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纽约的烦恼:人行道大拥堵

更新时间:2016-7-2 10:23:24 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

New York’s Sidewalks Are So Packed, Pedestrians Are Taking to the Streets
纽约的烦恼:人行道大拥堵

Ivette Singh hardly bothers to walk on the sidewalk on her way to work in Midtown Manhattan anymore. Too many people, too little space. Not enough patience.

在去曼哈顿中城上班的路上,伊维特·辛格(Ivette Singh)几乎不再走人行道。因为人太多,空间太小。耐心不够。

Instead, Ms. Singh can be found on the wrong side of the curb as she makes her way from Pennsylvania Station to her job on Third Avenue near 40th Street, and then back again. She prefers dodging yellow cabs and bicyclists to navigating sidewalks teeming with commuters, tourists and cart-pushing vendors, all jostling for elbow room.

倒是可以在马路边看到她在宾夕法尼亚站(Pennsylvania Station)和位于40街附近的第三大道上的工作单位之间往返的身影。她宁愿躲避黄色的出租车和骑自行车的人,也不愿在挤满了争抢活动空间的上班族、游客和推车小贩的人行道上穿行。

“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.”

“我不介意走路,就是人太多,”在Univision电视网担任客户协调员的辛格说。“有时候,他们行为粗鲁。紧挨着你,没有个人空间。还有人抽烟。太难受了。”

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

在纽约市,很多人和辛格一样,都正在经历一个越来越严重的现象:人行道拥堵。

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 residents of the area to cite clogged sidewalks as their biggest problem in a recent community survey.

尽管拥挤几乎算不上该市的新问题,但随着在这里居住和工作的人比以往任何时候都多且旅游业发展迅猛,巩固了纽约世界级步行城市声誉的人行道变成了障碍训练场。这个问题在曼哈顿尤为严重。早晚高峰期间,在该市两个主要的交通枢纽宾夕法尼亚站和港务局公交总站周边,紧握着咖啡和公文包的上班族在摩肩接踵中穿梭着。有时候,成群结队的购物者和游客会让曼哈顿下城的部分地带堵得举步维艰,导致该地区的部分居民在最近的一次社区调查中把人行道拥堵列为最大的问题。

Foot traffic has slowed to a shuffle along some of the city’s most famous corridors. On Fifth Avenue, between 54th and 55th Streets, 26,831 pedestrians — enough to fill Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall combined — passed through in three hours on a weekday in May 2015, up from 20,639 the year before, according to city data.

在该市最有名的一些人行道上,人们只能曳足而行,缓慢前进。该市的数据显示,2015年5月的一个工作日,三个小时内经过位于54街和55街之间的第五大道的行人为26831人,足以同时填满麦迪逊广场花园体育馆和无线电城音乐厅,同前一年的20639人相比大幅增加。

Transportation officials are taking measures to alleviate the congestion. To help accommodate foot traffic, they are adding more pedestrian plazas around the city, expanding the presence of a streetscape feature first embraced by the Bloomberg administration. One is scheduled to open soon on 33rd Street near Penn Station. There are also plans to widen a half-dozen sidewalks in Flushing, Queens, in the next year (the city’s sidewalks vary in width, but must be at least five feet wide).

负责交通事务的官员正在采取措施,缓解人行道上的拥堵。为了帮助满足步行需求,他们正在全市增加步行区,扩大了最先由布隆伯格政府采纳的这个街道景观设施。其中一处步行区位于宾夕法尼亚站附近的33街,按计划将很快开放。相关部门还计划明年拓宽皇后区法拉盛的六条人行道(该市的人行道宽度不一,但必须达到至少5英尺宽)。

While a crowded sidewalk is simply a symptom of a crowded city, it resonates deeply because it affects almost everyone. Unlike overstuffed subways or tourist attractions like, say, Times Square, there is no going around the sidewalks. They are to New York what freeways are to Los Angeles: an essential part of the city’s infrastructure. Sidewalks not only get people from Point A to Point B, but also serve as a shared public space for rich and poor, native and tourist alike.

