The Financial District Neighborhood Association (FDNA) released “Make Way for Lower Manhattan,” a multi-year report to provide a vision to transform the historic neighborhood and create safer and cleaner streets.
Several factors contribute to Lower Manhattan’s crowded sidewalks and streets, the report says. “The old, Colonial streets and sidewalks of Manhattan’s Financial District have become far too crowded with different obstacles, largely due to the ongoing conversion of skyscrapers to residential use and new construction of large residential buildings, coupled with the dramatic growth of downtown tourism,” the report says.
Piles of garbage covering sidewalks create health hazards and push pedestrians into already crowded streets. Construction scaffolding and street vendors block sidewalks. The situation causes dangerous conditions. Congestion slows emergency vehicles, and pedestrians and cyclists fight with cars for space on streets and sidewalks. Recently, there has been a spate of fatalities and accidents in the area.
The pilot program recommended in the report includes improved walking corridors, targeted sanitation interventions, slow street zones, and pedestrian-safe plazas.