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Thread: Critics say Houston St. plan is for the cars

  1. #1

    Default Critics say Houston St. plan is for the cars

    Critics say Houston St. plan is for the cars

    By Albert Amateau


    This part of the city’s Houston St. plan received mixed reviews. Some felt that by expanding the Bedford-Houston St. corner, it would calm the traffic and make more room for pedestrians.

    The city’s plan for the $25 million reconstruction of Houston St. from Bowery to West St. met with groans and criticism at a crowded Jan. 13 Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting.

    The project, intended to accommodate new water and sewer mains, has been a subject of concern for 10 years among residents, merchants and institutions demanding more pedestrian safety on the east-west thoroughfare that separates Greenwich Village, Noho and the East Village from Soho, Hudson Square and Nolita.

    The water main and sewer work is expected to cost $14 million and the roadwork an additional $11 million.

    “We’re not opposed to cars,” Sean Sweeney, president of the Soho Alliance, said in a telephone interview. “Many of us have cars, but this ridiculous plan would benefit only through traffic and contractors.”

    Representatives of Department of Design and Construction told committee members and neighbors that reconstruction plans could be altered before they are finalized by the end of June.

    Brad Hoylman, chairperson of the committee, indicated the committee would submit a detailed criticism of the plan to Community Board 2, which was to meet Jan. 22. In addition to Sweeney, Charle Cafiero, a former C.B.2 member who represents the Noho Community Association, also criticized the plan.

    Under the city’s plan, the median at Crosby and Houston Sts. would extend through the intersection blocking northbound Crosby St. traffic. This 2001 picture also shows a median tip, which is proposed to be eliminated at other intersections. Some residents say the tips provide protection for pedestrians as cars turn off Houston St. onto side streets.

    Hoylman said at the meeting, one resident called out and said: “ ‘This looks like a solution looking for a problem.’ ” The resident was objecting to the proposal that would add left-turn bays at several busy intersections, remove the tips of medians from a dozen crosswalks and reconstruct the median in most places with planting beds that rise 2 ft. above the street surface. The proposed left-turn bay for eastbound traffic onto the northbound Bowery would add a second lane of left-turn traffic at a dangerous intersection, Shirley Secunda, co-chairperson of the committee, said. The residential and commercial development of the Cooper Sq. Urban Renewal Area sites at the intersection will add many more pedestrians to Bowery and Houston St., Cafiero said.

    Neil Scott of Transportation Alternatives also found fault with the proposed Bowery-Houston St. intersection. “The entire redesign of the intersection needs to be rethought,” he said. The left-turn bay and the narrowed median that accommodates it “will make what is already a very dangerous intersection for pedestrians even worse,” he added.

    The reconstruction also calls for a narrow median across the intersection of Crosby and Houston Sts., blocking northbound vehicle traffic and eliminating pedestrian crosswalks. Transportation Alternatives called for crosswalks at Crosby St. because that is where pedestrians have long been used to crossing Houston St. The proposed blocking of Crosby St. vehicle traffic at Houston “is a cockamamie idea, just plain crazy,” said Sweeney.

    Proposed left-turn bays from the westbound side of Houston onto Mercer St., Broadway and W. Broadway were also considered problems and opposed by Transportation Alternatives and Soho Alliance.

    “These bays will make it easier for cars to speed into our neighborhood,” said Sweeney, who is also a C.B. 2 member. “They don’t exist anywhere else in our community board except on the West Side Highway, an interstate route. They’ll turn Houston St. into an interstate road,” Sweeney said.

    The plan also calls for another left-turn bay from the eastbound side of Houston St. onto the northbound Lafayette St.

    To the chagrin of many, the plan calls for eliminating 12 tiny traffic islands in the medians and near the crosswalks. Residents say the islands or median tips serve as protection for pedestrians waiting in the middle of Houston St. to cross as vehicles turn off the thoroughfare onto side streets. The city proposes to eliminate tips on the west side of Elizabeth St., the east side of Mott St., the west side of Mulberry St., the west side of Lafayette St., the east side of Broadway, the east side of Mercer St. the west side of Greene St., the east side of Wooster St., the west side of W. Broadway, the east side of Thompson St., the west side of Sullivan St. and the east side of MacDougal St.

