Six Years Later, Locals Calling for Completion of Allen Street Mall Upgrades

Posted on: May 5th, 2015 at 9:25 am by
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The Allen Street Mall – those eight segments of median running from South Street to East Houston – has come a long way in the last decade. Essentially beat up and left for dead, the Department of Transportation finally took notice that changes were needed, and began implementing upgrades six years ago.

Project plans were announced [PDF] in 2009, a few months after the city completed the prototype section at Delancey Street. In the ensuing years, five of the thirteen total blocks were renovated and beautified thanks to an infusion from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. for $5 million. Since the cash went dry, however, there have been few substantial updates to the seven remaining blocks, which cost about $1 million apiece to reconstruct.

Weak links remain. Most of the incomplete blocks sit north of Delancey, where there has been close to zero attention the last decade. Aside from the pilot “mall connections” at Rivington and Stanton that transpired six years ago (never made permanent), it’s been status quo. Not to mention, the constant construction along East Houston for new water main infrastructure all but obliterated the trail head.

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Locals are starting to make some noise to spur project completion. For instance, the SPaCE Block Association is presently rallying the troops to help draw attention and secure funding to reconstruct the stretch between Madison and Hester Streets.

According to the Parks 2016 Capital Priorities report, the Allen Street Mall is at #13 on the list for relief. So, it might take awhile for anyone to really listen. Unless the local politicians get involved.

Yet, it’s also worth noting that there is still $2 million allocated to the overall project, but earmarked for the purposes of renovating the abandoned bathhouse at Delancey. An additional $2.2 million is needed to see that through, though. (That money will be reallocated if the bathhouse renovation doesn’t proceed)

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