A Street Management Framework for Lower Manhattan in New York City: The Downtown of the 21st Century

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, land use - urban density, ridership - commuting, policy - congestion, policy - sustainable, policy - parking, organisation - management, place - cbd, mode - bus, mode - mass transit, mode - pedestrian


Transit, Traffic congestion, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Streets, Revitalization, Residential areas, Public transit, Pedestrian density, Parking management, Parking capacity, Parking, Mobility, Mass transit, Lower Manhattan (New York, New York), Local transit, Livable streets, Gridlock (Traffic), Downtowns, City streets, City centers, Central business districts


Lower Manhattan (LM) is America’s fourth-largest central business district and one of the oldest and densest areas in New York City. It is also New York City’s fastest-growing residential neighborhood and contains some of the highest levels of pedestrian, transit, and vehicular activity in America. Since September 11, 2001, redevelopment has dramatically transformed the area into a vibrant 24/7 live–work–visit community. The changes present an unprecedented opportunity to create a more livable and environmentally sustainable neighborhood by reducing traffic and managing parking while giving residents and employees better, greener mobility options. Consequently, the city is focused on finding new ways to manage competing demands for different uses of limited street space. Improving street management is paramount to improving the quality of public space and speeding LM’s revitalization. In 2004, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation funded the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the New York City Department of Transportation to contract Arup to undertake a multiyear comprehensive planning study to consider ways to reduce traffic congestion, manage placard parking, and create complete streets and engaging public spaces in LM. This paper discusses the necessity for and development of a proposed street management framework to help guide the city in meeting the transportation and public realm needs of LM’s residents, employees, tourists, and businesses. As of October 2008, the project is ongoing; the proposed framework is still conceptual and has not yet been implemented.