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The Fight for 34th Street

A long, long time ago (2005), in a galaxy not so far away (Murray Hill)…. I actually lived on 34th Street between 1st and 2nd. Ah the memories: the Midtown tunnel! Soot (and debris)! Horns! Who could forget those horns!

Fast forward 6 years. (Ok, so it wasn’t that long ago). The traffic, pollution and overall urban chaos remain on 34th Street from river to river. But hopefully not for long. NYC DOT has recently put forward a truly innovative plan to tame this vital city artery and remake into a 21st century transitway that will benefit hundreds of thousands pedestrians, bus riders and residents alike. The new 34th Street Transitway will improve bus reliability and pedestrian safety; add additional sidewalk space for pedestrians; expand curb loading access; calm traffic patterns; and improve travel time along the corridor 20-35%.

Yet in spite of all the benefits the project will bring to the City (or maybe because of them), the plan has come under attack by an increasingly removed minority of naysayers who wish to champion an aging way of life that revolves around the automobile.

The NYPost has recently featured this hit job and this rant regarding the DOT’s very transparent, collaborative and sensible plan for 34th Street.

Transit advocates need to flood the Post with letters to the contrary. Email with a short and succinct personal note. You may use info at the end of this post to help inform your response. And don’t forget to CC on your letter.

With your help we can make our streets safer, our transit more reliable and our City more livable.

- The 34th Street project corridor extends for 2 miles from the East River/34th Street ferry terminal to Twelfth Avenue. It is served by the crosstown M16 and M34 bus routes, which together carry over 17,000 passengers per day, and is also used by commuter buses that carry over 16,000 passengers per day. During rush-hour, over 100 transit buses an hour currently traverse 34th Street, and hundreds of additional tour buses use the street over the course of the day.

- 34th Street is a key transit corridor, accommodating over 33,000 bus trips a day. Within a quarter mile, there are about 50,000 residents and 300,000 workers; 82% of residents and 86% of workers commute by transit or walking, and 82% of residents do not own a car. The project serves residential communities on the East and West sides, as well as Midtown Manhattan, the Javits Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, Penn Station and other key destinations.



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