尽管人行道拥挤只是城市拥挤的一个症状,但却引起了深深的共鸣,因为它几乎影响到了每一个人。不同于人满为患的地铁或是旅游景点,比如时报广场,人行道无法避开。它们之于纽约,就相当于高速公路之于洛杉矶:是城市基础设施的基本组成部分。人行道不仅能让人们从一个地方去往另一个地方,还是一个穷人和富人、本地人和外地游客共同享有的公共空间。

“Sidewalks are the unifying glue of the city,” said Mitchell L. Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University. “It’s the one part of the city that everyone has to use. You cannot avoid sidewalks.”

“人行道是城市的粘合剂,”纽约大学鲁丁交通政策和管理中心(Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University)主任米切尔·L·莫斯(Mitchell L. Moss)说。“是城市里所有人都会使用的地方。根本避不开人行道。”

Crowded sidewalks are not just a New York problem. They have created bottlenecks and logistical hurdles and have raised safety concerns in cities across the country. Since 2013, public works officials in San Francisco have widened two sidewalks in Fisherman’s Wharf and the Castro, popular tourist areas with a lot of foot traffic. A third sidewalk project is planned for Second Street, one of the main routes to AT&T Park, the baseball stadium where the Giants play.

人行道拥堵的问题不仅限于纽约。它们给全美的城市造成了瓶颈和物流障碍,引起了对安全的担忧。自2013年以来,旧金山的市政工程官员拓宽了渔人码头和卡斯特罗的两条人行道。这两个地方颇受游客欢迎,步行的人流量很大。计划中的另一个人行道项目涉及的是第二街。它是通往巨人队(Giants)的棒球场AT&T球场(AT&T Park)的主要道路之一。

In Seattle, a busy stretch of East Pike Street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood that is lined with restaurants, bars and clubs was closed to cars on three Saturday nights last summer to make room for pedestrians overflowing from the sidewalks. “It just feels so jammed with humanity it becomes a rough situation,” said Joel Sisolak, sustainability and planning director for Capitol Hill Housing, a community development corporation that has worked with city officials to address the issue of crowded sidewalks.

在西雅图,东派克街经过国会山地区的路段交通繁忙,路两边遍布着餐馆、酒吧和夜总会。去年夏天,为了给被挤出人行道的行人留出空间,该路段有三个周六的晚上禁止车辆通行。“就感觉太挤了,环境变得很恶劣,”社区发展公司国会山住房(Capitol Hill Housing)的可持续与规划总监乔尔·西索拉克(Joel Sisolak)说。该公司与市政官员合作,在解决人行道拥挤问题。

Space on New York City’s sidewalks is at a premium at a time when the city’s population of 8.5 million is higher than ever. Add in the record 59.7 million visitors who are expected to descend on the city this year, up from 48.8 million in 2010, and it’s a recipe for thoroughfares packed like sardine cans. Chris Heywood, a spokesman for NYC & Company, which oversees the city’s tourism efforts, said his group was increasingly highlighting attractions outside Manhattan in hopes of dispersing visitors across the city.

随着纽约城人口突破850万,人行道的稀缺程度达到前所未有的水平。2010年有4880万游客前来纽约观光,预计这个数字今年将达到创纪录的5970万,所以交通要道就像沙丁鱼罐头一样拥挤。克里斯·海伍德(Chris Heywood)在市里负责旅游事务的纽约城公司(NYC & Company)担任发言人,他说,公司团队在加强对曼哈顿之外景点的宣传,希望将游客分流到城市各处。

Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, said the department had conducted research into pedestrian behavior at crosswalks and had monitored pedestrian volumes at 100 street locations around the city to track long-term trends in neighborhood commercial corridors. Along bustling 34th Street, the city has added about 20,000 square feet of pedestrian space in recent years, including so-called bus bulbs that extend the sidewalk pavement to give bus riders more room to wait.

