Heart Trouble

The planned route of the American Heart Association’s Wall Street Run, slated for this May, will trigger numerous street closures during the evening rush hour.
Community Board 1 (CB1) is pushing back against the American Heart Association’s plans for a fundraising run, planned for this May, which is expected to draw more than 10,000 people to Lower Manhattan public spaces during an evening rush hour, and trigger numerous street closures.

CB1’s Transportation chair,
 Reggie Thomas: “We are requesting, urging a denial of the application.”

At CB1’s February 26 meeting, Reggie Thomas, who chairs the Board’s Transportation & Street Activity Committee, explained that, “a number of neighbors come out and express their concern. This is an event that has been running for the better part of the last 20 years, but we have a concern about what has happened over the last two decades, with the same route, has not kept pace with the development of our community over those years.”

He added, “we have heard a number of complaints over the past few years. It is impossible to walk across the street. It is gridlock. The east-west connections are especially tough with the numerous street closures.”

The planned route starts at Greenwich and Murray Streets, in Tribeca, then takes a serpentine path from Church to Liberty to William to Pearl Streets, before joining Water Street, then State Street and Battery Place, finally entering Battery Park City, then progressing along the Esplanade and finishing at Brookfield Place. Most of these streets would be closed between 3:30 and 8:00 pm.

“We’ve also heard that the stated times for street closures don’t actually line up with what happens in real-world practice,” Mr. Thomas continued. “And we heard from one neighbor was especially upset, and described a PTSD-like experience, trying to cross police liners to handle family responsibilities.”

“This isn’t a reflection on the American Heart Association, which does phenomenal work across the City and the country,” Mr. Thomas noted. “But we are requesting, urging a denial of the application.”

More than 10,000 runners participated in last year’s event.
In a nod to the likelihood the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office would disregard CB1’s advisory opinion and authorize the event, he added, “we are requesting meetings with the agencies that oversee events like this to redo the map.”

After this discussion, CB1 enacted a resolution that noted, “this event has negatively impacted the community in past years. Previous resolutions have requested an NYPD traffic mitigation plan and that provisions must be made to allow people to get home and to work, but this event continues to be problematic.” The same measure observed that, “this event has had minimal changes in the past 20 years, but the population in Community District 1 has increased dramatically over the years and there are many ongoing construction projects with their own associated street closures. It has become untenable.” Finally, the resolution stated that, “CB1 opposes the event in response to the proposed timing and route. The event takes place during rush hour on a weekday and the route cuts off critical transportation routes, creating serious disruptions throughout our community.”

Comments

  1. Bevery Hegmann says

    As a heart patient with an artificial aortic valve, I am surely empathetic to the cause. Nevertheless, I have to say a loud and clear “AMEN” to Mr. Thomas’s concerns. We in BPC are constantly strangled by cause-worthy runs and walks. Enough! Let’s let some other neighborhoods have a chance to enjoy the constricting bus-route changes, inability to cross streets, crowds, noise. confusion and other related frustrations that keep us trapped down here for long periods of time. Give us a break!

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