Street view

The view is north from Leonard St. Varick St on the left, West Broadway on the right.

Present conditions were created by various transportation projects in the early 20th century. The IND A subway created The Tribeca Park triangle which closed off West Broadway as a north-south route into Lower Manhattan. The IRT 1-2-3 was built and Varick St widened to replace West Broadway as the through route. One-third of the red building at the center was sliced off. The El on West Broadway was dismantled, but the wide street remained.

At the Holland Tunnel exit rotary, the building of Citicorp caused a problem with traffic turning right onto Varick St, especially during rush hours. The crosswalk is a major route for workers from Citicorp to the subway. So the rotary was redesigned. No turns are allowed onto Varick St. Traffic wanting to go south would continue circling north and turn right mid-block on Varick St.

Some drivers think they can save time (not really true) by continuing straight on Beach St, turning right on West Broadway, and merging with Varick St at Leonard St. However, traffic is often backed up from 6th Ave past West Broadway, there's a stop sign at a heavily used crosswalk, and traffic signals on West Broadway. The drivers that do this have a mindset to make up time to justify the detour, so they speed to try to beat the lights.

It's created a dangerous environment.

This Saturday, June 14, The Tribeca Trust is sponsoring "Plaza for a Day" at Finn Square, to increase support and awareness for redesign possibilities.

Tribeca Trust - Finn Square. Some vintage photos in the slideshow.

The Rothschild Building on the site of the ConEd substation. 6th Ave El in the foreground.