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JMGarcia
March 26th, 2003, 09:46 AM
State officials are likely to build a short tunnel under West St. and construction will be much less disruptive than some neighbors fear, Timothy Carey, president and C.E.O. of the Battery Park City Authority, said last week.

"That's what I think will happen," Carey said of the proposed underground roadway, which would be adjacent to the World Trade Center site between Vesey and Liberty Sts.

Carey, a longtime friend of Gov. George Pataki, regularly consults with officials from the state Dept. of Transportation and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. about the best solution for the roadway that separates B.P.C. from ground zero and the rest of the Financial District. The authority, a state agency, last year commissioned its own consulting study about West St., also called Route 9A, but Carey said then that the report made no recommendations. Until now, he has kept his feelings for the best option close to the vest, but in a telephone interview last Friday, Carey said the short tunnel would be better than the other two options - building pedestrian bridges or a wide deck over the highway.

"That's the best way to have traffic flow without interrupting all of the other activity at the site," said Carey. "It creates a plaza like Dag Hammarskjold at the U.N."

He said it would take three or four years to build, but traffic would not be disrupted much during construction because work would be done underneath a temporary roadway deck. He said the deck would also shield neighbors from some of the noise and "little pieces of dust flying all around."

He is well aware that some B.P.C. residents have objected to the tunnel, but he said the plan shouldn't raise an inordinate amount of objections since the short tunnel idea has received some community support and it is the first option in the proposed W.T.C. design by architect Daniel Libeskind - although Libeskind and planning officials have said the scheme could go forward with any of the West St. options.

"Community Board 1 is for it, it's in the Libeskind plan - it's probably what will be built," Carey said.

C.B. 1 has not, however, made a clear-cut endorsement of the tunnel. As part of a lengthy resolution commenting on the nine proposed designs for the W.T.C., the board drafted a resolution in January recommending a short bypass tunnel, but after further discussion, the full board decided to say the tunnel should be considered. But board members did not alter other parts of the resolution in which it indicated a preference for the tunnel.

Madelyn Wils, C.B. 1's chairperson and a board member of the L.M.D.C., said last week that she needs more information before she would favor the tunnel. "I'm still waiting to see some drawings from D.O.T. explaining how the tunnel would start or finish," she said.

Wils said her understanding is the tunnel would cost between $600 million and $700 million more than the costs of rebuilding the section of Route 9A that was badly damaged by the collapse of the Twin Towers. Last spring, state D.O.T. installed a temporary roadway that allowed for the reopening of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel nearby as well as the W.T.C. section of West St. The state would have to spend about $200 million in federal money to repair Route 9A, putting the costs of the tunnel at $800 million -$900 million, according to Wils and others on both sides of the tunnel issue who have been briefed by D.O.T.

Agency officials made a presentation to C.B. 1 on West St. options at the end of last year, and although they divulged cost estimates on some options, they did not reveal the costs for a tunnel between Vesey and Liberty Sts. Subsequently, the L.M.D.C. has asked D.O.T. not to comment on West St., and the development corporation has been unwilling to disclose any details.

Kevin Rampe, L.M.D.C.'s interim president, said the agency is still studying the issue and will make a decision in a few weeks.

John Dellaportas, a tunnel opponent who helped start the Save West St. Coalition last year, said the short tunnel is not as bad an idea as the $3 billion long tunnel from Chambers St. to the Battery, but it still is problematic because of the entrance and exit ramps that would have to be built on both sides of the tunnel. "The ramps would be an eyesore for one thing, but more importantly, they would create hazardous places to cross the street," he said.
He said there are 400 members in the group and they will file a lawsuit to stop a tunnel if they are unsuccessful in the political arena.

Dellaportas said the tunnel would cut vehicular access to the neighborhood and D.O.T. officials were not sure if residents would have access to West St. from Albany St. when he spoke to them a few months ago about it
He mentioned the same intersection Carey did to make the opposite point. Dellaportas said the tunnel on First Ave. near the United Nations works well at the entranceway because the U.N. is higher than street level, but when the cars exit at 49th St. it creates a bottleneck and unsightly barriers are used to calm the traffic.

Tunnels also raise security concerns, he said. He said the underpass connecting the F.D.R. Drive to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel has been closed a lot in the late evening, Dellaportas suspects because of heightened security alerts. "They are always closing tunnels," he said. "Whenever Tom Ridge raises the level to code fuscia, or whatever it is, the tunnel will close."

The short tunnel would be about 1,100 feet and would likely have two lanes of surface traffic above it going in each direction and a total of four lanes underground. It would replace the eight lanes of surface traffic. If the tunnel were built, it would create more space for a tree-lined boulevard and plazas, but there are likely to be more trees whichever plan is selected.

