Changes modify the restricted access nearest One Police Plaza on Park Row, a vital connector from Chinatown to City Hall and Lower Manhattan that has been largely closed since 2001
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that Park Row in Lower Manhattan had officially opened this week to pedestrian and bicycle access in newly dedicated and designed space. Vehicular traffic on Park Row has been limited since 2001; the redesign includes a new two way bike lane, new pedestrian space and Wayfinding signage to direct tourists to the many attractions of Chinatown and Lower Manhattan. NYC DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez, NYPD Counter Terrorism Executive Officer Inspector Jeffery Schiff, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, and Council Member Margaret Chin joined in today’s ribbon cutting.
“Park Row long served as the best and fastest route between lower Manhattan and Chinatown, and for the first time since 2001, we are fully re-opening the street for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We thank the elected officials of lower Manhattan and Chinatown for focusing our attention on how we could make these changes effectively – and to the partnership of DOT and the NYPD to redesign a street that could be both functional and secure.”
“For years, Chinatown residents, advocates and elected officials have asked that we find the way to ease access to Park Row, maintaining safety while also dramatically increasing mobility and accessibility for thousands of cyclists, pedestrians and bus riders,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We worked cooperatively with the NYPD, and added to the high-impact changes we made last year on Park Row, added critical new protected bike lanes and safer pedestrian crossings near City Hall.”
This New York City Department of Transportation project, implemented in coordination with the NYPD, will help reconnect the Chinatown and Civic Center areas that have been somewhat physically separated since 9/11.
DOT began preliminary work on Park Row from Worth Street to Frankfort Street last Fall after consulting with local Community Boards and stakeholders and substantially completion the project earlier this months. This portion of Park Row, nearly a half-mile in length, now includes 10,000 square feet of new pedestrian space and a two-way protected bike path.
This project successfully addresses the Chinatown community’s long-term efforts to get the City to consider opening up further access along Park Row to connect the neighborhood with the rest of Lower Manhattan. Park Row has been closed to vehicular traffic other than emergency vehicles and MTA buses since 9/11.
As part of the project, DOT resurfaced a section of the roadway in preparation for the project and NYPD relocated protective barriers along the corridor to allow for the access while maintaining the necessary security for One Police Plaza. DOT also installed new Wayfinding signage on both ends of the Park Row project to further integrate the new bike and pedestrian space into the area and guide visitors. DOT’s Streetlighting Division transformed lighting in the area to brighter and more energy-efficient LED bulbs. The NYPD supported the efforts by relocating or removing cement barriers, unused guard booths, shipping containers and some planters. Service on the M9 and M103 MTA buses was not affected during or after construction.
DOT has developed preliminary plans to connect the eventual Park Row bike path with the existing bike network via Frankfort Street, including the newly completed protected lane adjacent to City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. On the north end of the project, DOT is studying connections to Chatham Square and the existing bike path along East Broadway in Chinatown.