2019年11月25日 星期一

N.Y. Today: Where Cars Aren’t Welcome

What you need to know for Monday.

Streets Where Cars Aren’t Welcome

It’s Monday.

Weather: A mostly sunny day, with a high in the lower 50s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Thursday (Thanksgiving).


Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Mayor de Blasio’s administration has a new plan to create a pedestrian zone in a part of Manhattan that is regularly congested during the holidays: the streets around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.

That may be good news for anyone interested in seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center or the window displays along Fifth Avenue. But it may cause problems for city buses in the area.


The plan is the latest example of how complicated it can be for New York City to reimagine how more than eight million residents and a growing number of tourists navigate hundreds of miles of streets.

Here are few of the latest traffic experiments that the city has put in place or may consider in the future.

Fifth Avenue pedestrian zone

In Mr. de Blasio’s new plan, a pedestrian zone will be created around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall by temporarily closing all or part of several blocks to traffic at certain hours, starting on Friday and ending in January.


Mr. de Blasio, who announced the plan last week, said the crowd size would determine when exactly vehicular traffic would be restricted. In a radio interview, the mayor said, “When there isn’t much pedestrian activity, the N.Y.P.D. will have the option of if they want to open up some more lanes to let more traffic flow.”

Advocates and bus officials complained that the street closings would slow buses, frustrating the commuters who depend on them.

14th Street busway

Also in Manhattan, passenger cars are all but banned in the heart of 14th Street, which was long known for its crawling traffic. Now, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles are allowed to drive on the street between Third and Ninth Avenues.

The result: A speedier bus ride than many can remember. And the view of the street is “startling,” my colleague James Barron recently wrote. “I could see all the way from First Avenue to Third Avenue.”

250 miles of bike lanes

On the heels of a surge in cyclist fatalities, city lawmakers in October passed a $1.7 billion plan that would lead to 250 miles of protected bike lanes. Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, called it an effort to “break the car culture.”

There are now 1,250 miles of bike lanes, of which 126 miles are protected. Under the new plan, 30 miles of protected bike lanes must be built in the first year, and 50 miles each subsequent year.

Parking spaces

By some estimates, New York has about three million on-street parking spaces — almost one for every three people. Nearly all of those spaces are free of charge.

A community board on the Upper West Side of Manhattan recently said the city should “consider more productive and equitable uses of curbside space.” Among the suggested solutions: residential parking permits and parking meters “capable of surge pricing.”

Congestion pricing

Starting in 2021, motorists will be charged for driving into most parts of Manhattan.

A congestion zone will be drawn for the borough from 60th Street south to the Battery. The fee will be charged electronically, most likely through an expansion of the E-ZPass system used for cashless tolling at bridges and tunnels.

Don’t use E-Z Pass? You’ll still pay — cameras will take photos of license plates.

Advocates say the goal is to reduce vehicular traffic and raise money to help fund mass transit.


Explore news from New York and around the region

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

What happened to the phone booth on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade? [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

The number of H.I.V. diagnoses in New York City dropped overall last year, but there were more cases in Brooklyn than in any other borough. [Patch]

City investigators accused a former teacher at Long Island City High School of engaging in inappropriate behavior with students. [Astoria Post]

Coming up today

Learn about the history and science behind Thanksgiving pie and take part in a pie-eating contest at a Masters of Social Gastronomy event at Caveat in Manhattan. [$12]

“Folk Arts: Living Tradition,” an exhibition that includes children’s work inspired by Mexican culture, is at the Conference House Park Visitor Center on Staten Island. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. [Free]

A screening of “Hala,” about a Pakistani-American teenager, at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn includes a Q. and A. with the director, Minhal Baig. 7 p.m. [$18]

— Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

And finally: Letter grades for buildings

Jane Margolies reports:

New Yorkers are used to seeing letter grades on restaurants. Soon offices and residential buildings will be getting grades, too.

Beginning next year, midsize and large buildings will not only have to report how energy-efficient (or not) they are, but they will also be required to post letter grades issued by the city based on the data the buildings submit.

The grades will apply to structures 25,000 square feet and larger — picture anything from, say, a sprawling single-story warehouse to one of the city’s new so-called supertalls. Over 40,000 of the one million buildings in New York will soon get report cards.

“We have buildings with A’s and buildings with D’s and everything in between,” said Kelly Dougherty, the director of energy management for FirstService Residential, which oversees 500 apartment buildings in the city.

Building owners and managers will be required to post signs with the letter grades “in a conspicuous location near each public entrance,” according to the law. Failure to do so will be a violation, subject to a fine, a spokesman for the Buildings Department said in an email.

The posting of grades is a sort of “name and shame” strategy, but, in phone interviews, city officials chose to speak about “transparency.”

It’s Monday — aim for A’s.

Metropolitan Diary: Seeking ‘Aladdin Sane’

Dear Diary:

I was a frequent visitor to New York in the 1970s, and I would often browse the used record stores and bookstores in Lower Manhattan when I was in town.

One day, joined by a friend, I decided I would stop by every store I could until I found a favorite David Bowie album, “Aladdin Sane.”

At one store, I said aloud to my friend that if I could only find the album we could end our search and go for a cup of coffee.

Unsuccessful again, we left the store, walked a few blocks, turned onto another street, walked a few more blocks and then stopped at a coffee shop.

We had hardly taken a sip when I heard a voice behind me.

“Were you looking for this?” A middle-aged man stood there holding a copy of “Aladdin Sane.” It was in near-mint condition.

Amazed, I nodded and took the record.

“How much was it?” I asked.

“Not enough to worry about,” he said, and then walked out the door without another word.

— James Naples

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