Dellaportas said some in his group want better pedestrian bridges, but he thinks that with trees and other traffic-calming measures, the street would be just as easy to cross as other wide boulevards such as Park Ave.
State D.O.T. has the ultimate decision-making power for West St., but since there are so many agencies that control the area adjacent to or near the roadway - the L.M.D.C., the Port Authority, the Battery Park City Authority and the Hudson River Park Trust - officials have said they want a consensus among the bureaucracies before making the decision. Pataki controls state D.O.T. and has either complete or half control over all of the other agencies involved.

Last spring, the governor said, "West St. will be buried," but that was before many of the details about the tunnel were known. In the months that followed, he and his aides declined to repeat such a definitive statement.

A month ago, Pataki, in a letter to federal transportation officials, said he wanted to build a tunnel with the federal money set aside for 9/11 relief. But unlike other projects on his transportation list, such as a new transit center at the W.T.C. and a new South Ferry subway station, Pataki did not say how much the tunnel would cost or identify where the money was to pay for it.

It leaves a lot of uncertainty about the tunnel. Perhaps someone who has known Pataki since college and has remained a political ally over the years is in the best position to know what will happen.

Someone like Tim Carey.

Josh@DowntownExpress.com

JMGarcia
March 26th, 2003, 09:49 AM
Residents ask Libeskind to improve access

Downtown residents last week pressed Daniel Libeskind to adjust his design for the World Trade Center site by making it easier to walk through the area at street level.

Libeskind, who was selected to design the site at the end of February, presented his plan to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's advisory committees last Thursday. The committees are made up of relatives of the people killed in the Sept. 11 attack, representatives from civics and arts groups, and Lower Manhattan business people and residents. Just about all of the speakers praised Libeskind's design, but the consensus among the residents who spoke was that the plan needed to be improved by allowing people walking east or west to cross the site in more places.

Liz Berger, who lives just east of the site, said she was also concerned about the 10 million square feet of office space, which is proposed to be concentrated along Church St. And she said at Liberty and West Sts., the southwest corner of the site, the pedestrian access was particularly bad.

Libeskind told her he gave a lot of thought to that corner, but he calculated that pedestrians would save only two minutes if he created a direct, diagonal passageway from Liberty and West to the proposed transit center at Greenwich and Fulton Sts. - and that would come at the expense of losing the drama of seeing the 4.7-acre memorial area which will be 30 feet below street level.

"For the two minutes extra, it is important to preserve the site," he said.

The memorial will be designed by other artists or architects in a competition that will be announced this spring. Libeskind's design sets aside the area for where the memorial will be. He put it below street level in order to keep the "bathtub" slurry wall, which protects the site from the Hudson River, visible. Libeskind likens the wall to a symbol of democracy that withstood the attack. "It's a wall that speaks to the values of the individual," he said at a breakfast meeting earlier in the day.

The plan also includes what would be the tallest building in the world, a tower with the symbolic height of 1,776 feet near the corner of Fulton and West Sts. The first 70 stories would be office space and the rest of the building would be public spaces of gardens with a restaurant on the top floor. The plan also includes the "Wedge of Light" triangular plaza opposite the transit center. On the anniversary of the attack, there will be no shadows in the plaza between the time the first plane hit and the second tower collapsed. Near the memorial, there will also be a museum and a performance/cultural center.

Larry Graham, senior vice president of Brookfield Financial Properties, which owns office buildings immediately east and west of the site - One Liberty Plaza and the World Financial Center - said he was naturally concerned about access questions, but he said he thought the plan could work. "We have to see what the corners look like and how friendly they are," he said. "These are details that need to be worked out."

At last week's L.M.D.C. meeting, when another resident, Sudhir Jain, asked Libeskind if there was any way to improve the access, Libeskind indicated he did not want to make significant changes to the area near the memorial. "There is a logic to it," he said. "It is not a whimsical plan."

Madelyn Wils, the only Downtown resident on the L.M.D.C. board of directors, said she was glad to hear that others had raised the access questions at the meeting.

"The connections at the south and west ends of the site are not connections at all," Wils said in a telephone interview. "What he has done with this preliminary concept is disconnect them further.... How does anybody walk across the site?"

Wils said she is confident Libeskind will find a way to solve the problems. "These things can be worked out," she said.

The L.M.D.C. had originally recommended the selection of the THINK architectural team to redesign the site. But after Gov. George Pataki and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site, made it clear they preferred the Libeskind plan, L.M.D.C. leaders, the mayor, governor and the P.A. all agreed to go with Libeskind.