市交通局发言人斯科特·加斯特尔(Scott Gastel)称,他们对人行横道上行人的行为进行了研究,在全市100处街头地点对社区商业走廊的长期趋势进行了追踪。近几年来,市里在繁华的34街增加了2万平方英尺左右的步行空间,其中包括“公共汽车等候处”(bus bulbs)。这指的是延伸到路上的人行道,可以让公交乘客有更多的空间来等车。

In Lower Manhattan, overcrowded sidewalks topped the list of residents’ concerns in a survey conducted last year for the local community board. The problem was aggravated in some areas by sidewalk clutter such as construction scaffolding, large garbage bags, vendors and fixtures like lights, signs, newsstands, benches, planters and recycling bins. “You add all that up, and it’s difficult to walk on the narrow sidewalk,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, the community board’s chairwoman.

在曼哈顿下城,地方社区委员会去年做的一项调查显示,在最受居民关注的问题中,拥挤的人行道位居榜首。人行道上的障碍物,比如施工脚手架、大垃圾袋、摊贩,以及路灯、招牌、报摊、长椅、花架和垃圾回收箱这些东西,让部分地区的这一问题更加严重。“所有这些加在一起,要在狭窄的人行道上走路就很困难了,”社区委员会主席凯瑟琳·麦克维恩·休斯(Catherine McVay Hughes)说。

If there is an epicenter of crowded sidewalks in New York, it is near Penn Station, where pedestrians, food carts and newsstands all vie for space. Only London and Tokyo have sidewalks as congested, said Daniel A. Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership, which oversees the business district in the area. As many as 14,000 pedestrians an hour walk in front of the Modell’s Sporting Goods store on Seventh Avenue near West 34th Street, according to 2015 data collected by the partnership.

如果说纽约拥挤的人行道上有个震中位置,那就是在宾州车站附近了。在这里,行人、食品车和报摊互相争夺空间。负责该地商务区的34街合作管理委员会(34th Street Partnership)主席丹尼尔·A·比德曼(Daniel A. Biederman)表示,这里人行道的拥挤程度只有伦敦和东京可以相提并论。他们2015年搜集的数据显示,每小时有至多1.4万行人走过第七大道近西34街的麦多体育用品店(Modell’s Sporting Goods)门前。

The commuter crowd is also growing. An average of 92,314 riders boarded New Jersey Transit trains at Penn Station each weekday in fiscal year 2015, up from 79,891 riders in fiscal year 2010. In the same period, average weekday boardings on New Jersey Transit buses at the Port Authority terminal also increased, to 78,006 riders from 72,506.

通勤人数也越来越多。在2015年财年,平均每个工作日有92314名乘客在宾州车站搭上新泽西公共交通(New Jersey Transit)列车,而在2010年财年这个数字为79891人。在同一时期,在港务局码头搭乘新泽西公共交通大巴的乘客也从72506人增加到78006人。

Veteran pedestrians have tried to adapt. They shoulder their way into bike lanes or walk purposefully on the street alongside cars — eyes ahead, earphones in — forming a de facto express lane. They move en masse along Seventh and Eighth Avenues like a storm system on a weather map, heading north in the mornings and south in the evenings.

长期路过这里的行人试图适应这种情况。他们挤到自行车道上,或故意在街上和汽车并行——眼看前方、戴着耳机——形成了一条事实上的快行道。他们集体沿着第七和第八大道移动,像天气图上的风暴一样,早晨朝北卷过去,晚上朝南卷过来。

“You know how the system works,” said Roque Santos, 48, a stagehand who commutes daily from Jersey City. “I cross the street even before the light changes to beat the crowd.”

“你知道这种事是怎么个情况,”48岁的罗克·桑托斯(Roque Santos)说。他是舞台工作人员,每天往返泽西市。“为了抢在人群前面,我甚至会在变灯之前就穿过马路。”

Peter Raskin, a sports marketing executive, has made walking in the street part of his daily routine. He zipped north on Seventh Avenue the other morning, even when there was room on the sidewalk. “I’m used to it,” he said. “I stay in the street with my head down.”

