Little Italy Rallies Against Buses Through Kenmare Street During L-Train Shutdown
The impending L-Train shutdown is causing localized pandemonium across the Lower East Side. From 14th Street on down to the Williamsburg Bridge, Delancey, and Kenmare Streets.
A bit closer to home, the city is trying to push a proposal to ferry straphangers through Little Italy on the way to nearby subway stations. This would equate to the passage of roughly 50 diesel shuttle buses per hour on a narrow, heavily trafficked thoroughfare.
There are two potential proposals floated by Department of Transportation: first, with one lane in either direction, and one bus lane, plus a parking or loading lane on the north side. The second option would dispose of eastbound traffic entirely.
Concerned residents, vis-a-vis the Kenmare Little Italy Loop Coalition (KLILC), are holding a rally today at Petrosino Square Park (8:15am) to demand a mitigation of planned bus routes along this crowded choke point. City and state elected officials will be in attendance.
KLILC formed earlier this summer in response to this traffic proposal. They maintain that implementing these routes would not only affect quality-of-life for residents, but hog the streets, starving businesses of deliveries. It also interferes with the services of fire houses in the immediate vicinity.
KLILC came up with an alternate proposal (above) that instead follows existing bus routes, and designates Delancey-Allen-East Houston-Lafayette as the path. The group notes that each of those streets is wider than Kenmare (and less residential), can accommodate the traffic volume, and is closer to subway connections. The group has already met with reps from the DOT, MTA, and various elected officials to pitch the plan. And submitted it to CB2 on numerous occasions, according to leadership.