At the breakfast meeting last week, organized by the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, Joseph Seymour, executive director of the Port, and Kevin Rampe, interim president of the L.M.D.C., announced an agreement in principle to designate Libeskind as the "master architect" of the site.

"Daniel Libeskind's vision will be realized and his hand will guide the way," Rampe said.

The L.M.D.C., a state-city agency created by Pataki, will take the lead in planning the memorial, the P.A. will work with Libeskind on the subway and PATH center, and both agencies will jointly work with Libeskind on adjustments to the site plan. Both agencies will pay Libeskind, but the percentages have not been determined, Rampe said.

Rampe said he expected the final contracts with Libeskind to be finalized within the next 30 days, and Seymour said it would be 60 days. The L.M.D.C. has authorized $550,000 to pay Libeskind for the work he has already done.

Seymour said the agencies and Libeskind will work together to set a master plan to determine things like the floor area ratio and height of the commercial buildings on the site. "We need to set bulk, height, F.A.R., setbacks, angles - these things need to be established," Seymour said.

Developer Larry Silverstein, who owns the leasing rights to the site, was barely mentioned at the breakfast talk, but immediately afterwards, Rampe said "he'll be involved." Asked if Silverstein had veto power on the commercial guidelines, Rampe said: "We'll be working in coordination. This is a consensus process."

Silverstein endorsed Libeskind's scheme after it was selected, but he also said the architect would have to work closely with Skidmore Owings & Merrill architects in designing the offices.

Seymour said he is still negotiating with Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, about swapping the W.T.C. and cash for the city's two airports, but regardless of what happens, the Port would still be involved because it will run the PATH commuter lines. "We are continuing negotiations in the so-called land swap," he said. "If it is completed, it will not alter our role. We are still going to operate the PATH station."

He also said the Port would work on "enhancing Daniel Libeskind's 'Wedge of Light,' " but he did not clarify the remark. Rampe said any changes to the Wedge would be minor.

Seymour said the L.M.D.C.'s W.T.C. design meetings helped the Port Authority understand the value of an open design process. "I must confess, it taught the Port Authority a lot about public process," he said. "We've become a kinder, gentler, more sensitive agency."

Josh@DowntownExpress.com

ZippyTheChimp
March 26th, 2003, 02:42 PM
It never ends down here, does it?
The "cover and cut" construction blunts the biggest argument of the Save West St group. They were right about the long tunnel - too expensive for the benefit derived, but sometimes these groups gather momentum and can't stop. They may lose this politically, but they threaten legal action.

The argument that West St can be made pedestrian friendly like Park Ave is nonsense. This is a freakin' highway with traffic lights.

NYatKNIGHT
March 26th, 2003, 03:16 PM
What are they even talking about. In the end, that highway will be diverted underground along with the noise and the traffic barrier. It will be vastly better than it was before - for everybody.

NYguy
March 26th, 2003, 04:37 PM
Of course all the "save West St" geeks can download their fliers in opposition to any tunnel at this website...
http://www.saveweststreet.com/html/downloads.htm


And who wouldn't want to save this beautiful highway that effectively severs Battery Park City from the rest of Downtown? Especially considering the alternative could be a beautifully landscaped, pedestrian friendly plaza/blvd on top...
http://www.pbase.com/image/14378619
http://www.pbase.com/image/14378709

Zoe
March 26th, 2003, 06:24 PM
I had the pleasure of endlessly debating one of those "save West St" geeks during the Listening to the City forum. *I'm glad to see the good of the people of NY are going to win this and that he is not getting his way.

Bk Italian 123
March 26th, 2003, 08:58 PM
I really hope that the Libensken plan goes trough. *I think that thee West side high way should remain as it does. *Because putting a tunnel there would be a long, tedious, and VERY COSTLY effort, and with the terrible state of the economy and the dwindling funds of our government, it should be kept the way it was. *Also, who cares? *Its fine the way it is. *I think that it is also the family members of the victims who did this. *They really should be striped of their obtuse power. *It is sickening, repulsive, and undeserved.

misterknickerbocker
September 16th, 2003, 02:32 AM
Hi! I just happened across your forum today. I notice that most of the posts are rather old, so I'm not sure if people are still interested, but thought I'd post some anti-tunnel thoughts to provide an alternate viewpoint.

While it is true that West St. is today, and was just prior to 9/11, an anti-urban highway, it should be recognized that this is because we allowed it to develop into one. So why should we make the problem even worse? Why make West St. into yet even more of a highway than it already is? Why build blighting and dangerous tunnel ramps that would effectively cut off two blocks of Battery Park City worse than any parts of Battery Park City are cut off now?

