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Transportation & Environment

Request by the Times Square Alliance calling on DOT to establish a transparent siting processes for tour bus stop locations that includes input from community stakeholders.

WHEREAS, The Times Square Alliance ("TSA"), is a non-profit organization designed to improve the Times Square area by providing essential neighborhood services, promoting local businesses, and encouraging economic development and public improvements; and

WHEREAS, Public safety and traffic flow are among the chief concerns of the TSA; and

WHEREAS, Times Square is the most congested neighborhood in New York City with gridlocked streets and overflowing sidewalks; and

WHEREAS, Times Square is home to millions of square feet of office space, retail stores, Broadway theaters, hotels, restaurants, and both small and large businesses; and

WHEREAS, Times Square receives well over 50 million visitors every year and often sees more than 400,000 daily; and

WHEREAS, TSA recognizes the vital importance of the tourism industry to New York City as a whole and to the health of Times Square in particular; and

WHEREAS, TSA recognizes the value of the hop-on, hop-off style of tour bus that visitors rely on to explore the area; and

WHEREAS, Currently 26 tour bus stops reside in the Times Square region; and

WHEREAS, This large concentration of tour bus stops greatly compounds the existing vehicular traffic and pedestrian overflow issues in the area; and

WHEREAS, There is a critical need for these bus stops to be strategically placed to ensure the safety of pedestrians as well as motorists in the Times Square area; and

WHEREAS, The existing bus stop locations appear to be haphazard and selected without any obvious plan or pattern; and

WHEREAS, The majority of these bus stop locations were determined without input from local stakeholders, who often have the most accurate information regarding traffic and safety issues in the area; and

WHEREAS, This issue was highlighted by DOT's recent decision to locate a tour bus stop in front of 1633 Broadway, despite this location previously having been deemed unsuitable for such activity due to traffic and public safety concerns; and

WHEREAS, The TSA feels that this abrupt decision is part of a DOT pattern of placing tour bus stops in areas already strained by high volumes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic; and

WHEREAS, The TSA repeatedly has requested that DOT engage with local stakeholders to establish clear criteria for the placement of these bus stops in order to minimize the impact they have on safety issues; and

WHEREAS, DOT has recently indicated a willingness to engage the TSA in a discussion about the bus stop in front of 1633 Broadway; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five recognizes the need for DOT to continue this dialogue with the TSA and other local stakeholders to develop firm criteria and a transparent process for the selection of these tour bus stops in the area; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five strongly supports the Times Square Alliance's request for the Department of Transportation to establish a transparent siting process for tour bus stop locations in Times Square that includes input from the TSA and other community stakeholders.

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