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TAKE ONE, IT'S FREE provides news and information about Lower Manhattan through a free newsletter and website, This public information plan is led by the City of New York in partnership with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), New York State, and the federal government, and is made possible by a grant from the LMDC, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Lower Manhattan, particularly south of Chambers Street, is home to some of the city's most multifunctional streets in terms of traffic, utilities, parking, and pedestrians. Originally, the area was "mapped out" by the first Dutch settlers, when streets didn't accommodate anything wider than a carriage, and feet and horses were the main modes of transportation. Four centuries later, many streets throughout downtown still boast original street names, are laid out in almost identical patterns, and remain nearly as narrow as they began -- characteristics that make traffic and utility management more challenging here than in other parts of the city. Throw in an unrivaled telecommunications network that serves the financial, business, and booming residential communities, as well as underground utilities like water, electricity, sewer, and steam, and downtown streets become vital in even more ways. There are several government agencies that keep roadways flowing smoothly and the utilities they house in good form. The Department of Transportation (DOT) leads the charge, in partnership with the city Department of Design and Construction, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority, state DOT, and other departments. Together they coordinate projects that affect the transportation network, with DOT issuing permits and scheduling appropriate work times on and near roadways, sidewalks, bridges, and tunnels. DOT's Lower Manhattan bureau, launched soon after 9/11, oversees the various roadreconstruction and resurfacing projects south of Canal Street -- projects focused on everything from reducing congestion to traffic signal and street light maintenance to utility upgrades by Con Edison, Verizon, and other providers. One of the biggest initiatives the downtown office has handled is the Wall Street Water Main Project, which has already involved replacing more than 50,000 linear feet of the Financial District's century-old water main. In addition to the water main, many more utilities have been replaced and upgraded, and new, smooth pavement is laid as each work segment is completed. Meanwhile, over the past year the Lower Manhattan Street Management Project (SMP) has allowed DOT and its partner agency, the city Economic Development Corporation, to explore more specific improvements for pedestrians, vehicles,


and transit. The goal of the SMP is to identify the priorities of every street so that necessary changes to traffic signals, curb uses, and lane layouts can be made to keep each functioning optimally. One example of a street that wears many hats is Chambers Street. It serves as a through street for Brooklyn Bridge traffic, an access street connecting West Street and the Civic Center, an activity street with many stores lining its pedestrian-filled sidewalks, and a support street facilitating truck loading and providing parking-lot access. Examining versatile streets like Chambers is a big part of the SMP, with DOT and partners evaluating its functions and user numbers to ensure that the needs of people who live in, work in, and visit downtown neighborhoods are adequately met. Creating the SMP, performing utility upgrades, and coordinating between developers and contractors are just a few ways the city has invested in Lower Manhattan's rebuilding and revitalization. In the coming years, the downtown community can expect even more streamlined improvements as the new Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center takes shape and downtown streets get restored and rebuilt throughout the area.


In February 2005, the city and private utility companies began the capital reconstruction of Pine Street between Broadway and Nassau. This picture of that work shows some of the conduits, mains, and other utility lines that run beneath many downtown roadways. 1. Manholes These openings in the street, with their removable covers, allow crews to access and adjust utilities. 2. Electric cable Con Edison electric lines are updated and replaced as needed during street reconstructions. 3. Telecommunications Empire City Subway maintains the conduits through which Verizon's cables and fiber optical lines run. 4. Water main The city continues to work to replace Lower Manhattan's century-old water mains. 5. Gas main As with electric and steam conduits, Con Edison updates and maintains gas mains during street reconstruction.


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Downtown Street Names and the History They Hold

With tiny twisting streets that evolved haphazardly as the population grew -- predating the ordered grid found farther north in the city -- it can be easy to get lost in Lower Manhattan. Absent are midtown's numbered streets and avenues. Instead, downtown's streets carry history in their names. Though the jumble of names may make it harder to know you're headed in the right direction, learning about the stories and people who left their legacy on Lower Manhattan street signs can be fascinating. The following glossary is designed to help you do just that. Enjoy! To learn about more downtown street names, please visit

Interactive Street Map Makes Downtown Navigation Easy

Whether you work, live, or visit downtown, you won't want to miss's interactive street map. This innovative tool provides a range of information about downtown transportation modes, ongoing construction, and street closures, making it easy for you to plan your travels and avoid delays. Updated daily by the city Department of Transportation, the map includes permit details for all ongoing construction work, with direct links to specific details about each project. Add to that detailed subway, bus, and ferry maps -- even bike and walking routes -- and you've got all the information you could need at your fingertips. The map, which is set up as a series of layers, lets you choose to display the type of information most important to you, chart your course, and be on your way. To access the interactive street work map, please visit the Get There and Get Around section of

Street Facts: Did You Know?

