Hope Dims for the Holland Tunnel Traffic Study

In March of 2017, the Department of Transportation agreed to study ways to fix the dire traffic situation around the Holland Tunnel entrance and exit in Manhattan. The announcement from the office of councilmember—and now speaker—Corey Johnson: “One of the community victories won in conjunction with the 550 Washington ULURP was a commitment by the de Blasio Administration to conduct a $1.5 million comprehensive traffic study to address chronic transportation and pedestrian safety problems in Hudson Square/West Village (problems largely related to the Holland Tunnel).”

When the DOT presented to Community Board 2, it became clear that the study was limited to the area above Canal Street—which was absurd, as anyone who has ever seen Hudson Street in the afternoon can attest. Community Board 1 got involved, and I have to assume—because I missed the meeting when the matter was discussed—the scope was broadened.

In January of 2018, I checked in with the DOT; I was told the results would be made public later this year. So I followed up last week. The response: “While the study is ongoing, we have developed a series of proposed short-term improvements that we plan to begin implementing next spring. Longer-term concepts continue to be evaluated. We expect the final report to be issued by mid-2019.” In other words, the study is now estimated to take at least two years. As for those short-term improvements, I pressed the DOT for details. Six months from now, we can expect “improved express bus routing; roadway markings; painted curb extensions; guide signs for motorists and pedestrians.”

It seems clear that nothing substantial—if that’s even possible without congestion pricing and changes to the way the Verrazzano Bridge is tolled—is going to occur without the application of political pressure. People in northwest Tribeca, and especially those who live along Hudson, should band together to strongly encourage councilmember Margaret Chin to focus on this problem. Do not assume that anyone in her office is reading this. Form a group, get a petition going, engage with her staff, and be relentless.

 

6 Comments

  1. I just wish they would fine those idiots that always block pedestrian crossings when it’s plenty clear that they’re not going to make it through…

  2. Typical bureaucratic speed.

    Meanwhile: How about enforcing the actual traffic laws against:
    – red-light running
    – blocking intersections and pedestrian cross-walks
    – gratuitous horn-honking
    – noise (i.e. boombox cars and unnecessarily loud motor noise)

  3. Chin is getting involved!?#$. We will probably end up with a jail at the corner of Canal and Hudson.

  4. Happy to start that group.

  5. Church street from Franklin to Grand 3-7pm every weekeday is solid metal. Has been for forty years.

Comment: