Feds to spend $750,000 on Chinatown traffic

Supported by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, the federal government has allocated $750,000 to Chinatown for traffic and economic improvement.

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) said it would come up with a plan, based on its research, to provide more parking lots and convenience in Chinatown. The plan will be undertaken next year.

According to Meng Ling Cai, assistant to the president of the Lin Sing Association who attended the discussion of the plan, the key traffic problems are insufficient parking space and parallel parking. Among the suggestions for change are shortening the street parking time from one hour to ten minutes, a suggestion greeted with widespread opposition.

Opponents of the idea pointed out that  many visitors come to Chinatown for food, and said shortening the parking time would inconvenience them. Cai suggested setting up various parking time limits at different spots.

In applying for the funds, Velázquez noted that Chinatown’s economy has suffered since the 9/11 attacks, and cited traffic as a major problem. The study aimed at improvements will be taken to examine the Chinatown area, including Delancy, Worth, Monroe, Broadway, Madison and Essex Streets.

The city’s DOT investigated parking in Chinatown in July. The study showed that major problems included unclear signs, bus traffic and crowded sidewalks. The DOT will begin a new survey of local residents and businesses in November, said Cai, in an effort to better understand the traffic situation in Chinatown.

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