Chinatown, once an eight-block area south of Canal Street, now extends to include more than 65 blocks. Broadway is one of the world's longest streets, originating at Bowling Green and stretching 150 miles to Albany. Under the Dutch in the early 1600s, Wall Street, so named because of the wall that stood there to guard against enemy attack, marked the city's northern limit. The cabs that today fill downtown's city streets are yellow because of a University of Chicago study that Yellow Cab Company founder John Hertz read in 1907 suggesting that it would be the easiest color to spot. Predating current street cleaning vehicles, thousands of pigs were left loose to roam Wall Street, consuming garbage as an early sanitation system that lasted through the 1840s. Each day, more than 31,000 passengers arrive in Lower Manhattan via commuter buses, and during morning rush hour, 450 buses travel along downtown's streets. On an average weekday in 2004, 290,000 riders entered the subway at downtown stations between Chambers Street and the lower tip of Manhattan. Judlau Contracting Inc., a leader in the heavy construction industry, has installed more than 50,000 linear feet of water main downtown. If all the streets in Lower Manhattan were connected end to end, they would stretch for 50 miles. On average, 4,300 vehicles per hour travel along West Street in the morning rush, and Broadway has the greatest pedestrian traffic. Stop signs regulate traffic at approximately 150 downtown intersections.

Greenwich Street This street was named after its destination point, Greenwich Village, and was one of the earliest roads to run to 14th Street from the Battery.

Delancey Street James de Lancey, Sr. was a prominent figure in 18th-century New York, serving as the chief justice of the colonial supreme court and presiding over the trial of Peter Zengler, the printer whose acquittal on charges of seditious libel established legislative support for freedom of the press in this country. The street that bears his name was cut through property he purchased in 1744.


Reade Street This Financial District cross street was named for the 18th-century warden of Trinity Church, John Reade. Today's drugstore chain Duane Reade takes its name from the company's first successful full-service store, located on Broadway between Duane and Reade Streets.


The Bowery The Dutch word bouwerij, or farm, is the antecedent to the name as we know it today. In its earliest time, the Bowery was an elegant thoroughfare, home to the colonial-era elite. But, by the mid-19th century, the Bowery had lost its luster and was dotted with low-level rooming houses, including many of ill repute.

Vesey Street Named after the Reverend William Vesey, Vesey Street presently runs west from Broadway through Battery Park City. Reverend Vesey was the first rector of Trinity Church, serving from 1697 to 1746, and also founded a school for slaves and Native Americans.

A Booming Thoroughfare on Fulton Street


John Street Named for a 17th-century shoemaker, John Harpendingh, the area surrounding today's John Street was once known as "Shoemaker's Pasture" due to the prevalence of tanneries located there. Eventually the tanneries were forced to move north because of the unpleasant odors they produced.

A trip to Fulton Street today brings you to a busy thoroughfare humming with activity and commerce. Interesting street vendors selling everything from watches to wind chimes abound, each with a unique story to tell. But the street's future promises even greater vibrancy. In 2002, as part of his Vision for Lower Manhattan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg put forth a plan to transform the river-to-river roadway into a public market, called Fulton Market Square, brimming with great places to shop and eat as well as a range of cultural institutions. In accordance with this vision, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Department of City Planning established the "Fulton Corridor Action Plan," a redevelopment framework for the street and surrounding vicinity. The plan, which places emphasis on commerce, entertainment, and the arts, calls for new residential developments and dozens of new shops, cafes, and restaurants. This plan, combined with the new MTA transit center at Broadway and Fulton that will be connected via an underground concourse to a new PATH terminal and potential new rail services, promises to bring an infusion of life to the entire area, helping to extend Lower Manhattan's workday vitality into the evenings and weekends as well.

The DOT standard calls for all underground utilities (water mains, sewer mains, gas mains, telecommunication ducts, etc.) to be at least 18 inches below the surface of the roadway. There are approximately 200 signalized intersections south of Houston Street. Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit for local streets is 30 miles per hour in Lower Manhattan. There are approximately five miles of greenways (off-street or designated path in parks) in Lower Manhattan adjacent to the Hudson and East Rivers. Estimates suggest that 15 to 25 percent of all visitors to the World Trade Center Memorial will travel there by charter or tour bus. The Fulton/Broadway/Nassau Street subway station is the most-used station in Lower Manhattan. In 2004, 17 million riders entered there, and 58,000 enter on an average weekday. Approximately 13 miles of street below Houston have subway lines running beneath them, while approximately 42 miles of street have buses running on top of them.

