December 15, 2014

Speaker Silver Calls for Air Monitors to Measure Tour Bus Pollution Around 9/11 Memorial

Silver Convened Task Force to Bring Community, City and NYPD Together to Explore Ways to Cut Pollution and Reduce Bus Traffic on Local Streets Around the World Trade Center

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver convened a task force on the World Trade Center security plan and called on the city to install air monitors to measure pollution from buses and to make other quality of life improvements for those living around the site.

Silver, joined by Senator Daniel Squadron, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Margaret Chin, Community Board One Chair Catherine McVay Hughes and members of the community, also asked the city to re-examine its procedures for tour buses dropping off and picking up visitors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

"We have worked so hard to rebuild our community into the thriving 24/7 neighborhood that it is," Silver said. "Now that so much of the World Trade Center site is open and visitors are flocking to the memorial and museum, it is essential that we ensure air pollution from buses be kept to an absolute minimum. So many of us who lived through the 9/11 attacks and then the years of ongoing construction are now facing further quality of life challenges as bus traffic and tourism reach new heights. I will continue working to address these concerns and mitigate the impact for those living around the site."

Responding to concerns raised by residents before the World Trade Center security plan went into effect, Silver convened the task force with local residents and representatives of City Hall, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NYPD. At a meeting today, Silver and Squadron promised to make sure the city takes residents' feedback into account.

Members of the community raised serious concerns about tour buses idling, blocking intersections and causing traffic back-ups on Trinity Place. Silver asked the city to come up with a new plan for the buses that identifies additional drop off/pick up locations and better disperses traffic.

Silver has also asked that the NYPD better manage pedestrian flow along Liberty Street and asked the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to encourage visitors to use multiple exits and entrances from the memorial plaza.

The Vehicle Security Center (VSC), which will accommodate some bus parking, will not be fully operational until late 2015. However, buses will continue to pick up and drop off passengers on city streets even when the VSC is fully open.