board colleagues Charles Komanoff and Pam Frederick, we spent the better half of a decade lobbying the DOT for the installation of a traffic calming device.
The DOT continually denied our request, citing the failure to meet the traffic and pedestrian volumes needed to fulfill the federal warrants requirements, which regulates the installation of traffic lights and stop signs. Meanwhile, several pedestrians were injured at this intersection and many others experienced nail-biting near-misses with speeding taxis, construction vehicles, and distracted drivers. The most recent incident, involving a child in a stroller, ignited both Scott Stringer and Julie Menin to demand action, elevating our seven-year fight to “urgent.” Their efforts, along with the past work of Margaret Chin, succeeded in getting the DOT to schedule another warrants study—which at long last, met the warrants requirements. Downtown residents should be grateful to BP Stringer, CB1 Chair Menin, and Councilwoman Chin for their ardent representation of the community’s needs and for refusing to take “no” for an answer!

••• Speaking of P.S. 234: Donations for its Mar. 31 auction are being accepted at

••• The Aroma Espresso Bar at 100 Church will open Thursday at 10 a.m.

••• A tweet from Bubby’s: ” Bubby’s LA… Putting it all together. So exciting to think about it.” (Actually, owner Ron Silver first mentioned this possibility in October 2010.)

••• A reader sent in this question. Anyone have any advice? “I currently live in Tribeca on Greenwich Street one block from the Hudson with roommates and am looking to move into my own place (studio most likely as that’s probably all I can afford), ideally staying in the neighborhood. I was wondering if you know of any inside info or good tips for apartment hunting in Tribeca (beyond the usual real estate brocker and/or Craigslist)? Any advice you might have as a super in-the-know local would be much appreciated!” Either post suggestions in the comments or email me at and I’ll forward them along.


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