By BRIAN MORENO
New York state and local officials on Thursday announced plans to reopen the stretch of Park Row between Frankfort and Worth streets that was closed for more than 16 years to pedestrians and bicyclists as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
New Yorkers and tourists will now have new options to get from Chinatown to Lower Manhattan, the South Street Seaport and the Financial District,officials said. Park Row will also allow pedestrians a new access route by stairway to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Also planned was a protected two–way bike lane that is over half a mile long, including maintenance of access for the bus route of the M9 and the M103.
City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said that 10,000 square feet of pedestrian space will be added to the area. “New Way” signs and new bright LED lighting will be installed so new-comers and the locals will have easier time to locate their way around.
“This is a solution that will have very tangible benefits for the community. It will assist local businesses,” said Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez. “It will ease local traffic congestion and make it easier to get around this part of town. It will be done in a way that is not an eyesore in our community.”
After the terrorist attacks, the area was completely cut off from the public and later open to public transportation. After years of government bureaucracy and precautions for terrorist attacks, this project took form.
With the progress of this project, businesses, such as restaurants, will be allow to thrive since locals and tourist will be given greater access to the Lower Manhattan and Chinatown.
According to Trottenberg, the project would commence this fall and was expected conclude next spring.