Seen & Heard: Holland Tunnel Traffic Study Is Mainly About Soho

••• Sam sent me the minutes from the Holland Tunnel Traffic Study meeting with Community Board 2, the Hudson Square Connection BID, the city’s Department of Transportation, and AECOM (engineering consultants hired by DOT), and upon closer inspection, the study is limited to the area above Canal, and much of the focus is on bicyclist and pedestrian safety. My two cents: People who live in northwest Tribeca need to band together to strongly encourage councilmember Margaret Chin to focus on this problem. If the DOT is willing to consider the problem of tunnel traffic above Canal, it should obviously be looking at south of Canal, too. Do not assume that anyone in Chin’s office is aware of the problem (or reading this)! Form a group, get a petition going, engage with her staff, and be persistent. If someone wants to take the lead, I’ll happily help round up other supporters. And if you’d like to see the PDF of the minutes, email me at

••• Speaking of Holland Tunnel traffic…. Last night, I was trying to take cab to west Soho, but we got stuck in the big Friday evening traffic jam in northwest Tribeca when the driver didn’t realize that Washington gets barricaded at Watts. We got out and walked up Washington—and I finally got a chance to see a car turn left onto Washington by driving over the sidewalk directly in front of 456 Washington’s entrance. (And then he sped off, presumably afraid of getting caught.) Why on earth doesn’t the NYPD station a cop there on Fridays? Or extend the barricade?

••• Looks like the Department of Transportation is going to try something else artsy on Franklin between Varick and W. Broadway. Enough! Let’s redesign that whole area!

••• ViVi Bubble Tea has opened at 325 Broadway.

••• The storefront at 412 Broadway is for rent. (I assume those transient-looking stores are always basically for rent, but I don’t recall the “for lease” sign above the door.

••• If you weren’t already convinced that “downtown” is dead…

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  1. Is the store at 412 Broadway having a sample sale?

  2. Is that Urban Decay piece yours, Erik? HAHA!

  3. “Do not assume that anyone in Chin’s office is aware of the problem”

    – Is this her 2017 campaign slogan?

  4. Re: Washington Street… NYPD used to keep a car there on certain nights to prevent people from cutting through Washington street in order to expedite their access to the tunnel.
    In recent months however I notice they are reverting to simple barriers which are useless.

    What we really need is cameras and digital fine$. I see so many people running red lights, making rights on red.. it is simply beyond belief. And they know better.

    A few hundred dollars in fines will hammer some sense into those who choose to ignore the rules.

    The big problem is the one way toll! Make it two way and most of this nonsense will simply disappear.

    • I agree with the camera, but for right now, an additional barrier on the sidewalk would do the trick.

    • the barriers are actually put up by the doorman at 456. The police presence is sporadic at best and when they do show up they are usually gone by 6pm when the problem begins to get worse. I have pictures of more than one offender with license plate but the police didn’t seem to care when i tried to discuss the issue at the precinct. When the barricades are not there most cars (usually all NJ plates) don’t even stop at the stop sign.

      I wish the police were half as interested in catching these people as they are in writing parking tickets at 8:01 on weekday mornings.

  5. What some don’t realize is that there are a lot of police, federal/homeland officers and fire employees who do what they want to get home and get through and around traffic.

  6. Walker Street is often a traffic nightmare of honking horns and drivers in need of anger-management training…presumably all coming from the beloved Holland Tunnel.

  7. Residents of Laight St do have a petition and we have been trying to get DOT,CB1, NYPD-1st Precinct, and Chin’s office to help out.

    Click on the link for the petition:

    • The petition is a good idea but if trucks don’t take Laight, they’ll take Hudson, which exacerbates that problem. The entire Holland Tunnel traffic flow needs to be looked at. Chin and Johnson should be working together to get the Port Authority, DOT, and NYPD focused on this.

  8. The trucks are not the issue during rush hour. The Buses are more an issue during pm rush hour.
    The concern is the constant traffic of trucks using Laight st, last year a bicyllist was killed by a truck. These trucks are about 60,000 lbs, their braking time and distance is longer. They can cause serious injury to a pedestrian even going 20 mph. Not to mention damaging roads and if they jump a curve, sure destruction to anything in its way. That is why the city has designated truck routes.

  9. The trucks are a hazard. They also destroy the sidewalks (and endanger pedestrians) through their shortcut parking method: driving up and over the sidewalk instead of parallel parking.