    Chopping off several feet off the ends of the medians at these intersections would take away islands of safety for pedestrians, and also allow vehicles to turn at higher speeds than they do now, said several critics

    Opinion was divided on the proposal to nearly double the width of the sidewalk on the south side of Houston St. between W. Broadway and Sixth Ave. Transportation Alternatives supports the wider sidewalk, but Sweeny called it an expensive feature opposed by many South Village merchants and residents.

    A redesign of the three-street intersection of Sixth Ave., Bedford St. and Houston St., where Houston narrows and becomes one-way westbound, also generated controversy. The proposal calls for big expansion of the southeast corner of Houston and Bedford Sts. and a widening of the sidewalk by about 3 ft. on the south side of Houston St. where Film Forum and Gilda’s Club are located, a measure welcomed by some residents and opposed by others.

    Transportation Alternatives said the redesign of the Sixth Ave.-Bedford-Houston intersection does a good job of calming auto traffic and protecting pedestrians with an extended sidewalk on the northwest corner.

    The proposal to add green life with median planters that rise 2 ft. above the street level was the target of critics who said they would be “a wall separating the Village and Soho.”



    Albert@DowntownExpress.com


    January 25, 2004

    SOHO/GREENWICH VILLAGE

    If Houston Street Isn't Broken, Residents Say, Why Fix It?

    By JIM O'GRADY


    Would a new median turn out to be a Berlin Wall?

    The city is poised to spend $25 million and two years replacing an underground water main along the length of Houston Street. Except for the dread of living in a construction zone, the pipe-laying part of the project has generated scant controversy among residents of neighborhoods it will pass through.

    But while it may seem odd to hear no complaints about digging up the streets, there is a hot-button issue lurking. About $10 million of that money has been set aside for prettying up the street once the project is done. And there are almost as many disagreements about that part of the work as there are potholes in New York.

    The city's Department of Transportation believes that its redesign will dress up the area and improve traffic flow. Proposed improvements include adding several left-turn bays, raising and replanting the center median and widening the sidewalk on the south side of the street between the Avenue of the Americas and Broadway.

    What could be bad? Plenty, some residents say.

    One unhappy resident is Lenny Cecere, 80, who said the sidewalk outside his general store at Macdougal and Houston Streets, which he has owned for 25 years, didn't need widening. "I have a tough enough job already to keep it clean," he added. "There is sweeping and shoveling snow. And more sidewalk means more possibility to get sued."

    Sean Sweeney, executive director of the SoHo Alliance, a civic group, agreed for a different reason. The sidewalk, he said, is one of few in the area that isn't crowded, even on weekends, when shoppers flock to the neighborhood. "Why would you want to widen it when it is underutilized?" he asked.

    He also objects to adding a two-foot-high median with bushes and trees, which the city hopes will prevent jaywalking. Mr. Sweeney describes it as a Berlin Wall that will separate SoHo from the West Village.

    As John Kaehny, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group, put it, "The proposed plan puts traffic before pedestrian concerns."

    Still another critic of the plan is Councilman Alan J. Gerson, whose district includes Houston Street and who said the Department of Transportation did not seek reaction from residents before drawing up its design. He said a standoff was avoided last week when the department sent a message to Community Board 2, which was poised to officially condemn the project, promising to hold more public meetings on the plan and consider modifications. The board then passed a resolution that criticized the plan but did not reject it.

    "It's time for the city to go on a listening tour with the impacted community," Mr. Gerson said. "And, to their credit, they've agreed to do it."

    The next task, said Keith Kalb, a Transportation Department spokesman, was to square the competing, sometimes contradictory concerns. "We're going to reevaluate the concept of the streetscape and find something mutually agreeable," he said.

    Mr. Cecere's wife, Lucy, has vowed to attend every meeting on the subject. "And how," she said. "This is our neighborhood, and we need to be responsible for it."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  2. #2
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    There are flyers littering my building criticizing this reconstruction - all ridiculous as far as I'm concerned. Houston Street could really use a nice landscaping treatment, and it definitely needs left turn lanes. These people claim they don't want a "Berlin Wall" on the median "like Park Avenue has" says one notice taped on my front door. Park Avenue is regarded as one of the most beautiful avenues in the city, we would be lucky to have something half as nice. Maybe it doesn't have to be 2 feet tall, but equating it to the Berlin Wall is assinine.

