Hudson Square Meets SoHo West

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

— Wm. Shakespeare

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

For more than 20 years I’ve been complaining, no, railing about the fact that the cars and trucks heading for New Jersey have been aiming at pedestrians Downtown. Then, after spending eight years on Community Board #2 trying to grab anyone who would listen — that there is no enforcement in SoHo/Hudson Square to stop vehicles from hitting people trying to cross the street, I left. Partly, because I was sent up the river for writing about Thomas Spota, the D. A. in the Hamptons — who has now been incarcerated.

I sent letters to D.O.T. and got a lot of bullshit responses claiming that they were working on it. And, they were. Only ENFORCEMENT was never part of the plans. Traffic flow, groins, patterns, routes, studies — were all part of the routine that has enabled D.O.T. to continue its lovefest with CB2. Letters to Downtown politicians, from Assemblymember Glick to Corey Johnson in the City Council as well as members of the Traffic & Transportation Committee on CB2 got residents nowhere.

Enter the Hudson Square BID and the Bigs who also have influence with the City Council. Why? Well, apparently, the fact that a new condo has been built at 565 Broome Street, a block away from where the real crime scene has been located for more than 20 years — Broome Street turning into Watts and the Holland Tunnel, West Broadway and Broome, Varick and Watts, Varick and Grand, and ALL of Canal Street — has awakened the local “leaders.” NOW that the condo corner has been impacted, pedestrians have become important. Suddenly, the fact that pedestrians have been hit or killed by cars matters.

As one local activist reported:

“Hudson Square BID, Cory Kunz and Sean Lewin appeared at the 1st Precinct Sector D meeting on Dec. 15; their plight was getting traffic management at the corner of Varick and Broome, where there was such “horrendous” traffic.
Dan Miller, “2nd” chair of CB’s Traffic and Transportation also commented about this particular corner at the CB2 Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting in December. Dan sits on the Hudson Square BID board (the sole “community”) member and also the HPRT (Hudson River Park Trust).
All these guys name-dropped they had been touring that corner with either Corey Johnson or someone from Corey’s office.”

So, there you have it. Nothing is in the works for the rest of us slobs in SoHo West who have been dealing with and getting hit by vehicles rushing to New Jersey — because there is zero enforcement. But, had we purchased a condo at 565 Broome Street and had “a couple of teeth in our heads and a few friends in town,” perhaps Shirley Secunda or the new Board Chair Ms. Kiely might try to help save pedestrians from being killed.

Crossing Canal
Crossing Watts

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