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Last week, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer stood with community leaders and residents on the streets of Soho, urging the Department of Transportation to address the traffic gridlock that has long choked the streets of the neighborhood.

At issue is the westbound traffic on Broome Street toward the Holland Tunnel. The deluge of vehicles during heavy traffic periods not only blocks other cars from crossing the thoroughfare but also creates a daily symphony of honking horns.

"For residents of the Soho and Hudson Square communities, horn honking has become the lullaby of lower Broadway," said Stringer at the press conference. "Broome Street has turned into a pedestrian nightmare filled with impatient drivers. We're speaking out now about the noise and congestion and demanding that the Department of Transportation take long overdue action."

Residents have also complained to Stringer's office about blocked crosswalks, which force some pedestrians to weave through cars in order to cross the street. There is, however, a law on the books outlawing this practice of "blocking the box," but Stringer pointed out that the violation-carrying a $115 fine-is rarely enforced.

Stringer co-authored a letter with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Council Member Margaret Chin to transportation officials asking that the following improvements be undertaken: the installation of additional traffic cameras to help enforce "Don't Block the Box" laws; improved signage about these laws; repairs to deteriorating crosswalks on Mercer and Greene streets; and increased communication with the community.

The third point speaks to the cobblestones on Mercer and Greene streets, which are falling apart. According to Stringer, these streets were paved roughly 20 years ago but that pavement has since deteriorated, causing deep cracks to form in the road.

-Compiled by STAFF

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