Posted by Leonard Steinberg on February 13, 2014

Have you noticed recently just how bad the traffic has become in Manhattan? It seems every block has at least 2-3 constructions sites, some even more. These construction sites require bringing in large equipment and trucks that congest and cause traffic chaos. Most have a construction shed that encroaches the sidewalk and street. Most areas around the construction sites are mis-managed and have not been appropriately adjusted to accommodate the reduced access. This has to change. Now is the time to address this problem as much more construction is coming, with over 20,000 apartments alone under construction, not to mention sites for subway, burst pipe, office, rental, hotel and institutional construction. A City that freezes is a mis-managed City. A city without discipline is a chaotic city. Yes, we have a strong system of subways, but there are many areas that are not serviced by a subway line. The City needs to get involved:

1) Clear parking on one side of the street to keep TWO lanes moving. All streets should accommodate two lane traffic.

2) Require construction sites to manage the traffic around them and train them to do so efficiently.

3) Create loading zones that if abused result in instant $1,000 fines: double parked trucks should be fined too, although the City has to devise a system that accommodates deliveries efficiently by providing parking zones.

4) Change the antiquated garbage collecting system: all too often we get stuck behind a garbage truck that replays what could be a scene from 1940: sanitation workers pull up their truck to the garbage pile, stopping in the middle of the street…..they slowly exit the truck and start loading it, one bag at a time, by hand. Then they slowly get back into their truck and move on. Surely in an age where you can send a photo to the entire planet within seconds there is a better way to manage garbage so that it does not congest?  Now add construction debris to the mix…..

5) Spot-fine jaywalkers who have a total disregard for the law or the needs of vehicular traffic. (Cowboy-cyclists too!)

While the dream of public transportation, pedestrians and cyclists is wonderful, the reality is that cars do have rights and congestion is bad for everyone, producing bad fumes, bad noise and bad tempers!