Pols: Stop tour bus invasion

Daniel L. Squadron

April 21, 2011

Downtown Express

Volume 20, Number 49 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 20 - 26, 2011

By Aline Reynolds

Residents near Ground Zero fear the worst as they anticipate heightened congestion when the National September 11th Memorial and Museum opens in September.

Approximately 1,500 people an hour are expected to visit the memorial, 20 percent of whom are likely to arrive at the site by tour bus, according to New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

 Silver, along with other local elected officials, met with members of Community Boards 1 and 3, the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York Police Department last Friday, April 15, to discuss new parking regulations, enforcement for the tour buses and alternative means of transportation for World Trade Center visitors.

 The memorial, which is expected to draw five to seven million people annually, will receive between six and eight busloads of visitors per hour. The resulting traffic congestion and air pollution could pose everyday hassles and safety risks for local residents if not properly dealt with, according to New York State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick. “We want to ensure that this very, very significant increase in our daily visitors is handled in a way that’s good for people who live here,” she said.

 “The goal here is to have as many visitors in Lower Manhattan as we can handle… without new tour buses,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron, adding that the City “needs to be ahead of the curve” in planning.

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