The amount of traffic a street carries is not "set in stone" but elastic -- "if you build it they will come." The more highway you build, the more cars you will attract. The less highway you build, the fewer cars you will attract.

A good example is the fight to close off the portion of Fifth Ave. that used to go right through Washington Sq. Park. Those opposed to closing off Fifth (one of whom was highway builder extraordinaire, Robert Moses) argued that this would create all sorts of traffic jams in surrounding areas. But as Jane Jacobs and others have pointed out, the exact opposit happened. Drivers learned new driving habits to avoid the area and traffic actually went down.

Note: post 9/11, West St., between Vesey and Liberty, is currently only six lanes wide -- and the world has not come to an end. This is actually quite similar some of the New York City's other very wide streets -- like Houston St., for instance.

Also, why build an ill-conceived "park" that would border a four block long wall (the loading dock and back side of WFC#2 and WFC#3) and a two-block long pit? (By the way, if I remember correctly, the DOT plans show that the "park" would still have four lanes of moving traffic -- the same as the block of 14th St. between Fourth Ave. and Broadway) and would create a grand total of 24' of "grass" -- 12' on the eastern side of West St. and 12' on a median strip.)

And would such a four block long "park" really make it easier to cross West St.? Compared to what? Yes, maybe compared to the current status quo, but nobody is recommending that we keep the current status quo.

A better comparison would be between the so-called park and an improved version of the West St. that existed prior to 9/11 -- i.e., 1) a "traffic-calmed" West St. that would allow pedestrian to more easily cross the whole length of Battery Park City and 2) two or more weather-protected pedestrian bridges that would connect pedestrians directly with the very extensive all-weather concourse of the WFC.

While a four block long "park" may look nice in the drawings -- these drawings always seem to show the street at noon on a warm, sunny spring or fall day -- what would it be like to cross this park at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, or when there's snow and ice on the ground (we all know that park walkways are the very last walkways in NYC to be made walkable), or when it's freezing and windy, or pouring rain or hot and humid?

So in real life (and real New York City weather) this "park" like crossing may not be any improvement at all.

Are these "improvements" really worth an additional $500 million dollars or so? (I forget the exact amount of the difference in cost, but I believe it is around $500 million.)

ZippyTheChimp
September 16th, 2003, 10:46 AM
And would such a four block long "park" really make it easier to cross West St.? Compared to what? Yes, maybe compared to the current status quo, but nobody is recommending that we keep the current status quo.

A better comparison would be between the so-called park and an improved version of the West St. that existed prior to 9/11 -- i.e., 1) a "traffic-calmed" West St. that would allow pedestrian to more easily cross the whole length of Battery Park City and 2) two or more weather-protected pedestrian bridges that would connect pedestrians directly with the very extensive all-weather concourse of the WFC.

Iíve lived in BPC for a long time, and the comparison is not with the status quo, but with pre 09/11 conditions. It is difficult to traffic calm West St, because it replaced the Miller Highway, a major thru-route. That traffic (i.e Battery to Holland tunnels) still exists, and has nowhere else to go.

The 2 pedestrian bridges (especially north bridge) only worked for residents, but few on West St used them. Thatís why, in spite of the human density of the WTC and WFC, the Liberty to Vesey stretch was a dead zone. Another example is the bridge at Chambers Ė it is mostly used by students at Stuyvesant with a direct connection. Most others use the street crossing.


Why build blighting and dangerous tunnel ramps that would effectively cut off two blocks of Battery Park City worse than any parts of Battery Park City are cut off now?
The streets in question are Barclay St in the north, and Albany St in the south. As for pedestrian traffic, both are one block from major east-west streets (Vesey or Liberty). Iíve heard the argument that a tunnel portal at Albany would impede a left turn north onto West St. Anyone with any driving experience in BPC would never use Albany for a turn north Ė the preferred is Liberty St. As for Barclay, it is not a thru St in BPC and has never been a pedestrian or traffic intersection.


While a four block long "park" may look nice in the drawings -- these drawings always seem to show the street at noon on a warm, sunny spring or fall day -- what would it be like to cross this park at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, or when there's snow and ice on the ground (we all know that park walkways are the very last walkways in NYC to be made walkable), or when it's freezing and windy, or pouring rain or hot and humid?
All I can say is that this argument is weak.


Are these "improvements" really worth an additional $500 million dollars or so? (I forget the exact amount of the difference in cost, but I believe it is around $500 million.)
The best argument against the tunnel.

