A Car-Free Zone in K-Town?

Koreatown in NYC (Photo by frankieleon, Creative Commons license)

Koreatown in NYC (Photo by frankieleon, Creative Commons license)

K-Town Association, a merchants’ cooperative in Koreatown, hopes to make 32nd Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue a car-free area Friday and Saturday nights (from 7 p.m. to midnight).

The co-op said they would visit the NYPD and the New York City Department of Transportation to move forward with application procedures.

The project is modeled after one in Little Italy. [A “pedestrian mall” will run from Aug. 5 through Sept. 11, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on certain streets in Little Italy]. The co-op believes there is a strong possibility that city authorities would approve the project if they can be persuaded that the traffic situation on the weekends is bad.

If 32nd Street becomes car-free on weekend evenings, the co-op expects traffic will ease off and more visitors would have better accessibility. Because trash bags will not be permitted to be stacked along the street, currently a big problem, people will have a better impression of the street.

One of the members of the co-op said, “The purpose of this project is to upgrade K-Town’s environment so that more people can easily visit the street. It is not going to be an easy process. However, we see some chance [of the proposal’s adoption] if we argue that K-Town represents the culture of the younger Korean generations, and that traffic congestion is disruptive.”



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  2. This is great–I like K-Town but not the traffic, parked cars and piles of trash. What will change with trash collection? Has the city considered replacing the piles of bags with municipal containers?

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