Sunday, July 01, 2007

Petition to save the Bowery

The window of opportunity is still open to save the Bowery from overdevelopment: City Planning is accepting submissions for its zoning study until July 5. Now is the time to sign the petition to save the Bowery and distribute it to your contacts.

Please help.

Here is the petition notice from the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors:
>>We are continuing our petition drive to Save The Bowery. The character of the Bowery, including Chinatown, Little Italy and the Lower East Side, is being quickly destroyed with all the new development in the area. The history of this area should be preserved.

The new luxury buildings, and hotels will further destroy the quality of life for all of us living in the vicinity. There will be more traffic, more noise, more sidewalk congestion, more air pollution, etc.

Please take a minute to sign our petition, and please forward this to your email lists. We are asking the City of New York to do an Environmental Study to evaluate the how our community will be affected by this development, and then to mitigate the negative impact.

Please click on the link below to sign our petition:


The Bowery, which comes from the Dutch word "bouwerij" for farm, has always been significant in New York City history. Before the Dutch settled here, in the 1600's, this was a Native American trail. By the end of the 18th century the Bowery was lined with fashionable shops and mansions, which later became Restaurant Supply, and Lighting Districts. With its neighboring Chinatown, Little Italy and the Lower East Side immigrant communities, this is one of the most culturally and historically diverse regions of the City. The Bowery remains one of the last true north/south running streets in New York City.

This rich history is being systematically eradicated by unprecedented development. The low-rise character of the Bowery is being replaced by high-rise dormitories, boutique hotels and luxury buildings which are out-of-scale with the rest of the residential community, including the historic NOHO District. In addition to preservation issues, this development will have a horrendous effect on the "quality of life" for community residents - more noise, traffic, sidewalk and street congestion, air pollution, bars, clubs, etc. What was a commercial "daytime" shopping strip is quickly turning into a raucous nightlife district.

Most of the development is "as-of-right", meaning that it does not require a special permit or variance. Developers are simply taking advantage of existing zoning bonuses and the transfer of air rights, therefore environmental studies are not required.

We respectfully request that:
- The Department of City Planning include the Bowery in the current 197C Plan being drafted for the Lower East Side. - The Department of City Planning and City Council pass immediate legislation to ensure that this "as of right" development does not continue.
- The Department of City Planning perform an Environmental Impact Study and take measures to mitigate the negative impact of this development on our community.<

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