Merchants Complain About Bleecker St. Project

For almost 3 years, I spent many a night transferring between the 6 Train train & D Train, F Train, or V Train & vice-versa at the Bleecker St – Broadway/Lafayette station. These trips were mainly for the many amazing nights I spent watching friends perform in & around the Lower East Side or just hanging out on a rare non-show night. While heading downtown & transferring was a breeze, the trip back was the exact opposite. Many times, I just exited the station & re-entered due to having an unlimited MetroCard. Other times, I just hopped the train down to the Brooklyn Bridge & rode it back uptown. Either way, I would always wish that I could have been able to transfer to the uptown 6 Train without hassle.

Thankfully my prayers & I am sure many others were answered when the MTA finally started work on connecting the uptown 6 Train train to the D Train, F Train, or V Train. However for as useful as this major construction project is, leave it to some to complain. As is to be expected, the main complaints come from merchants who are frustrated at a decline in business due to the construction. Rich Shapiro of the New York Daily News has more in this report:

As if times weren’t hard enough.

NoHo business owners are up in arms over a subway construction project that has transformed their sidewalk into a pit of mud and maze of fencing.

“It’s already bad with the economy, and now we have this,” said Jack Wu, owner of Adore Floral, looking at the mess along Lafayette St. between Houston and Bleecker.

“It’s definitely affected the walk-in traffic. … The timing couldn’t be any worse.”

Wu, along with other shop owners on the block, said business was struggling before the work crews and heavy machinery took over their strip last month.

Soon the sidewalk was gone. Workers installed fencing around a makeshift walkway, allowing pedestrians to enter only at the end of the block.

A cement truck blocks the walkway for several minutes every day and, merchants say, the earsplitting noise and swirling dust give people even more reason to stay away.

“It’s a lot of noise, a lot of dust – all day,” said Mia Kwon, manager of Save Khaki, a clothing store.

“With the economy the way it is, they couldn’t have picked a worse time. And this is just the beginning.”

Indeed, work on the $133 million project to connect the uptown 6 train platform at the Bleecker St. station with the B, D, F and V lines at Broadway-Lafayette is expected to continue on the east side of Lafayette until December.

NYC Transit spokesman James Anyansi said the agency has taken steps to limit impact, including posting signs in the subway making clear the shops remain open.

“We regret the inconvenience,” Anyansi said, “but this is work that has to be done.”

The store owners disagree.

Click here for the complete report.

I am sorry but the business owners are completely wrong here. While the construction might have led to a decline in business, they should have accounted for that happening at some point. When your business is in close proximity to a subway station, construction should be something you should expect & budget for in your business plan.

This might be an inconvenience to a few businesses but the amount of people it benefits is without question greater. Sometimes in life it boils down to what is good for most is more important than one person’s needs. I hope the businesses survive the construction & overall tough economic times. However with saying that, I can’t wait for this project to be done!

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