Villager file photo
The crowd will be plentiful and exuberant at the upcoming Gay Pride March.
Protests over Pride route switch apparently worked
By Albert Amateau
Anxious phone calls and e-mails by Ninth St. residents and help from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have apparently succeeded in canceling plans to route the 41st Annual Gay Pride March in Greenwich Village to residential Ninth St. from its customary Eighth St. path.
“We’ve been hearing that the parade has been changed back to Eighth St., but there’s no confirmation yet,” a spokesman for the Sixth Precinct said on Tuesday regarding the June 27 event.
The Ninth St. Block Association learned on Wed., June 9, that the Police Department had decided that the hugely popular parade would turn west from Fifth Ave. down their staid street instead of Eighth St. on the way to the parade’s end on Christopher St. at Greenwich St.
“We just spent $20,000 on landscaping, including 44 new trees and iron wickets,” said LindaAnn Loschiavo, a block association member who feared that parade viewers would destroy the plantings on the narrow street. “We made a barrage of phone calls to Community Board 2 and wrote Christine Quinn and other city officials,” Loschiavo said.
On June 11 Quinn told the block association that she thought the route would go back to Eighth St., a commercial street.
Jo Hamilton, chairperson of Community Board 2, said the community boards are never consulted about parade routes.
“I understand that the city wants to shorten all parades, but the Pride parade has gone down Eighth St. since the beginning,” Hamilton said.
The Pride March, which for years has started at 52nd St. and Fifth Ave., this year will start at 36th St. and Fifth Ave. Turning off Fifth Ave. at Ninth St. would have shaved another block from the route
Police are urging residents along the route not to crowd fire escapes and balconies to watch the June 27 parade. The Sixth Precinct said police were “concerned about the structural integrity of fire escapes creating a risk to people below as well as those on the fire escape.”
It is unlawful to allow fire escapes or balconies to become overcrowded, obstructing access to any means of egress, according to a Sixth Precinct handout sheet.