    And please, the guy who claims he would have too much sidewalk to clean has got to be joking, like that should even bear any weight. Besides, the wider sidewalk would be on the south side where no stores are fronted and street vendors sell their wares - a wider sidewalk there is NEEDED for pedestrian traffic to flow. Don't listen to they guy who says it's underutilized, it's not.

    I'm glad there will be some input from the community, but so far all the complaints I've heard are without merit.

  3. #3

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    T.A. Magazine Article
    Winter 2004, p.10

    Reclaiming the Streets

    Houston Street Rebuild Once in a Century Chance for Greatness


    Median tips extended through the crosswalk provide a valuable refuge for pedestrians. As part of the DOT’s plan for Houston Street, many of these safe spaces would be eliminated for motorist turning.

    The New York City Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction intend to spend $25 million to replace water and sewer mains and reconstruct Houston Street between Bowery and West Streets. The project is of great interest to pedestrians and cyclists because it will shape Houston Street for the next fifty to one hundred years.

    At a raucous Manhattan Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting on January 13th, over 100 people braved the biting cold to voice their anger about the pedestrian unfriendly design proposed for Houston.

    Speakers were especially alarmed by the City’s call for left turn bays for motorists heading west on Houston Street, and its proposal to narrow medians and eliminate pedestrian islands at crosswalks. Many people made the point that this part of the plan was clearly aimed at increasing traffic capacity and speeds and would undercut pedestrian safety and encourage motorists to travel on local SoHo streets.

    However, the Department of Transportation plan does contain some good, including a center median with a high curb and flower beds similar to those on Upper Broadway in Manhattan. The median will provide planting beds and protect pedestrians from errant motorists. The plan also does a good job of rationalizing the complicated Houston Street and Sixth Avenue intersection, including widening the sidewalks between Sixth Avenue and West Broadway on the south side of Houston Street.

    T.A. urges the City Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction to work with the community to make Houston Street a safe and inviting street that serves the community, and not just drivers headed to the West Side highway. This is a once in a century chance to redesign the street for the better that no one can afford to waste. For T.A.’s full slate of recommendations, see www.transalt.org/testimony .

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Neighbors sue city over Houston St. safety

    Downtown Express
    By Albert Amateau
    October 5 - 11 Issue

    Lou Todd, a Prince St. resident who uses a walker, made his way slowly across the construction-choked W. Houston St. intersection at W. Broadway-LaGuardia Pl. at noon on Wednesday, but he had to wait at the narrow traffic median for another light cycle in order to make it all the way across.

    He was one of about 60 neighbors, most of them elderly, at an Oct. 3 rally called by City Councilmember Alan Gerson to protest what many have called an ill-conceived Houston St. design that speeds auto traffic but endangers pedestrians.

    “Yes, it’s hard for me to cross Houston St., and it’s hard for someone with a baby carriage,” said Todd. “There isn’t enough room on this traffic island to wait out the light.”

    Gerson, Lawrence Goldberg, a Community Board 2 member and attorney, announced at the rally that they and 18 neighbors have filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court to halt the Houston St. reconstruction as presently designed and modify it with safety elements.

    “We’re citing the city’s failure to follow its own master plan to provide pedestrian and bicycle safety in this design,” Goldberg said. The project originally called for a Houston St. bicycle lane, which was eliminated in April when the bike lane was moved to Bleecker St. Goldberg noted.

    At the time, Josh Benson, bicycle program coordinator of the Dept. of Transportation, said the city moved the lane because Houston St. was too dangerous.

    Rally attendees said the plan’s major safety defects are at points where there are left turn bays and narrower medians, such as at the intersection of Houston St., W. Broadway and LaGuardia Pl. Gerson, who lives between Houston and Bleecker Sts., also said the community has been asking in vain for a traffic light at the Wooster St. intersection at Houston.

    Robert Riccobono, second vice chairperson of C.B. 2, said the board “opposed this design more than two years ago, and we have been totally rejected. The city just wants to make this a highway to the Holland Tunnel.”

