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Transportation & Environment


At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, February 14, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 32 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, DOT has proposed creating a pedestrian mall on the northbound side of Park Avenue (aka Pershing Square) between East 41st and 42nd Streets; and

WHEREAS, Vehicle traffic counts on the block are very low and the majority of vehicles passing through the block are either taxis, which have alternate means of reaching their destinations, or airport buses that are being relocated to East 41st St. between Park and Lexington Avenues; and

WHEREAS, Pedestrian counts on the block are very high; and

WHEREAS, The block is well-located for, and is scheduled to become, a site for a major station with 118 docks for the Citibike system; and

WHEREAS, The southbound lane of Park Avenue on the same block has been closed on a seasonal basis as part of a multi-year planning and design process in which CB5 has participated in preparation for permanent closing so to become a year-round outdoor Pershing Square pedestrian mall and café starting this summer; and

WHEREAS, The plan provides for access of emergency vehicles; and

WHEREAS, Although building owners on the Park Avenue block have expressed support for the plan, the vehicular and pedestrian traffic stress associated with airport buses is likely to be transferred to the new East 41st Street location, continuing the need for a permanent solution to the congestion caused by these buses, e.g., a new multi-mode transit hub; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five has in the past approved piecemeal changes to the transportation infrastructure of our district, although we would much prefer to do so in the context of a more comprehensive plan for Midtown; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports the Department of Transportation's plan to close Park Avenue/Pershing Square Northbound between East 41st and 42nd Streets to vehicular traffic so as to create a pedestrian mall and bikeshare station, but urges DOT to create a more comprehensive transportation plan for Midtown.

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