Streetsblog has been covering the hell out of the livable streets movement in NYC. That includes everything from reducing traffic congestion to opposing huge developments like the Atlantic Yards. Check out these links they sent in this week:
1. Bus Rapid Transit Corridors
The idea of BRTCs is that the bus gets its own lane, with a mile or two between stops. The cops police these lanes to keep other cars out. Today, the city announced a test program of five BRTCs-- one in each borough. The New York Times has a map-- the Manhattan corridor will run on 1st and 2nd Avenue from the Battery to the Upper East Side. But don't get too excited yet-- the program won't go into full effect until 2008, and even then, Streetsblog points out that there won't actually be a physical barrier to keep other cars out of the lane, so without strong police enforcement, the system won't work.
2. A Pedestrian Piazza in the Meat Packing District
Have you ever noticed the large intersection at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Gansevoort Street? Until a few years ago, it was mainly trafficked by trucks carrying meat to and from the factories along the neighboring blocks, but with the resurgence of the area as a residential and commercial nexus, it's become dangerously busy with taxis, bikers, delivery trucks, and pedestrians. Streetsblog has been covering the Greater Gansevoort Urban Improvement Project (that's GGUIP to people in the know), and their efforts to turn the intersection into an open air plaza, complete with tables and chairs. The GGUIP is a grassroots group, and their ideas haven't been adopted by the city-- but their idea seems like something that will be embraced by all the residents and restaurant-owners in the area. A real but important caveat is how the project would effect the remaining meat packing operations in the area, which are already having a hard-enough time moving their products in and out.
Interesting stuff-- keep it coming!