JMGarcia
September 16th, 2003, 11:20 AM
misterknickerbocker, will the tunnel construction negatively effect you personally? Do you think you will suffer from noise or will the construction impact your ability to drive north?

billyblancoNYC
September 16th, 2003, 11:50 AM
Sometimes you have to make some sacrifises and spend some cash to improve the city overall. Using selfish, short-sighted arguements are not the answer. I'm not saying people here are like this, but there a lot of NIMBYs that are. This is NYC, think BIGGER for God's sake.

BPC
October 5th, 2003, 01:14 AM
Sometimes you have to make some sacrifises and spend some cash to improve the city overall. Using selfish, short-sighted arguements are not the answer. I'm not saying people here are like this, but there a lot of NIMBYs that are. This is NYC, think BIGGER for God's sake.

I think the objections to the tunnel that have been stated on this site are that it will make Lower Manhattan WORSE not BETTER, at least for us area residents who will have to cross in front of tunnel ramps just to get to and from our homes. Motorists may benefit, in that they will be able to skip a couple stoplights, but since when do we spend $1 billion to make things better for cars and worse for pedestrians?

BPC
October 5th, 2003, 01:27 AM
[quote="ZippyTheChimp"][quote]
The streets in question are Barclay St in the north, and Albany St in the south. As for pedestrian traffic, both are one block from major east-west streets (Vesey or Liberty). Iíve heard the argument that a tunnel portal at Albany would impede a left turn north onto West St. Anyone with any driving experience in BPC would never use Albany for a turn north Ė the preferred is Liberty St. As for Barclay, it is not a thru St in BPC and has never been a pedestrian or traffic intersection. [quote]

I always take my lefts from Albany, as do many other motorists. The Liberty Street intersection is always gridlocked, whereas lefts from Albany on to West Street run quickly. The reason for this is that, pre 9/11, lefts were illegal from Albany, and lots of drivers, including most taxis, have not figured out of the rule change. Plus, heading northbound on South End Avenue, you can skip the super-slow traffic light at the corner of South End and Liberty (added only a few months before 9/11). Are you sure you still live in BPC? Your info seems out of date. Is you do, what are your reasons for saying that Liberty Street is "preferred"?

ZippyTheChimp
October 5th, 2003, 09:41 AM
always take my lefts from Albany, as do many other motorists. The Liberty Street intersection is always gridlocked, whereas lefts from Albany on to West Street run quickly. The reason for this is that, pre 9/11, lefts were illegal from Albany

The conditions that are relevant are pre-9/11. Or did you and all these other motorists just ignore traffic rules? Did you live here pre 9/11?

If Liberty St is gridlocked, how can it not affect Albany, especially when a left turn brings you right into the gridlock. These traffic arguments against the tunnel are trivial.



Are you sure you still live in BPC?

I have lived in BPC since there was a BPC. I suspect you are a newcomer. Mrknickerbocker should at least admit that he's a resident.

JMGarcia
October 5th, 2003, 10:32 AM
From all I've read from the BPC residents against the tunnel it seems that everything is nothing more than a cover for the 2 real reasons they are against it.

1. They fear the consturction noise and inconvenience.
2. The fear it will be disruptive to their driving paterns.

It is ultimately for selfish reasons.

BPC
October 5th, 2003, 10:23 PM
The conditions that are relevant are pre-9/11. Or did you and all these other motorists just ignore traffic rules? Did you live here pre 9/11?

If Liberty St is gridlocked, how can it not affect Albany, especially when a left turn brings you right into the gridlock. These traffic arguments against the tunnel are trivial.

You still have not set forth any reason why Libert Streey is, as you put it, the "preferred" exit from BPC. I guess you had no reason for saying so at all. Instead, you now say only that these traffic arguments, which you were the first to raise, are "trivial." If so, then why did you raise them in the first place? You have an odd style of debate.

In any event, for someone who claims to have lived in BPC all his life, it's curious that I have to keep correcting all your misstatements about BPC traffic patterns. It's rather tiresome, but here goes. In the years prior to 9/11, the State DOT spent several hundred million dollars renovating West Street, a four-year that was completed just a few months before 9/11/01 (and which the DOT, under directions from Governor Pataki, now wants to simply scrap). As part of that renovation, the intersection was changed to allow for left turns. If the tunnel prevents that, then that benefit to the community will be lost again. But there will be an important difference from earlier years. The left turn on to Liberty will no longer lead on to a highway but on to a cramped two lane above-grond access road, which will also double as the only street with a driving view of the new memorial. Traffic will be akin to 5th Avenue around Rockefeller Center when the tree goes up. If the tunnel is built, I suspec that cars will be back up on South End Avenue for much of the day, and we will all have to breathe the fumes.



