Oh, how the waterfront residents of Tribeca must have laughed and laughed at their Hudson Square neighbors to the north, as their vehement protests against the Sanitation Department's Tower O' Garbage fell on deaf ears. But little did the Tribecans know that the city's Department of Transportation had its own surprise in store for the Triangle?and it's too late to do a darn thing about it! The Downtown Express reports that in two weeks, commuter and tour buses will park on West Street between Harrison and Canal Streets from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week. The buses are being relocated from South Street, because work on the East River Waterfront is driving them out. Did we mention the switch might be permanent?
Bruce Ehrmann, a member of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee, was angry the D.O.T. told the board about the bus move only when it was already a fait accompli and said the buses would wreak havoc in Tribeca. “We’ve been waiting years and years and years for our segment of Hudson River Park to be completed,” Ehrmann said after the meeting Wednesday night. “Then, boom, this city in its wisdom wants to wall it off with buses?. It’s a crime.”
Ehrmann said the buses would block loading docks and fill the neighborhood with pollution. The Tribeca Committee unanimously passed a resolution opposing the bus move, he said.
The city picked this stretch of West St. because it has few ground-floor retail stores and because much of the area does not allow daytime parking, meaning the new bus parking spots will not disrupt existing parking spots.
During the week, New Jersey and Pennsylvania buses will use West St. for roughly five-hour layovers, while tour buses will use the spaces on the weekends for shorter stretches of time.
The bus situation was listed as "temporary" on the community board's agenda, but the DOT now says the buses will never be able to move back to South Street because of the new esplanade. A permanent solution has yet to be worked out, but one thing's for sure: the inevitable Tribeca protest may even top the mighty starpower wielded by Hudson Square.
· City moves to park buses in Tribeca [DE]