    A D.O.T. spokesperson referred questions about the Houston St. project to the city Law Department because of the lawsuit. “We’ve received the court papers and are evaluating them carefully,” said Kate Ahlers, Law Department spokesperson, who declined to comment further because of the litigation.

    Gerson cited the fatal accident at Sixth Ave. and Houston St. on Sept 25, when Hope Miller, 28, was killed on the southeast corner of Houston St. when she was hit by a truck making a right turn onto Houston while fleeing after rear-ending another truck on Sixth Ave.

    Gerson said at the time that while the accident might not be directly attributable to the construction, the tangle of construction barriers, excavations and metal street plates at the intersection was a likely factor in the tragedy.

    Times Up a bicycle advocacy organization, conducted a memorial event on Tuesday night Oct. 2 at Sixth Ave. and Houston St. in Miller’s memory. The group also honored Julia Thomson, a pedestrian killed by a hit-and-run driver Sun., Sept. 30 at Bowery at E. Fourth St.

    Goldberg recalled that three bicyclists were killed in truck accidents on Houston St. in the past three years, including Derek Lake, who died at the LaGuardia Pl. construction intersection in June of 2006. Andrew Morgan was killed earlier at Elizabeth St. where a subway fan plant was under construction and a woman cyclist, Brandie Bailey, was killed at the notoriously dangerous intersection at Avenue A.

    © 2007 Community Media, LLC

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 / Downtown Express View Post

    ... fatal accident at Sixth Ave. and Houston St. on Sept 25, when Hope Miller, 28, was killed on the southeast corner of Houston St. when she was hit by a truck making a right turn onto Houston while fleeing after rear-ending another truck on Sixth Ave.

    Times Up a bicycle advocacy organization, conducted a memorial event on Tuesday night Oct. 2 at Sixth Ave. and Houston St. in Miller’s memory.

  6. #6
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    Houston is one of those streets that riding a bike on is just not a good idea. I never ride down it, preferring to stay to quieter streets that go through downtown. east-west.

  7. #7
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    I again have to disagree with some of the complaints, some of which are outlined in the above article. Though some of the complaints are valid during construction, their conclusion to scrap the final design is not the answer. Mind you, these are the same people who tried to stop construction because the median was going to be a "Berlin Wall". Ridiculous NIMBY BS. When completed it won't have the same dangers, and from what I see I think it will be safer than it ever was once construction is completed.

    For starters, they have removed a lane of traffic! There are only three eastbound lanes instead of four. The walk from sidewalk to median is now shorter for those with a walker or baby carriage. The south side of Houston Street has a sidewalk ten feet wider with trees running down the middle of the sidewalk instead of along the curb. How is this a "design that speeds along traffic but endangers pedestrians"? Actually it slows traffic and helps pedestrians.

    The north side of the street has the same curb location as before.

    The traffic median is in the same location and is the same width as before too. The difference is, if you jay-walk, you will have to step up a higher curb than before. This actually is safer for pedestrians, it coerces them to cross at intersections. It also lowers the risk of vehicles jumping the median into oncoming traffic. Right now during construction, the traffic pattern changes almost daily and at intersections the medians are an unsafe mess of uneven pavement and painted lines. But once completed, there will be a pedestrian area on the median which wasn't there before with enough room for many pedestrians to wait out the light. Stopping construction is not the answer, maintaining and protecting traffic and pedestrians during construction is what needs to be addressed.

    Left turn lanes are being fought, and that is a mistake. I'm assuming they will be painted because the median is straight, but either way they make it safer for pedestrians, especially here in New York where traffic laws are routinely broken. If the traffic is flowing without congestion or sudden stops, it is safer for pedestrians: it uses up a lane forcing other traffic into the other lanes which slows traffic, vehicles can't use it to pass, vehicles aren't coming to sudden stops behind another making a turn, and there are less vehicles left abandoned in the crosswalk when the light changes. Not to mention, it promotes less honking. Slower, and safer traffic flow is better for everybody.

