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Make Way for Lower Manhattan aims to fight congestion

Pedestrians pass Lilly's Boutique in Manhattan's Financial District

Pedestrians pass Lilly's Boutique in Manhattan's Financial District on Aug. 20, 2015. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

The Make Way for Lower Manhattan initiative, led by the firm BuroHappold Engineering, aims to make lower Manhattan more pedestrian-friendly.

"For anyone who works, lives or visits here, one of the common complaints is that the crowds are causing too much congestion on the sidewalk," explained Christopher Rhie, a senior consultant with the firm, which is headquartered on Broadway. "We keep hearing about the amazing things happening in lower Manhattan, but there is such growth and development coming while the streets and sidewalks are still the same dimensions and only getting more crowded."

The plan is still in its preliminary stages, which includes taking suggestions from community groups such as the Downtown Alliance, local residents and cultural institutions, Rhie said.

Some suggestions put forward so far include keeping trash off walkways and implementing "mobility districts," which regulate when cars are allowed on certain streets.

There is even talk of moving the "Charging Bull" statue from busy Broadway to its original, quiet spot across from the New York Stock Exchange.

Community Board 1 in July passed a unanimous resolution supporting the initiative.


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