Letter to the editor

Volume 16 • Issue 22 | Oct 28 – Nov 03, 2003


Rename W. Broadway

To The Editor:

Re “C.B. 1 considers the merits of renaming streets” (news article, Oct. 21 –27):

If New York is going to change the name of any street to commemorate the events of 9/11, I vote for re-naming West Broadway. Renaming a small street near the area or worse, a “commemorative corner” would be an insult to the enormity of what happened in 2001.

West Broadway is the perfect candidate for renaming. It’s already one of the most beautiful and interesting streets Downtown and with some new trees and tasteful street-scaping — new lighting would be a good place to start — it could be a grand boulevard. But it has the wrong name. It should be called Memorial Drive. I’m not saying co-name it. I’m saying ditch its current, confusing name.

I live on Broadway. Not East Broadway or West Broadway, but Broadway. I would say I get about one tourist a week looking for one of the three Broadways. I know I’m not alone. I see confused looking tourists looking at the maps. They’re standing on West Broadway and they’re looking for ground zero. Naming a major street in honor of those lost on that day would be an important wayfinder and reminder.

These poor folks have come to New York and they get lost and it’s not really their fault they’re confused. Imagine if there was a West Fifth Avenue. Or a North 14th Street. North of Houston, West Broadway turns into LaGuardia for some reason. Why not a simple rule: one name per street.

East Broadway doesn’t cause nearly as much confusion, but I think re-naming it might be in order as well. I’m sure the Chinese-American community could find a hero from their own community without too much trouble. But its location does not intersect with the World Trade Center site so it’s not a good candidate to be renamed to commemorate 9/11.

Who knows how many missed appointments, frustrated phone calls and blown off restaurant reservations are caused by this confusion? Too many. Renaming the street would have short-term pain but long-term gain. The initial pain would be mitigated by lots of publicity and attention to the street would highlight all the great things there are to do Downtown. It’s time to end the confusion and remember those heroes we lost on 9/11 with more than some dark cul-de-sac Downtown or a few made-to-be-ignored signs co-naming some random corner.

Troy Torrison

Getting the shaft

To The Editor:

I read your excellent article about sandhogs tunneling into Lower Manhattan with fascination, fear, and trepidation since I live adjacent to the shaft they will construct on James Madison Plaza currently occupied by the N.Y.P.D. (news article, Oct. 14 –20, “Sandhogs tunneling into Lower Manhattan”).

A number of years ago when the City Council had an open meeting about proposed sites for the water tunnel shaft, geologists, environmentalists, health experts, and residents in the area testified to the devastatingly destructive effect of this choice for a shaft.

In an area that is already suffering from the N.Y.P.D. occupation, and extremes of toxins, noise, traffic mayhem, and lack of access for emergency services, yet a new and approved assault has been launched – “for our security?”

Given the hard facts about the disappearance of the holy ozone layer, which now surpasses the 2000 record for making the air unsafe to breathe, Mayor Bloomberg’s comment about “the tunnel giving us the security we absolutely have to have,” is the joke of the year.

Sandhogs who died in the course of construction have been sacrificed to the gods of greed, big business, and the failure of the city to do maintenance work until it is too late.

Shelly Estrin

Singing praises

To The Editor:

Thank you for the great profile by Jackie Marinese on the Down Town Glee Club (arts article, Oct. 21 –27, “After 75 years, Down Town Glee Club still singing”). 

Speaking for the rest of our members, I can honestly say that it is nice to be noticed from time to time.  As a singer, I will also admit that I get great joy just by singing a song well and successfully blending my voice with the rest.  As the C.E.O. of the club, I understand why it might feel even better to perform to a full house.  We always think that what we do is entertaining.  Perhaps your story will get one more citizen of Lower Manhattan to risk ninety minutes for the other “home team” and remark:  “ I thank you for your voices, thank you, your most sweet voices.”

Jerry Osterberg