An updated “New York City Community Air Survey” just dropped and the results for our neighborhood are grim.

According to the report, car free zones do enjoy cleaner air. First, let’s look at NO, a pollutant that primarily comes from car emissions. In early 2009, Times Square’s NO concentration was higher than the average concentration in Midtown. But when Times Square went car-free, the NO concentration fell to below the Midtown average.

PM2.5, NO2, NO, and BC are highest in:

  • Areas with higher density of commercial cooking grills and charbroilers
  • Industrial areas, specifically areas with higher density of warehouses
  • Areas of higher traffic density
  • Areas with higher building density

Citywide, annual average levels of four key pollutants have gone down between the first year of monitoring, 2009, and the most recent year of data, 2021 but our district trails these improvements, due to the Lincoln Tunnel traffic.

  • Fine particles (PM2.5)         -40%
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)    -38%

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