Wall Street Photo: faungg’s photos/Flickr 

Petula Clark’s famous song says that you can “forget all your troubles, forget all your cares when you’re downtown,” but according to a recent community survey of the needs of downtown residents, that’s not always the case.

Survey participants pointed out issues like noise, lack of affordable housing, unclean subways, overcrowded sidewalks and streets, construction woes and lack of parking. Surveyors covered Manhattan Community District 1, including Battery Park City, the Financial District, the Seaport/Civic Center area and Tribeca.

The issue of overcrowded sidewalks and streets appeared in the top five for all neighborhoods — not a huge surprise, considering that downtown’s streets are notoriously narrow for the surrounding building density. Perhaps city planners could remedy this by taking a hint from some of NYC’s most-walked streets.

While overcrowded streets were a hot topic of the survey, they weren’t the first thing that most residents would change. A whopping 49.2 percent of residents mentioned a need to reduce garbage and pollution and improve air quality in the district. More affordable housing and more parks were the next most reported issues with 34.5 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

But these results should be taken with a grain of salt. The methodology for the surveys was to stop passersby on city streets, which could have influenced their answers to focus on their immediate surroundings.

“Community Needs 2015: a Pedestrian Survey” was a collaboration between Manhattan Community Board 1, Pace University, and The City College of New York. The survey was submitted to the Department of City Planning for consideration.

Follow @bbhnyc for the latest in New York City planning and policy.

h/t: DNA info 

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