8th St. Manhattan - Stepping Out in Style
After thirty-two years and countless community meetings, there are now wider sidewalks on 8th St. between 6th Ave. and University Place. The redesigned streets include 21/2- to 41/2-foot wider sidewalks on both sides of the street, new muni-meters, thirty-five street trees and twenty-four new lamp posts featuring pedestrian-friendlier metal-halide lights. The City will complete the scheduled changes in 2002. Pedestrians have Honi Klein, the dynamic head of the Village Alliance Business Improvement District to thank for the makeover. Transportation Alternatives championed the project in 1996 after a vocal minority sought to squash it, fearing that the wider sidewalks would attract "people from the Bronx" and other supposed ne're-do-wells.
Right: The Village Alliance recently installed twenty-four reproductions of historic F-Pole streetlights. These vintage lights shine more light on the sidewalk than ordinary, ugly, cobra-head lights.