Seen & Heard: Pushing for Car-Free Streets in FiDi

••• Bike lobbying group Transportation Alternatives is agitating for more car-free streets in Lower Manhattan. Here’s the info on an event next week:

Next week, Transportation Alternatives will host the widely acclaimed Tactical Urbanist, Mike Lydon who is ready to collaborate on redesigning walkable Lower Manhattan streets. But we’re not talking about making do with today’s limited space (think: sidewalk parking and trash bags!)—residents deserve more public space to live, work and play. Mike will help us imagine what pedestrian-only streets, public plazas, and outdoor programming in the neighborhood can look like. Together we can shape the future of the Financial District.

WalkFiDi Focus Group (please RSVP, space is limited)
Thursday, March 2, 6:30-8pm, at the TransAlt Office
111 John Street, Suite 260

••• I don’t focus much on the Battery Park City ball fields, so this might not be new, but yesterday workers appeared to be extending the netting that runs along Murray.

••• Tribeca’s Cornerstone has been closed longer than expected because of a utility issue. They’re working on it.

••• I stopped by the Duane Reade at Broadway and Canal to see whether pharmacists Eric and Teresa are moving anywhere in the area. Eric is headed for the Duane Reade a couple of blocks north, but Teresa will not be joining him. (She was delighted by readers’ praise; it’s a good reminder that we should all be telling people whose work we admire how we feel. Spread some joy!)

••• I walk by 63 Reade every day to see what’s coming to the former Okami Sushi space, even though I’d be surprised if it was a big step up. But then recently a cardboard box from Ox Verte showed up in the window—I don’t think the catering company is necessarily opening there, but the box itself could mean we’re not getting another crappy hole-in-the-wall.

••• From a rep at David Zwirner gallery: “I am hoping that our new exhibition, Al Taylor: Early Paintings, might be of interest to your readers. The show focuses on the late artist’s rarely seen early paintings. The majority of paintings in the show were created at his 72 Franklin St studio—that he rented in 1974 and where he continued to work throughout his career.” He lived and worked there until he died in 1999.) “And here’s a portrait of a young Al Taylor in his Franklin St. studio with a work in the show. In addition, we created a new publication of this body of work and will host a book launch and guided tour at the gallery with American poet and critic John Yau, on Saturday, February 25, at 11 a.m. (537 W. 20th St).” The second image is a work from the show.



  1. I would love more car-free streets … in TriBeCa as well.
    Especially problematic is the tunnel through-traffic, a chaos of road-rage, red-light running, and danger to pedestrians, worse at certain hours.

    Many grand cities of the world have pulled this off, including London. Why not NYC?

  2. Regarding traffic, this afternoon as I was walking up Hudson street around 3:45 I noticed that the tunnel traffic was backed up to N. Moore street, but when I got to the Canal Street corner there was almost no backup coming east to the tunnel from the highway. It wasn’t that they had closed that approach, but as I watched for several light cycles it was clear that the 2 traffic officers there were creating the problem by over- favoring the Canal approach (which they often do) to an unusual degree. During the time I watched, the block of Canal from Hudson to Greenwich never was completely filled with waiting cars. A third traffic officer walked by so I stopped him and mentioned that Hudson St. was backed up for blocks. He told me that their orders from the higher ups were to keep Canal moving no matter what happened on Hudson and that if I wanted to complain I should call 311.