Citing statistics showing average surface travel speeds in Manhattan decreased by 9 percent between 2010 and 2015, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer called for a mix of new policies to reduce peak street traffic and improve public transit. Aside from long-sought infrastructure investments like new cross-harbor rail tunnels, Brewer’s plan includes lower-cost, outside-the-box ideas like expanding “off-hours” truck deliveries, taking advantage of MTA’s commuter rail routes for intracity commuters, and capping the number of “hop-on, hop-off” sightseeing buses allowed to clog city streets.
“Manhattan is the heart of our city and the entire region, and that heart is clogged,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Manhattan street travel speeds have plummeted in recent years. No more excuses: we need to seriously think through any and all outside-the-box ideas that can ease the burden on our streets and get more value out of our existing transit infrastructure.”
Brewer’s announcement coincided with the release of “Unlocking the Grid,” (PDF) her office’s report on Manhattan’s street congestion and transit needs. This followed Brewer’s public hearing last summer on these topics, at the height of public debate around street congestion and the increase in for-hire vehicles driven by e-hail services including Uber and Lyft. Read More…