    I have worked on many road projects, but I have nothing to do whatsoever with this one except that I live a stone's throw from it. Houston Street is a mess now, no doubt. I am particularly saddened to hear of the recent deaths of those neighbors. However even the article admits none can be directly attributed to the construction. It may have indirectly, but certainly not the final design. I am glad Houston Street will soon move traffic along safer, have wider sidewalks, and have a prettier and maintained median. Keep going, the faster the better, don't force the unsafe construction to stay there indefinitely while these unproven accusations linger in court.

  8. #8

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    Dispatches

    The Honeylocusts’ Lament

    Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

    By JAKE MOONEY
    Published: April 6, 2008

    THE three honeylocust trees on the corner of West Houston Street and West Broadway share their little slice of the city with seven newspaper boxes, four garbage cans, two billboard advertisements for a London vacation, and one Starbucks coffee shop.

    The trees have been there for years, in the middle of a sidewalk that is newly widened, but the other day they were not looking good. They had no leaves, a branch was broken on the one in the middle, and all three appeared to have been heavily pruned in their upper reaches.

    Still, given the events of the last month, it could be worse: Apparently, someone has been trying to kill these trees.

    It seemed strange to Ian Dutton, too, when he was walking past one day a few weeks ago and noticed a layer of rock salt poured, rather neatly, on the dirt at the base of all three trees — but not on the surrounding sidewalk. Mr. Dutton, a pilot who lives in the neighborhood and is a member of the local community board, happens to be a graduate of a class on tree stewardship offered by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and he worried that the heavy rains forecast for the next day would help the salt soak into the soil.

    “I was like, ‘I must be crazy,’ ” Mr. Dutton said Wednesday. “I mean, who would do that?”

    He sent an e-mail message to Tobi Bergman, chairman of the community board’s parks committee, who called the Parks Department, which sent a team to clean up the salt before the rain started.

    For the next two weeks, nothing much happened. Then, on March 20, Mr. Dutton’s wife, Shea Hovey, passed the trees when she going to the subway and noticed that the salt was back — again, caked around the base of the tree but not on the sidewalk. Another call to the Parks Department brought another cleanup crew, along with increased suspicion that this was not an accident.

    “Somebody did this,” said Adrian Benepe, the city’s parks commissioner, “and we’re going to try to find out who or why.”

    In cases when trees appear to be damaged intentionally, especially in a commercial district, there is sometimes suspicion, he said, that the damage is intended to preserve views of nearby signs or stores. In any event, Mr. Benepe said, the department’s investigators were contacting local businesses and trying to determine if images were captured on any nearby security cameras.

    And he urges that anyone who knows anything should dial 311 — or even 911. “Why not?” Mr. Benepe said. “Because it’s a crime.”

    The crime he refers to is arborcide, which in New York can be punished by jail time and a fine of up to $15,000. Most cases of tree damage are accidental, Mr. Benepe said, and are resolved when the offender makes restitution. But some arborcide is clearly deliberate: His department is offering a $2,000 reward to find out who chopped down 35 cedar trees in Inwood Hill Park last month.

    The prognosis for the trees on Houston Street, relatively speaking, is good, in part because honeylocusts are hardy creatures.

    “Unless the salt is left there for a really long time, the tree has a pretty good chance of surviving, and some trees tolerate salt better than others,” Mr. Benepe said. Given the dangers to city trees from car doors, trucks, dogs, and people with pocket knives looking to memorialize their love affairs, Mr. Benepe added, “we tend to use the kind of trees that can put up with the indignities of urban life more readily.”

    Meanwhile, the investigation continues. The company that owns the adjacent building said it was not involved and had no information on the matter.

    Mr. Dutton, who first spotted the salt, meanwhile finds it ironic that the damage took place while the city was launching its MillionTreesNYC program, which calls for the planting of at least more 220,000 trees on city streets during the next decade. “It’s kind of sad,” he said, “if we’re going to kill off the trees while we’re putting a million more of them in the ground.”

    But his wife is trying to prevent that. “I haven’t caught anybody in the act yet,” Ms. Hovey said. “But I keep my eyes open when I walk around there.”
    More Dispatches: nytimes.com/cityroom

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

  9. #9
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Weird. I hope they catch the bastard.

    So I guess we're not constantly on surveillance cameras or they would have used that.

  10. #10

    Default Uptown ain't downtown!

    "Park Avenue is regarded as one of the most beautiful avenues in the city, we would be lucky to have something half as nice."

