Neighborhood opposition is hampering plans to convert a section of New York City's Prince Street into a car-free pedestrian mall every Sunday.
"A Department of Transportation proposal to close six blocks of Prince St. in Soho to car traffic on Sundays is steering proponents and opponents on a collision course, as they paint vastly different portraits of what will transpire if the plan is enacted."
"Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance neighborhood association, has taken to calling the pilot program - which is scheduled to run on a trial basis between Memorial Day and Labor Day - the 'Prince St. Mall.'"
"Those who support the proposal take issue with the term."
"'It already is a mall, it is just that people drive their S.U.V.'s through it,' said Ian Dutton, vice chairperson of the board's Traffic and Transportation Committee."
"The two main issues for debate are the resulting car traffic in the surrounding streets, and the prospect of increasing the number of street vendors."
"In nearby Little Italy, several streets have been closed to pedestrians during the summer, and both sides of the Prince St. debate point to Little Italy as an example of what they don't want to see happen in Soho."
"'This already exists on Mulberry St., and the neighbors hate it,' said Sweeney."