BY State Senator Daniel Squadron
Anyone who lives or works in Lower Manhattan knows that the neighborhood is packed with tour buses – too often parking illegally, idling, or snaring traffic. And the bus problem will soon become a crisis: the National September 11 Memorial is slated to open on September 11, 2011—the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center—and between 4 million and 5 million visitors are expected within its first year. That will mean thousands more buses, which will mean more gridlock – which is bad for residents, and bad for the city’s economy.
To make sure the area is ready to handle the increase in visitors, the Port Authority, the NYC Department of Transportation, and other city and state agencies are working to devise a comprehensive transportation and parking management plan.
One part of the plan is the Vehicle Security Center, an underground drop-off and parking complex, but it is not scheduled to open until 2013. Even after the Vehicle Security Center opens, it will provide parking for only 70-80 buses—not nearly enough to accommodate the anticipated spike. Furthermore, construction of One World Trade Center and the other planned buildings will not be completed until well after 2011—this means that many streets and sidewalks in the area will still be closed when the Memorial opens...
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