I’m a resident of Erie Street and I support the Barrow Street closure.
The letter from business owners – whom I respect and whose stores I patronize regularly – seems to center on the issue of loading and unloading trucks. That is a legitimate concern that is in the public interest to solve for. I sympathize with the difficulties this closure creates from that perspective.
However, traffic on Erie street has been awful for a long time with idling cars trying to enter the Holland Tunnel bringing poor air quality to the neighborhood. Funneling cars into a single Tunnel entry point is just logical urban planning.
I appreciate the frustration the business owners feel, but many of the arguments they made in the letter felt overly dramatic and rang hollow for me, especially the bit about this two block closure increasing inequality in the city.
Complaints about process are fair, but this is a pilot meant to test street use and inform future proposals, not a permanent change to traffic flow. I’m glad to live in an engaged community with residents and businesses who participate in the process and to have a city government willing to try new things.