Crowded NYC Streets Raising Anger Levels

NYT: New York’s Sidewalks Are So Packed, Pedestrians Are Taking to the Streets
“I don’t mind the walk, it’s just the people,” Ms. Singh, an account coordinator for the Univision television network, said. “Sometimes, they’re rude. They’re on top of you, no personal space. They’re smoking. It’s tough.”

Ms. Singh is just one among many pedestrians experiencing a growing phenomenon in New York City: sidewalk gridlock.

While crowding is hardly a new problem in the city, the sidewalks that cemented New York’s reputation as a world-class walking city have become obstacle courses as more people than ever live and work in the city and tourism surges. The problem is particularly acute in Manhattan. Around Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, two of the city’s main transit hubs, commuters clutching coffee cups and briefcases squeeze by one another during the morning and evening rushes. Throngs of shoppers and visitors sometimes bring swaths of Lower Manhattan to a standstill, prompting some local residents to cite clogged sidewalks as their biggest problem in a recent community survey.
If the U.S., and other desirable destinations for tourism and immigration, do not start restricting access, they will all end up overcrowded. It's a simple numbers game, and more than 1 billion Indians are going to see their wages climb in the next 20 years, while over the next century, Africa's population will quadruple, from 1 billion to 4 billion.

Immigration is not mentioned in the story, but it is there. Everyday New Yorkers walk down the crowded street, it is like they are watching an advertisement for Trump. Or if not Trump, maybe the environmentalists start talking about limiting population growth again.
“When you get out-of-towners and New Yorkers, it’s like mixing Clorox with ammonia, it doesn’t work — there’s a chemical reaction,” said Jato Jenkins, a street worker, as he swept a stretch of Seventh Avenue. “The New Yorkers walk their normal route, and the out-of-towners are going the opposite direction, like salmon going upstream.”

Mr. Jenkins said everyone was miserable and on edge, especially in the sweltering summer months, so that even the slightest bump could set off tempers. He said he had seen women cursing at each other and men pushing each other and grabbing each other’s shirts.

Virginia Garcia said she had been on the receiving end of such outbursts. “People are running around like crazy, and they don’t stop,” said Ms. Garcia, who stands at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and West 36th Street with a sign advertising a local pub. “They push you, they hit you and they don’t care.”
Social mood is falling and anger is rising.

No comments:

Post a Comment