I have lived in BPC since there was a BPC. I suspect you are a newcomer. Mrknickerbocker should at least admit that he's a resident.

If by "newcomer" you mean someone who has lived here since 1994, then you are correct about me. Knickerbocker, by contrast, does not live in BPC. If you want to know where he does live, you should just ask him, instead of making snide comments.

BPC
October 5th, 2003, 10:36 PM
From all I've read from the BPC residents against the tunnel it seems that everything is nothing more than a cover for the 2 real reasons they are against it.

1. They fear the consturction noise and inconvenience.
2. The fear it will be disruptive to their driving paterns.

It is ultimately for selfish reasons.

That's funny, no one on this board has mentioned your #1. As for #2, that reason was first raised by tunnel-lover Zippy the Chimp. The principal objection that BPC residents have raised to the "short" West Street tunnel (ie., the one proposed to run from Liberty to Vesey) is that it will be bordered on either end (per the DOT's own drawings) by block long tunnel ramps ending at Albany and Vesey Streets, endangering pedestrians who try to cross at this point. This is a huge concern for BPC residents, who principally cross at these points. What happens in auto tunnels is that cars speed up, emerging with restricted lateral vision, and pedestrians get run over.

The LMDC has publicly stated that it intends to model this tunnel after the one on Park Avenue South. It has been reported that the tunnel ramp intersection at Park South and 33rd is the most dangerous intersection for pedestrians in all of Manhattan:

http://cbsnewyork.com/siteSearch/local_story_762604260_html

I guess not wanting to get run over is a "selfish" reason to you.

ZippyTheChimp
October 5th, 2003, 11:13 PM
If you do make the turn at Albany, you will hit the red light at Liberty. If you take Liberty, once you make the left, you are out of that gridlock that you spoke about. Watch the cab drivers on SouthEnd - they U turn to Liberty when they want to go north.

All you people overlook the bus traffic

You should learn to read. I didn't state I lived in BPC all my life, but all of BPCs life. Why do you doubt my veracity? Just because my opinion is different from yours?

Your shrill tone is typical of a self-centered, narrow minded NIMBY.

JMGarcia
October 6th, 2003, 01:19 AM
From all I've read from the BPC residents against the tunnel it seems that everything is nothing more than a cover for the 2 real reasons they are against it.

1. They fear the consturction noise and inconvenience.
2. The fear it will be disruptive to their driving paterns.

It is ultimately for selfish reasons.

That's funny, no one on this board has mentioned your #1. As for #2, that reason was first raised by tunnel-lover Zippy the Chimp. The principal objection that BPC residents have raised to the "short" West Street tunnel (ie., the one proposed to run from Liberty to Vesey) is that it will be bordered on either end (per the DOT's own drawings) by block long tunnel ramps ending at Albany and Vesey Streets, endangering pedestrians who try to cross at this point. This is a huge concern for BPC residents, who principally cross at these points. What happens in auto tunnels is that cars speed up, emerging with restricted lateral vision, and pedestrians get run over.

The LMDC has publicly stated that it intends to model this tunnel after the one on Park Avenue South. It has been reported that the tunnel ramp intersection at Park South and 33rd is the most dangerous intersection for pedestrians in all of Manhattan:

http://cbsnewyork.com/siteSearch/local_story_762604260_html

I guess not wanting to get run over is a "selfish" reason to you.

I never mentioned anyone on this board or another post on this board. There has been more than enough information on this issue from other sources.

You exaggerate the chances of getting run over to serve your purposes IMO.

ablarc
October 6th, 2003, 09:46 AM
Time to hang up your gloves, guys. It's been a while since anyone said anything on this thread that might interest the rest of us, except as voyeurs.

This kind of spat, with personal attacks on character, belongs in one of the national forums.

Though there are moderators, civility is up to us.

BPC
October 6th, 2003, 11:18 AM
Your shrill tone is typical of a self-centered, narrow minded NIMBY.

Since your arguments have been torn to shreds, you don't even bother defending them. Instead, you resort to name calling. Pathetic. I can only assume that you have some vested financial interest in this tunnel, perhaps a share of the billion dollar booty. Fess up.

BPC
October 6th, 2003, 11:22 AM
You exaggerate the chances of getting run over to serve your purposes IMO.

I guess 42 pedestrian run overs a year (at each of what for BPC would be two such intersections) is an acceptable price, since you won't have to pay it. For those of us who live down here, however, we would just as soon take a pass. And as taxpayers, we can think of a thousand better uses for the one billion dollars.

