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Plan for Taller Skyscrapers Near Grand Central Gets Thumbs Down in Poll

By Jill Colvin | April 11, 2013 12:32pm

NEW YORK CITY — A new plan to up-zone the area around Grand Central Terminal is getting a thumbs down from New Yorkers.

A majority of voters — 51 percent — think a plan to encourage the construction of larger skyscrapers in the area is a bad idea, according to a new Quinnipiac poll out Thursday. Just 35 percent approve.

The idea is especially unpopular among women, with 59 percent of those polled saying they opposed it, compared with just 25 percent who said it was a good idea.

"As Mayor Michael Bloomberg prepares to clear out his City Hall desk, voters are divided over some of his pet ideas," said Carroll Quinnipiac director Maurice Carroll.

"They like, by a lot, his proposal to hide the cigarettes. They dislike more than ever his plan to ban 'big gulp' sodas. Women, lots of them, dislike his idea to encourage big new skyscrapers around Grand Central."

Bloomberg has been pushing to put the plan in motion before he leaves office at the end of the year.

But it has faced resistance from some local officials, who worry the neighborhood just can't handle the influx of commuters it would bring.

The poll also found that the majority of New Yorkers — 66 percent — support a plan to create an independent inspector general to monitor the NYPD, which has been panned by the mayor.

Support was especially strong among black and Hispanic voters, the poll found.

Only 8 percent of those polled said they bought Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's argument that installing an inspector general would make the city less safe, with 43 percent saying it would make the city safer and 43 percent say it wouldn't make a difference.

Still, 65 percent of those polled said they think Kelly is doing a top-notch job, giving him the highest job approval of any official in the city.

The poll of 1,417 city voters, conducted from April 3 through 8, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.