Mayor Bloomberg and several other elected officials recently announced that more than $46 million in Transit Capital Assistance Grant funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be put towards the renovation and maintenance of ferry boats and piers in New York City. Money will also be used to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.
In addition to money from stimulus funding, previous city and federal funding will bring the total amount allocated to the projects to more than $139 million; the projects will help create and keep more than 1600 jobs.
Among other benefits,upgrading the ferry system should help encourage commuters to leave their cars at home in an effort to reduce air pollution.
Projects include maintenance and repair of six Staten Island ferryboats; accessibility upgrades for several public ferry landings, including those at East 90th Street, East 34th Street, and Pier 79 at West 39th Street; and the rehabilitation of Pier 11 (South Street between Wall Street and Pine Street).
Oh yes—never think that the everyday needs of the weary traveler have been overlooked: Among the many structural changes to Pier 11, ferry riders will be glad to hear that canopies to protect passengers from inclement weather are on the agenda as well.
As New York City’s richest resident Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempts to run for his third term, Times Square’s famous busker and tourist fixture Naked Cowboy has offered himself as a write-in candidate against Bloomberg for the office of New York City mayor. Known for singing and strumming his guitar in nothing but a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and tighty-whities in rain, snow or shine, Naked Cowboy, a.k.a. Robert Burck, 38, officially announced his candidacy for mayor of New York City on July 22.
Burck held a press conference in Times Square where a large crowd of media gathered. He kept things brief with plenty of wordplay, promising to “do more with less” for New York City residents. Burck’s platform includes cutting wasteful spending, building the city’s economy and tourism, supporting small businesses, and greening city buildings. If elected November 3, Burck said he would remain accessible and carry on this usual routine in Times Square.
Though he may seem not seem like a serious choice, Burck cited Arnold Schwarzenegger as having not been elected governor of California for his vast political background, but rather because he “exuded the spirit of the community of which he represents.”
Burck has a political science degree from the University of Cincinnati, several self-published motivational books, a country music album, and is an ordained minister, eager to build a Times Square chapel marrying straight and gay couples in an effort to rival Las Vegas’ wedding business.
After much speculation, it was announced in April 2009 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will have a new route for 2009. The new, wider route will give the parade the extra space it has needed for more parade goers and will allow for more economic activity.
The parade had previously started at 77th Street and Central Park West to continue South on Broadway when it reached Columbus Circle, through Times Square and ending in Herald Square. The new route will now have four 90 degree turns, with the parade starting at 77th Street and Central Park West, turning East onto 59th Street, then South at 7th Avenue, then East on 42nd Street for a block before turning South onto 6th Avenue, and finishing in Herald Square at 34th Street. This is the sixth route change in the history of the parade since its debut in 1924.
The parade route change has sent hotels on 6th and 7th Avenues scrambling to create pricey room packages and viewing parties in their event spaces for people who want to watch the parade indoors. This change is of course a disappointment for Broadway hotels whose business will now be hurt because the parade won’t be passing outside its doors anymore.
Full Story: http://www.nytix.com/Hotels/articles/thanksgiving.html
Seven blocks along Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square in New York City have been closed to vehicular traffic to relieve traffic jams, reduce pollution, and allow pedestrians the pleasure of enjoying the city’s center without worrying about being hit by a taxi. West 47th Street to 42nd Street in Times Square and West 35th Street to 33rd Street in Herald Square are the blocks along Broadway where this has taken place.
The new pedestrian promenade took effect on May 24, 2009 as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to reduce Midtown congestion. The remainder of the year will serve as a trial, and the experiment could become permanent if all goes smooth and the city benefits.
The opening of the car-free pedestrian area has eased the Times Square chaos and created breathing room in the usually unbearably crowded Times Square. People who work in the area have a new place to spend their lunch break and New Yorkers who normally avoid Times Square are venturing in to join tourists.
The city has so far provided lawn chairs for lounging and tables and chairs, but not much else, as it is an ongoing development. Musicians and performers have also been hired by the city to attract afternoon crowds, and the Naked Cowboy is out in full force.
While the pedestrian mall undoubtedly improves the congestion of crowded streets and sidewalks, the big question yet to be answered is whether this will help or hurt Times Square and Herald Square businesses.