Yes, John Lennon Was Shot Here. Now Move the Damn Tour Bus.
by Avi - May 24, 2010 at 1:41 am -
Tour buses love to park at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West, often to let tourists gawk at the Dakota and the spot where John Lennon was fatally shot by Mark David Chapman in 1980. And it’s driving local residents nuts.
The buses, idling on the corners near the famous building, are often double-parked, snarling traffic and fouling the environment, residents say.
“It’s awful,” said Ralph Alterbaum, who lives at 72nd and Central Park West. “They’re spewing exhaust into the air.”
Councilwoman Gale Brewer has taken up their cause, writing a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly urging them to take action.
“As we approach the summer season, my office is once again hearing many reports about the noxious fumes and idling engine noise from double parked tour buses between the hours of 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM, particularly on weekends,” Brewer wrote. “In addition, constituents report that poor coordination between the various tour companies results in large numbers of tourists blocking the streets and sidewalks as they get on and off the buses…residents cannot be expectedto endure a significant loss in their quality of life in exchange for tourist dollars.”
What’s more, most of the buses aren’t even from New York!
“Both I and my staff have visited the intersections on weekend mornings and have learned that the majority of the tour buses come from out-of-state and Canada.”
Brewer wants a full-time officer placed at the intersection on weekend mornings. The city has the power to fine tour buses for idling.
“The bus drivers must be informed,” Alterbaum said.
The management of the buildings at that intersection is also willing to get involved.
“The managers of large buildings in the area, The Dakota and The Majestic in particular, are willing to meet with relevant city agencies if such a discussion is needed in order to solve the problem,” Brewer wrote.
How about telling tour guide writers to stop including Lennon’s assassination in their guides. It’s a kind of macabre little vacation stop, isn’t it?
(Photos by Avi)