November 25, 2009

Margaret Forgione
Manhattan Borough Commissioner
New York City Department of Transportation
59 Maiden Lane, 35th Floor
New York, NY 10038

Dear Ms. Forgione:

We are writing to express our opposition to the application for a newsstand at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and West 15th Street. A wide array of voices within the community has already weighed in against the proposal, including the West 15th Street 200 Block Association, the Boards of Directors of the Vermeer (77 Seventh Avenue) and 161 West 15th Street/89 Seventh Avenue, and Manhattan Community Board 4.

The application raises several serious concerns. First, Seventh Avenue around West 15th Street already hosts a number of stores that sell newspapers, magazines, and snacks, and a newsstand at this location would undercut their business. Because preserving small businesses is both difficult and vital to preserving our cityfs character, siting a newsstand here seems ill-considered and counterproductive. Second, the encroachment of private ventures into public space is pervasive, especially in residential communities, and this would exacerbate that problem. Finally, we are concerned by the pernicious effects of sidewalk overcrowding, which include pedestrian delays and dangerous sidewalk situations, in addition to unsightly build-ups of the detritus of curbside commerce.

We thank you for your consideration, and hope you will agree that a newsstand at this location is not in the best interest of the neighborhood, its residents, and those who visit it. If you have any questions, please contact Seth Berliner in Senator Duanefs office at (212) 633-8052.


Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senate

Christine C. Quinn
Speaker, New York City Council

Jerrold Nadler
United State House of Representatives

Deborah J. Glick
New York State Assembly

Richard N. Gottfried
New York State Assembly

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