Plan to reconstruct Chatham Square thwarted

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Rather than spend $30 million to reconstruct Chinatown’s Chatham Square, already victimized by extra traffic thanks to the Brooklyn Bridge construction that reroutes traffic to the Manhattan Bridge and spills over to the area, the city said it would invest the money elsewhere. According to DNAinfo, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. did not want the two projects going on simultaneously, and instead will use the funds to manage extra traffic expected from the Sept. 11 memorial and improve sections of Water Street. The original plan was to reconfigure Chatham Square, the intersection where seven streets meet, to ease traffic flow in the area. But community groups, unsure that the construction would benefit traffic and concerned that it would hurt local businesses, had long opposed the plan. Now some advocacy groups are fighting to ensure the money remains in Chinatown, including the Civic Center Residents Coalition, which wants the city to reopen Park Row, the street that used to connect Chinatown to the Civic Center. [DNAinfo]