Tribeca School Wants to Bind Alley
The Washington Market School, which has been educating generations of Tribeca pre-school children for almost half a century, is hoping to continue an accommodation provided by the City during the pandemic, and close Staple Street (between Duane and Jay Streets) for use as an outdoor gathering space by students, faculty, and parents for another year. Read more…
But Community Board 1 (CB1) is pushing back on the proposal. At the Board’s June 27 meeting, CB1 chair Tammy Meltzer noted, “many residents on the block work at home and find the voices of children playing to be distracting, especially on a daily basis.” She added, “doors are used by other buildings on Staple Street, for deliveries, and moving items in and out, like trash.”
She also noted, “the film industry works there on the weekends, which further limits the residents’ access to the street.” This was a reference to the fact that Staple Street is one of the most frequently requested locations for movie and television shoots anywhere in the five boroughs of New York City.
“Residents came out in bulk to basically say they were unhappy with it,” Ms. Meltzer continued. “There was not one person from the local community that supported this.”
“Karie Davidson is on our Committee,” said Betty Kay, who chairs the Transportation Committee of CB1, which reviewed the Washington Market School’s request to close Staple Street, before it came before CB1 as a whole. “She organized the people to come forward. They were brought out to oppose. The people who agreed with it weren’t asked.”
Ms. Meltzer replied, “there was an outcry. And the Washington Market School team who presented said that, since we opposed it, they would be willing to pull the permit, and come up with alternative options.”
At the conclusion of the discussion, CB1 enacted a resolution that “opposes Washington Market School’s request for a year-round, full closure… on Staple Street.” The same measure urged the School to work with neighbors and the City’s Department of Transportation “to develop a plan that better meets everyone’s needs.”