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SOHO, Manhattan — As the city returns from the pandemic, people are coming back in cars. 

While transit carries more people, the number of vehicles on the road has increased and recently surpassed 2019 levels by a few percent. 

You can also tell by listening to the sound of honking. 

SoHo Broadway Initiative has just released a study with the research firm Street Plans. They looked at a number of quality of life issues, conducted surveys and distributed questionnaires. 

Read the report here. 

Mark Dicus is the executive director of the business improvement district.

“I did the math: that’s 240 honks an hour. That’s is an insane  amount of honking. It is a symptom of a larger problem. There’s too much traffic and congestion and the evidence is the honking” he said. 

They’re using the info to plan and develop ideas for better use of space and flow. 

They’ll share the info with the city to shape future projects. 

One test is closing a section of Prince Street between Mercer Street and Broadway on Saturdays this month. 

Dicus said noise levels are down 20%.

Carl Rosenstein doesn’t want to see more pedestrian areas. 

“It cripples traffic and keeps people from visiting the city. People don’t want to drive to New York which hurts the local economy,” he said. 

Responses to SoHo Broadway Initiative have found more people will head to an area if it’s a more pleasant experience. 

“We are not going to drive our way out of this pandemic. We need transit. The plan is about creating public outdoor space,” Dicus said. 

Future potential projects include creating a bus way on Broadway and reducing traffic on Broome Street which leads to the Holland Tunnel.