nothing personal, New Jersey. It's just that residents
of Greenwich Village are sensitive about preserving
To ease crowding at the
city's southernmost PATH stations, the Port Authority
plans to add second entrances to the stops at
Christopher Street and Ninth Street. Ever since the
PATH station at the World Trade Center was destroyed
on Sept. 11, ridership at those two stops has doubled,
and there is sometimes a 15-minute wait just to get to
Under the plan, two new
staircases would open onto Christopher Street: one at
the southeast corner of Bedford Street, where P.S. 3
is situated, and the other at the southeast corner of
Waverly Place for the Ninth Street stop. To
accommodate the new entrances, the street would be
narrowed by four feet.
But Village residents
say the plan will tarnish landmark streetscapes,
create a traffic bottleneck, and invite twice as many
loiterers and petty criminals. "You
couldn't pick a worse place," said Scott
Schindler, a graphic designer who lives on Bedford
Street. "You've got a school there, a very narrow
street, and it's just thick with cars."
especially concerned about the Waverly entrance, which
would fall inside the Stonewall Historic District, the
only gay-related site in the nation named as a
National Historic Landmark. "The
stairs could have the impact of turning a historic
side street into a major transit way," said
Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich
Village Society for Historic Preservation.
Residents want the Port
Authority to put the new entrances on two busier
thoroughfares, Hudson Street and Avenue of the
Americas. But authority officials say that their plan
is more economical and less disruptive. "This is
the simplest and most direct means of getting people
in and out of the system," said William Fellini,
manager of the PATH Capital Program.
He also said community
opposition must be balanced against safety concerns.
With only one entrance at each station, Mr. Fellini
said, it now takes more than 18 minutes to evacuate
riders in an emergency. With a second entrance, the
time would be shaved to seven minutes.
No timetable for
construction has been set, but for PATH riders, the
new entrances could not come too soon. "The
residents are being a little high-strung, and
definitely selfish," said Ann Walsh, a bookkeeper
from Jersey City, who was displaced from the World
Trade Center station. "There's always this
confrontation with people from Jersey."