Study: Street redesign hurting Upper West Side businesses
A report released Sunday found that nearly three quarters of Upper West Side business owners polled are unhappy with the recent Columbus Avenue street redesign that provided for bike lanes and pedestrian islands, among other changes.
Most of the 36 businesses that participated in the study conducted by a coalition of locally-elected officials and neighborhood groups said they were dissatisfied with the reduced parking and loading space and the increase in parking tickets and congestion. Fourteen percent of businesses surveyed said the lack of parking has caused them to lose customers.
“New York needs bike lanes, but we also need to respect the vital concerns of local businesses,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said in a statement.
Last fall, the city Department of Transportation made street improvements between West 77th Street and West 96th Street that included a parking lane and delivery loading zones.
Transportation officials on Sunday said that they are working with the community to address the issues raised.
The premise behind the city’s idea of making the streets more friendly to a larger group of New Yorkers is welcomed by the coalition behind the survey, but tweaks need to be made, it said.
“It’s definitely an adjustment to envision a city in which people, bikes, buses, trucks and cars share our roadways with ease, but it’s a future worth embracing,” said Mel Wymore, who heads Manhattan’s Community Board 7, which the Columbus Avenue corridor lies within.
The group made suggestions including: creating parking and loading zone hours, reprogramming parking meters and improving signs.