ZippyTheChimp
October 6th, 2003, 11:22 AM
Then why would I have stated that the cost of the tunnel is the best argument against it.

If I had a financial interest in the tunnel, why is it that you not I, revived a dormant thread.

Those pedestrians were killed on the tunnel-less West St you want to save.

"Fess up." Who says that? :roll:

BrooklynRider
October 6th, 2003, 12:20 PM
[quote=JMGarcia]

For those of us who live down here, however, we would just as soon take a pass. And as taxpayers, we can think of a thousand better uses for the one billion dollars.

BPC, you're relatively new to the board. I hope you will reconsider your tone. I feel there is a built in adversarial tone to your posts and I a growing tendency to hide in the use of the word "us" when defending your position. I would hope you'll clarify who the "us" is you are talking about. If you are an elected leader of a group, please disclose it. If you are a member of a group, disclose it. I you're a spokesperson for a group, disclose it. Posts on this boards are made by individuals not groups. I would hope you would rephrase in the future to be more precise that your opinions are YOUR opinions. I am certain that EVERYONE living in your area does not support your opinion. I am guessing there are some for, against and others with no opinion at all. I enjoy a good rousing discourse. But these boards, in my experience, are about expression individual opinions.

JMGarcia
October 6th, 2003, 12:27 PM
The difference in the design between the Park Ave. tunnel and the proposed West St. tunnel is that on Park Ave. the exit is right at the intersection of a very busy cross town street. The West St. tunnel would exit mid-block.

Before that argument can be taken seriously figures would be needed for the Queens-Midtown, Lincoln, Holland, Brooklyn-Battery, and Battery underpass to the FDR.

In any case, there is no need for argument here. I have read extensively on the subject and am not convinced by the "Save West St." arguments.

billyblancoNYC
October 6th, 2003, 12:37 PM
These NIMBYs just don't stop. As we've all said before, if you don't like noise, traffic, people, development of any buildings, or any improvements to your suroundings whatsoever, more to Kansas immedediately.

New York City is a vibrant, ambitious place that is always changing, and this is how it has been since it's inception and, hopefully, how it will be for a long time to come.

kliq6
October 6th, 2003, 01:08 PM
i agree with you, however CB 1 is rich and powerful and have stop most projects in Lower manhattan the past 10 years

ablarc
October 6th, 2003, 01:19 PM
I wish you guys would knock it off.

Actually, I think a careful reading of the thread reveals that the adversarial tone crept in with the word "selfish".

That's getting personal; and actually which of has desires for this City that are not in some way selfish?

ZippyTheChimp
October 6th, 2003, 01:48 PM
For me, the "adversarial tone" began with Are you sure you still live in BPC?"

I don't take kindly to such statements, but I can understand the reason for it. It sticks in the craw of the West St coalition that their opinion is not universal among residents.

Their shrill arguments should be made to the controlling politicians, not as a subject for discussion on this forum.

NYguy
December 2nd, 2004, 09:15 AM
NY TIMES

Long Tunnel, Short Tunnel, No Tunnel? State on Spot

By DAVID W. DUNLAP
December 2, 2004

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/02/nyregion/02blocks_lg.jpg

Artist's rendering of the Liberty Street portal that would lead into the proposed West Street tunnel at the south end of the underpass


TO understand why the fate of the West Street-Route 9A tunnel in Lower Manhattan remains unsettled 20 months after Gov. George E. Pataki publicly embraced it, you should stand on Park Avenue at either 33rd Street or 40th Street.

What you will see are the mouths of the Park Avenue tunnel, which sluices two lanes of traffic to and from the viaduct around Grand Central Terminal. The ramps at both ends create ceaseless, impassable incisions in the streetscape. "A pedestrian was killed crossing here," says a traffic sign at the north end. "Be alert. Cross with care."

Standing at these intersections, it is not hard to figure out why Goldman, Sachs & Company would not want anything resembling such a portal - actually, a portal three times wider - outside the main entrance of the headquarters it is planning at West and Vesey Streets in Battery Park City. Goldman's unhappiness has prompted state officials to rethink the north end of the tunnel plan.

The basic idea is to depress West Street, which is also a leg of Route 9A, and create an underpass for through traffic, with two lanes and a shoulder in either direction. On the deck above the underpass would be a four-lane roadway for local traffic, divided by a landscaped median. This is meant to bridge the 260-foot-wide right of way that divides the World Financial Center at Battery Park City from the rest of downtown.

West Street will become "a distinguished stretch rather than a barren divide," Governor Pataki promised in April 2003. "Adjacent to the World Trade Center site, a new short tunnel from Vesey Street to Liberty Street will divert loud, fast-moving highway traffic underground to protect the dignity of the memorial, while also providing an elegant welcome at the front door of the World Financial Center."

