Best Laid Plans
“Nobody on Park Avenue walks,” Michael Shvo said last month, standing near the back of the Drill Hall inside the Park Avenue Armory.
The Fund for Park Avenue was hosting a private cocktail reception to honor donors to its annual holiday tree-lighting drive, a signature project that dates back to 1949.
Mr. Shvo, the 40-year-old retired real estate glitz guru, was among the few dozen guests at the reception. Wearing a white dress shirt with black top-stitching unbuttoned past his clavicle, he was talking about a recent art transaction with a fellow developer when The Observer interrupted them to ask about the future of Park Avenue. Maybe there was room on it for a pedestrian pathway down the middle, so we could all enjoy the malls?
Best Laid Plans
The city’s Department of Transportation is putting the brakes on its plan for 6½th Avenue, yielding to oncoming concerns about the implementation of a plan to construct new crosswalks that would connect pedestrian plazas running from 51st to 57th streets between Sixth and Seventh avenues. The plan was due to be put to a vote at Community Board 5 last Thursday, but the department has delayed its presentation for a month to help pave the way for its approval.
There had been some concerns about whether or not traffic impacts on the corridor had been sufficiently addressed and what the best means to mitigate traffic at pedestrian crossings might be. “It’s not going to be quite so simple at the full board, and they wanted to take a step back and make sure they had all the answers,” one community board member told The Observer. As we previously reported, the board’s transportation committee approved the 6½th Avenue plan unanimously.
Office workers may want to look both ways before crossing the street on the way home tonight.
Transportation Alternatives released their first “crash map” today, which reveals that, at over 8,500 crashes involving pedestrians from 1995-2009, Midtown is not the place to go for a stroll. The map, based on the civic group’s new CrashStat.org interactive index, charts motorist crashes involving pedestrians by community.