在街上步行是体育营销高管彼得·拉斯金(Peter Raskin)每日例行的活动。有天早上,他在第七大道的车道上快步朝北走着,尽管人行道上也有地方。“我习惯了,”他说。“低着头在街上走。”

But bad things can happen when foot traffic spills into the streets. In 2016, there have been 55 pedestrian fatalities as of Sunday; still, that was an improvement from the 79 fatalities for the same period in 2013.

然而,步行的人走到车道上,往往就会有糟糕的事情发生。截止周日,2016年共有55名行人死亡;不过,相比于2013年同期的79人,算是有所改善。

Michael D’Angelo, an accountant who works in Midtown, said that in the past year he had seen a half-dozen pedestrians walking in the street struck by cyclists. Still, Mr. D’Angelo said he often had no choice but to step off the curb because he could not get by all the people along Eighth Avenue. His bus home to Pennsylvania leaves the Port Authority at 5:55 p.m., with or without him.

在曼哈顿中城工作的会计师迈克尔·迪安杰洛(Michael D’Angelo)表示,去年他看到过五六起行人在车道上走而被自行车撞到的事故。但迪安杰洛说他通常没有选择,只能离开人行道,因为他无法从第八大道上拥挤的人流中穿过。他的家在宾夕法尼亚州,回家的公交车每天下午5点55从港务局出发,晚了车就开走了。

“Everybody is trying to beat everybody,” he said, “because everybody has someplace to go.”

“每个人都想挤出一条路来,”他说,“因为每个人都在往某个地方赶。”

Then there are the inattentive walkers, those who text on their phones or read newspapers while moving, and the meandering tourists who seem oblivious to the ways of the street. They stop midstride, step on someone’s heel or cut off people without warning. The result? Sidewalk rage.

况且,路上还有漫不经心的行人,那些一边走一边用手机发信息或读报纸的人,还有搞不清要走的路、折过来折过去的游客。他们会停步不前,踩到别人的脚后跟,不经提醒插到别人前面。结果呢?人行道上怒气很大。

“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.”

“外地人和纽约客碰到一块,就像把漂白剂和氨水兑在一起,行不通——会有化学反应,”清洁工哈托·詹金斯(Jato Jenkins)说,他正在打扫第七大道上的一片地方。“纽约客走自己惯常的路线,外地人则走相反的方向,就像逆流而上的鲑鱼。”

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.

詹金斯表示,所有人都情绪不太好、容易发火,尤其是在酷暑炎炎的几个月里,所以即便是最轻微的碰撞也可能引得人大发脾气。他说自己曾经看到过有女人相互咒骂,男人相互推搡,揪对方的衬衣。

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.”

维尔吉尼娅·加西亚(Virginia Garcia)说有人就朝她发过火。“人群像疯了一样东奔西跑,停不下来,”加西亚说。她站在第七大道和西36街的交叉口处,手里举着一家本地酒吧的广告牌。“他们推你,打你,根本不在意。”

David Wentz, a mail carrier who pushes a 50-pound cart around the garment district, said he tried to arrange his day around the busiest times for foot traffic. “It’s chaotic,” he said. “It’s like Disney World down here.”

邮递员戴维·温茨(David Wentz)推着一辆50磅重的推车在服装区附近走,他说自己努力安排如何在行人最多的高峰期前后工作。“很混乱,”他说。“就好像这里是迪士尼乐园。”

But for Mr. Moss, of the Rudin Center at N.Y.U., crowded sidewalks show how far the city has come. During the 1970s, he pointed out, people used to avoid the sidewalks in the East Village and other parts of the city for a different reason: They feared criminals and felt safer walking out in the open, down the middle of a street.

不过,对于纽约大学鲁丁中心的莫斯而言,拥挤的行人显示出这个城市的变化有多大。他指出,在70年代,出于另外一个原因,人们习惯于在东村和纽约其他一些地方避开人行道:他们担心碰到罪犯,感觉走在敞亮的车道中间更安全。

Today, “people want to be in New York,” he said. “A crowded sidewalk is a sign of vitality.”

如今,“大家想待在纽约,”他说。“拥挤的人行道象征着活力。”

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