CitizenM and the Bowery Bottleneck
On the Bowery, between East Houston and Delancey Street, is a traffic problem that refuses to go away. It’s the perfect cocktail of construction and roadwork to create a 24/7 disaster situation.
Much of the blame can be pinned on the CitizenM hotel development at the northeast corner of Delancey. This decade-running project first seized a northbound driving lane last year. At the time, management promised a short stay of twenty weeks … yet it’s still ongoing, even after the crane was deposed and removed from the scene months ago. This stubborn staging area in the hotel “plaza” remains, snarling traffic in the process.
In its weekly email blast to neighbors, CitizenM continues to push back the date at which the 3,400 square-foot “plaza” area will be returned to the community (and frankly, motorists). Con Edison is apparently upgrading its infrastructure here, with additional street work happening simultaneously. And based on the latest, plaza utilities work will continue for a “further few weeks.” In other words, open ended.
The plaza, directly outside the hotel property, has been active this week with sewer connection completion, water excavation and data installation. Con Ed will return to site on the night of Tuesday, November 21 to energize the building. Work will start around 11pm and be complete by 7am the following day. The work involves cable pulling and internal connections in the building, so there will be no breaking and excavation. Plaza utilities work will continue for a further few weeks, during normal working hours.
Couple this with water main work on the west side of the Bowery, East Houston Reconstruction, and staging for the Ace Hotel, this disastrous four-block stretch is the textbook definition of a bottleneck. The Bowery is reduced to a two-lane thoroughfare here, causing jams all the way up to Houston.