Calls today’s announcement “an important step” in longtime community effort to win back full access to vital thoroughfare, which was completely closed to civilian traffic after 9/11 attacks

NEW YORK – Today, Council Member Margaret S. Chin joined City officials to unveil a new multi-agency project that will expand access to Park Row for pedestrians and cyclists.

Council Member Chin said: “For decades, Park Row served as a vital link between Chinatown and the rest of Lower Manhattan. Ever since this vital link closed after the Sept. 11 attacks, I’ve joined members of our community in a long fight to increase access for our small businesses, residents and workers. In 2005, we achieved an important victory when Park Row opened to public transportation. Today’s announcement is an important step that provides access to this thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists while maintaining necessary security measures for One Police Plaza. I thank Congresswoman Velazquez for partnering with me to push for increased access on Park Row, and I thank Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Trottenberg and the NYPD for making this day possible.”

A collaborative effort between Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and the NYPD, the Park Row Access and Connectivity Project will create 10,000 square of pedestrian space and a protected two-way bike lane from Worth Street to Frankfort Street.  DOT will also set up new Wayfinding signage and will upgrade the lighting to more energy-efficient bulbs to guide visitors along this important thoroughfare. The project is slated to begin in the fall and complete in the early spring.

Since the September 11 attacks, Park Row has been closed off to all civilian vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic. After years of experiencing a drastic reduction in business that threatened the livelihood of Chinatown entrepreneurs and workers, Council Member Chin led the fight to regain public access to this vital thoroughfare. Before taking office, Council Member Chin joined the community in a successful effort to open the street to public transportation. Now, the M9 and M103 buses continue to service riders along the route every day.

Almost 16 years after September 11, public safety remains a concern in this sensitive area, which includes One Police Plaza and federal facilities. Today’s announcement is a productive step towards restoring full access to this vital connector between Chinatown and the rest of Lower Manhattan, while ensuring the safety of the public.

The announcement was made right outside Council Member Chin’s district office on 165 Park Row, which is situated at the intersections of Chinatown, Civic Center, and the rest of Lower Manhattan.  Congresswoman Velazquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, District Leader Jenny Low, and Wellington Chen, Executive Director of the Chinatown Partnership joined Council Member Chin at today’s announcement.