Plenty of people, many of them residents of Battery Park City, disagreed with this assessment. Opponents envision years of disruption on top of what they have already endured. They say that the tunnel ramps would create almost as long an obstruction as the deck would cure. And they question the need to spend $860 million on such a project when there are so many other transportation needs.

THE portals are of particular concern because of the potential noise, fumes and mixing bowl of traffic. With a tunnel mouth at Vesey Street, northbound through traffic on its way to Battery Park City would have to drive through a residential neighborhood, since the first left-hand turnoff would be at Warren Street.

A draft environmental impact statement on the Route 9A reconstruction looked at three possibilities: a $175 million, eight-lane surface roadway; a tunnel from Liberty to Vesey Street; and a slightly longer tunnel with a southern portal at Cedar Street.

Now, in the wake of Goldman's objections and other responses to the draft impact statement, state transportation officials are studying the possibility of moving the north portal two blocks uptown, to Murray Street, or one block uptown, to Barclay Street, with a landscaped roof deck over the portal mouth.

Asked whether the alternatives now being explored would affect the environmental review, Tim Gilchrist, the director of policy and strategy at the New York State Transportation Department, said, "We are continuing to work within the framework of the current environmental impact statement."

Decisions must be made soon, since Goldman Sachs appears all but ready to begin construction of its building, which has been designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to have an expansive presence along West Street, including the main entrance.

While open to finding "creative solutions" to the problems posed by the tunnel design, the governor remains committed to "ensuring that the sanctity of the memorial is preserved," said a spokeswoman, Lynn Rasic. In other words, he still favors a tunnel.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation also sees the tunnel - officially known as the short bypass - as a way of sparing the memorial from being next to an eight-lane surface highway, said its president, Kevin M. Rampe.

Would a tunnel with a Vesey Street portal be a deal breaker for Goldman? Would a Murray Street portal solve many of the company's problems? Besides saying that the governor "has been extremely responsive to our concerns," a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, Peter Rose, said he had no further comment.

At the northeast corner of West and Vesey Streets, Verizon has a switching center, 140 West Street, with several hundred conduits and cable and fiber optic lines that would have to be relocated for a tunnel, the impact statement said. A spokesman for Verizon, Daniel Diaz Zapata, would not say how the company feels about the tunnel but said it "will work with the construction command center to address all concerns."

At the southwest corner, American Express has its headquarters in 3 World Financial Center. The center is largely owned by Brookfield Properties. At the southeast corner, Silverstein Properties is planning to build the Freedom Tower. None of these companies would offer a comment on the tunnel or the portals.

It is a fairly reliable rule of thumb that when executives have nothing to say publicly about a project in which they have a large stake, big things may be happening behind the scenes. If that rule applies at West and Vesey Streets, something is up.

Perhaps as far up as Murray Street.

Hof
December 2nd, 2004, 12:39 PM
I don't have a dog in this fight,at least not currently.
I used to work in the Barclay-Vessey(Verizon) Bldg around the time that the WTC was being built,and I experienced West St at it's worst for many years.At that time,the early '70s,the proposed Westway would have turned Lower West Street into either an elevated highway or a true expressway.Nobody could agree on what it should be,so they argued for years about it as the road deteriorated.Fortunately,Westway died when the budget shrank,but West Street just got busier and tougher to navigate.On foot or in a car,West Street was a nasty patch.Still is.
It may be nice to have a park and prominade above the traffic,but it probably wouldn't hurt to leave it the just way it is.Plant a few trees,maybe build a pedestrian tunnel or a few more bridges.
A vehicular tunnel,however-even a short one-could create new problems for BPC and WTC.
I have wondered how the construction of a tunnel,especially adjacent to the WTC site,would affect the hydrology of the area,particularly as to the effects on the WTC's "slurry wall".
As I see it,removing large amounts of dirt between the wall and the Hudson could alter the pressure from the River that the wall is designed for.The wall was built to hold back the Hudson so a big hole could be dug right next to it.It was designed to hold back certain pressures.If those pressures are changed by the construction of the tunnel,or if vibrations from the construction weaken the soil,wouldn't it have some unforseen effects?And wouldn't this cause the slurry walls to compromise,leading to damage or collapse of the walls,already weakened and rebuilt since the 9/11 disaster?.
I'm no engineer,but it seems to me that digging a hole into Manhattan at that particular spot may not be wise.

Kris
December 4th, 2004, 02:20 PM
Continue here (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1161).