Two Important Choices to Make

In the June 10 edition of the New York Times, Peter Coy picked up on an urgent proposal made by this writer, in The Village View, that NYC should free curbs of free parking. There is no excuse to provide free public space to store private property. Curb space is far more important for emergency access, deliveries, garbage storage and pick-up, fuel deliveries, visitor drop-offs, taxi pick-ups and even cafes. Pedestrians can cross mid-block with a clear view of approaching traffic. Everyone will have a clear view of the city’s architecture, our outdoor living room with its monumental rooftops and cornices. We will be able to see each other without being walled in by a steel wall of parked cars. Most important, we will be rid of the congestion caused by armies of parking space cruisers roaming the streets to find free parking spaces, many with out-of-state, non-local-tax-paying license plates.

The second issue the city must address is access to the Hudson River waterfront. Every east-west street should provide adequate pedestrian cross-walks to Hudson River Park, the same as Central Park West and Park Avenue. Currently, there are many streets which dead end at West Street, cutting us off from our most precious scenic and recreational resources. These cross-walks must provide ample time for seniors, pram-pushers and people with disabilities to cross the far-too-wide West Street.

City streets are the only open public space. We must continue to beautify them with shade trees, flood absorbing green strips, stone pavers and handsome and comfortable street furniture. We must continue to make our streets more livable.

—Barry Benepe