Stone Street Stone Street got its name in the mid-1600s as the town's first road to be paved with blocks of stone. The Belgian blocks that line the street today, though, are a modern construction. From early settlement, elite Dutch families lived along this winding roadway. Between 1691 and 1797, the street was referred to as Duke Street, but after the American Revolution most New York streets evoking royalty underwent name changes, and it reverted to the original Stone.

Maiden Lane A small stream used to pass through this lane, and young Dutch women could be found cleaning clothes there. The street name was translated from the original Dutch word for maiden.

As similar plans are developed for Greenwich Street and the East River waterfront, an exciting view emerges: a Lower Manhattan encircled by an easy-to-navigate loop dotted with inviting public spaces that will run from the Battery up Water Street to the South Street Seaport, across a revived Fulton Street to West Street, and down a tree-lined West Street back to the Battery.




Just blocks away from the hustle and bustle of downtown's streets, the city's historic waterfront offers panoramic views and serene respite from the confines of busy traffic grids and buildings. Surrounded by water on three sides, Lower Manhattan boasts some of the largest public waterfront property anywhere on the island. As part of a commitment to revitalize this underutilized amenity, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced details of the East River Waterfront Redevelopment plan in May 2005. Starting with a series of planning studies in 2003, rebuilding officials and architects have gathered community and expert feedback throughout each phase of the project. The result: An inventive pedestrian streetscape designed to provide accessible, waterfront recreational space to the public. The project will form a virtually continuous stretch of green space between Battery Park and East River Park, measuring half the size of Central Park. Perhaps its most anticipated component is the waterfront esplanade, which will span the entire two-mile length of the East River's edge. Plans call for the transformation of drab concrete slabs into a vibrant waterfront walkway, complete with traditional amenities such as consistent paving, seating, railings, and plantings, as well as a bikeway along South Street.

And for added convenience and security in the evenings, enhanced lighting will be installed beneath the FDR Drive, where several pavilions for commercial, cultural, and community use are planned. In addition to the esplanade, nine foundation projects have been designed to revitalize the river's edge. The existing pedestrian malls at Pike and Allen Streets will be replaced by colorful planted medians with seating areas and vegetation designed to reflect each section's local character. Dull parking lots at Burling and Peck Slips will be transformed into lively planted seating and playgrounds. At Peck Slip, a public plaza will even boast a pool that could be converted to a skating rink in winter. And a slip prototype with benches, plantings, new paving, and cobblestone will be developed for Catherine, Rutgers, and Montgomery Slips. Downtown piers will also be rehabilitated and opened to the public. New waterfront amenities at Pier 35 will include a boat launch, picnic tables, outdoor grills, and recreational spaces, and the New Market Building at the seaport will be rebuilt for use as a community, maritime, and commercial activity center. A transient boat marina will provide a location for visiting vessels, boating enthusiasts, and amateurs to anchor.

Normal access points will help link the waterfront to its adjacent communities, including the Financial District, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side. Construction crews will shift the Battery Tunnel entrance 350 feet to the northeast to expand the Battery Maritime Building, creating a major gateway to the esplanade and, eventually, Governors Island. Farther north, the East River Park Connector at Pier 42 will expand to become a crucial link to East River Park, where planted berms will screen the esplanade from noise generated by area traffic. In the future, Pier 42 could be rebuilt to include an urban beach floating above the river. The project, designed by the Department of City Planning (DCP), New York-based SHoP Architects, the Richard Rogers Partnership from London, and landscape architect Ken Smith, will be funded by a $150 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC). The city is already busy implementing preliminary processes, which include an environmental review, creation of detailed designs for the esplanade and open spaces, and the rehabilitation of pier structures. More immediate improvements will likely be made along the slips and other adjacent inland open spaces.


Lower Manhattan continues to reach new milestones in the rebuilding process. To keep you up to date, each newsletter provides a snapshot of recent accomplishments and plans in progress.


MAY 2005 Designs for the World Trade Center Cultural Center were released Wall Street Triangle Park reconstruction was completed An allocation plan for the remaining $830 million in Lower Manhattan Development Corporation funds was announced Plans and funding for East River waterfront redevelopment were announced JUNE 2005 Plans for two interim memorials at the WTC site -- StoryCorps and the Tribute Center -- were announced A revised design for a safer, more secure Freedom Tower was revealed JULY 2005 A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked completion of reconstruction at Old Slip WTC slurry wall permanent reinforcement was completed Reconstruction of the Battery Bosque was completed


LATE SUMMER 2005 Start of deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street FALL/WINTER 2005 Groundbreaking for permanent World Trade Center PATH station Completion of 7 World Trade Center Opening of West Street Promenade South Start of deconstruction of Fiterman Hall near Ground Zero Award of Bowling Green subway station canopy and ADA contracts SPRING 2006 Completion of Downtown New York Hospital emergency room renovation


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