    Well, it's been six years since you made that comment.
    Let's go back and see if Houston looks anywhere like Park.

    You forgot that Park Avenue has a Conservancy that cleans up the mess in the median and plants begonias.
    Houston Street has no Conservancy.

    So, whereas before there was a nice cobblestoned median of appropriate height, you now have an impenetrable barrier that forces New Yorkers to walk a block to cross the street at the intersections and not midblock.
    The Germans are notorious for obediently crossing at intersections and not midblock. Well, the Houston plan has brought us one step closer to blind obedience, at least. Looks like a Berlin Wall to me.

    Worse, much worse, is that DOT never cleans it!
    Weeds are rampant, growing over three feet high.
    It is full of litter.
    I've seen rats scurry where none were before.
    Skateboarders use the wall as their own personal track at Wooster (So much for improving safety)
    The benches are rarely used and NEVER cleaned, with garbage and debris underneath them for months on end.

    In short, it's a filthy mess, nothing like Park Avenue.

    Trees were destroyed to have the left-hand turn lanes added, for only 3% of the cars travelling on Houston that make the left turns on Mercer and W. Bdwy. (DOT's own stats)

    Meanwhile, after years of construction aggravation and expense and at a cost of $10 million, Houston is no safer. Accidents still happen and two deaths are directly attributable to the construction project itself.
    Note the ghost bike at W Bdwy and the other death at Sixth, BOTH of which occurred DURING construction.
    So much for the safety argument.

    Yeah, "if it looked as half as good as Park Avenue"
    ROTFL

    Ready to start a Houston Street Conservancy, my friend?

    Or do you really believe it looks "half as good as Park Avenue"?

  11. #11
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Are YOU ready to start a Houston Street Conservancy, or some such thing to clean up the mess described?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Are YOU ready to start a Houston Street Conservancy, or some such thing to clean up the mess described?
    First, I have absolutely no responsibility to start a Conservancy.

    I never supported the Houston Street reconstruction. I thought it was a real dumb idea: unnecessary, unwanted, and a boondoggle for the construction company that was awarded the contract. It was shoved down the throat of the people who lived on both sides of the thoroughfare by bureaucrats who didn't want the engineers in their department underemployed!

    Unlike the commenter who snidely berated those who thought it was a dumb idea, who said it would be like Park Avenue, but who now has nothing to comment nor done anything to make it look like Park Avenue.
    It was interesting to re-visit the topic five years later and see who was correct at the end of the day and who was full of baloney.

    Having said that, to answer your question, YES!
    I and my neighbors have weeded, cleaned up and planted in that median and other adjacent areas maintained by the DOT, after our requests to DOT that they maintain it properly was ignored by these bureaucrats.

    Unlike some who just sit around in front of their computer and complain about the activists who opposed it, but do nothing to improve the mess they once parroted was going to beautify the median.

    It's ironic, isn't it, and telling, that those who opposed the reconfiguration of the median are now also the people cleaning up the mess and those who supported it have done nothing to make it look "half as nice as Park Avenue".

    I guess indeed home is where the heart is. And that is the difference between a NIMBY and an anti-NIMBY.

  13. #13

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    My girlfriend lived on East Houston for quite some time, and this area desperately needs a green, tree and flower-filled median.

  14. #14
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Regardless of who is doing the weeding, Houston St. looks MUCH better than it used to, less bleak.

  15. #15
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Citizens keeping watch and taking care of public spaces is commendable. One thing I've noticed is that, due to this summer's record-setting and plant killing-heat (along with extended stretches without rain), the Houston Street medians are far more ragged this year than last. Apparently the folks who planned & created the raised medians didn't include irrigation (budget cutting?) with the hope that they would be self-sustaining, not fully considering the probability of long periods of dry and debilitating weather.

    IMO the bigger mistake in the re-making of Houston Street was the decision to keep the very narrow sidewalks on the north side, rather than widening them / extending them out with bulbs at the corners and along some stretches at mid-block (as had been proposed at one point). This would have allowed for more trees to be planted. Instead space for parking (questionable) / deliveries (understandable) ruled.

    It seems, at the time the design was finalized, the T in DOT didn't cover those who walk .

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