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Thread: Broadway Boulevard : Street Reclamation - Expanded Pedestrian Areas

  1. #1

    Default Broadway Boulevard : Street Reclamation - Expanded Pedestrian Areas

    The bowtie of Times Square is supposed to be entirely given over to pedestrians according to curbed/streets blog. I think this is good news. After having experinced the wonderful pedistrianized streets of Istanbul/Thailand and Tokyo I think this could be a sign of good things to come in Manhattan. Less room for cars means more room for people and the things people like to do! Drink/Eat/Shop etc...

  2. #2
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    Excellent news. So happy to see the pendulum start to swing. Now if someone could please do something about widening the sidewalks on Madison Avenue...

  3. #3

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    DOT Announces Pedestrian Safety Improvements For Times Square


    Release # 06-56
    Thursday October 12, 2006

    New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall, along with the President of the Times Square Alliance, Tim Tompkins, today announced that the vehicle crossover between 7 th Avenue and Broadway in Times Square will be closed beginning November 4 th. The closing of the cross-over and the re-striping of the streets will allow DOT to provide 50% more sidewalk space for pedestrians throughout this heavily traveled neighborhood. The reconfiguration of the streets is a temporary change which will be in effect until DOT has completed its evaluation on the closure’s effects on vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

    “We are continually looking for ways to provide more space for pedestrians to walk through this busy area,” said DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall. “ Times Square has some of the heaviest pedestrian volumes in the City so this is a great opportunity to experiment with reconfiguring the flow of traffic and creating larger sidewalks to provide more space for pedestrians.”

    "This is a bold and innovative step to address the number one safety concern and quality of life issue in Times Square -- intense pedestrian congestion on our sidewalks," said Alliance President Tim Tompkins. "We applaud DOT for exploring this out-of-the box solution and carefully testing its traffic impact before deciding to fully implement it."

    Since over 13,000 pedestrians an hour crowd the sidewalks and overflow into the roadways in Times Square during the busiest parts of the day, DOT made pedestrian improvements in 2001 by installing plastic delineators which increased sidewalk space along 7th Avenue between West 45th and West 44th streets and along Broadway between West 44th and West 42nd streets. These temporary improvements will be made permanent in 2008. The closure of the crossover will allow DOT to provide even more space for pedestrians. Broadway between 46th and 47th streets and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets will see significant sidewalk expansions.

    Beginning on November 4th, vehicles traveling on Broadway will continue along 7th Avenue south of West 45th Street. Vehicles traveling on 7th Avenue will continue on Broadway south of West 45th street – they will no longer have the option of crossing over to 7th Avenue. New signs directing drivers how to proceed have been hung on large mast arms and will be uncovered on November 4th, and variable message boards will be activated to alert drivers of the changing road pattern. In addition to the closure of the cross-over, the test will change bike lane configurations, the number of roadway travel lanes and curb-side regulations.

    Evaluations will consist of traffic counts at 16 locations, turning movement counts at 8 locations, travel times and speeds from uptown locations to West 34 th street and visual observations from DOT’s Traffic Management Center. Once evaluations have been completed DOT will decide whether or not to make the changes permanent.

    ###

    Contact: Kay Sarlin/ 212-442-7033
    Ted Timbers

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Smile

    sounds good , but as a general view from across the pond and i hope yous dont mind me throwing it in the ring, New york, times square has always be know for its hussle , cars ,yellow cabs everywhere, as well as people, do you think this could take away this title or impression? as obviously a practical way it does make sence, done alot of improvements in Glasgow city centre and its makes sence, be very interesting to see how they go about this

    baz

  6. #6

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    ^I agree. TS is going to be a different place, less "city". Then they´ll add the trees and planters, street furniture and assorted junk.

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Doubt they will add many trees -- subway stations / tracks directly below.

    The interim sidewalk-widening has been in effect for awhile now (plastic "bollards" marking off a lane of traffic here and there, asphalt additions to the sidewalks in other places) and it's been a start to keep pedestrians moving -- but many of the tourists don't quite get it and continue to stay on the not-nearly-big-enough sidewalks. The result is that pedestrians, for the most part, just get bottled up. Meanwhile some NYers move quickly along their way using the interim spaces -- or just move right out into the street and walk with the traffic.

    Since traffic moving south into TS on Broadway will no longer have the option of continuing south on Broadway out of TS they're going to have to keep an eye oin left turns from 7th towards Broadway on 41st / 39th or those intersections will start getting bottled up (same situation above TS where traffic might try to jump from Broadway to 7th so they can continue south diagonally across Manhattan instead of getting tossed into the Penn Station mess at 7th / 32nd).

    The work around Father Duffy Square / TKTS island at the north end of TS is coming along -- new wider pedestrian areas have been put in and it seems that they've finished the grating installation for the subway below -- all the preliminary electric / plumbing connections for the new TKTS "amphitheater" look to be in place and construction of the above-ground parts of that new structure should begin soon.

    The new "pedestrian friendly" -- and treeless -- Father Duffy Square ( TKTS Thread Here ) :




    Renderings: William Fellows Architects

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    I disagree with cars=city. The times square of movies and the wider popular imagination was gone a long time ago with the porn. (and the only hustle is pissed of ny-ers pushing past the stationary tourists).

    I don't have any attachment to TS myself, I'm happy to see it used as a laboratory for car-free (or at least car-less) streets.

  9. #9

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    yes bud, your quite correct, you would defo have the better opnion on ny than me, you are lucky enough to live there, i can only reply on what i have heard from friends and family that have been, im planning to go next year for my 30th, just going on my experience from glasgow, it certainly has its pros and cons


    baz

  10. #10

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    Lofter: That illustration is amazing. A wide empty expanse IS the way to go. One would expect the usual planters and flower beds, tall grass, weeds, sunflowers and corn. This is nice.

  11. #11
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Something you have to envison there ^^^ are the hundreds (thousands?) of hopeful people who start lining up @ 12 Noon to get tickets for shows at the TKTS booth (at the opposite end of the red staircase) -- the line will snake all around this square, so it will be filled with people all afternoon. (While the square is under construction the booth / lines have been moved to enclosed pedestrian pass-thru at the Marriott Marquis Hotel just west of B'way / 46th.)

    Once the TKTS booth closes @ 7:30 PM hopefully the square will be taken over by people just hanging out and having a good time.

    Once complete it's going to be a great addition to TS, especially since there will be a lot more room on the square (they've widened the southern end by about 75%).

    How it used to be:



    Times Square protest?
    Even worse.
    The line for discount matinees at the TKTS booth.

    The new plan over-laid with a photo of the crowds pre-constuction (doesn't include the widening of sidewalks -- notice all the folks in the streets):


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    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    The seating is brilliant. It will get loads of use. The idea reminds me of Rome's Spanish Steps.

  13. #13

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    This is fantastic news. More space given to the people, the way it should be in a place like Times Square.

  14. #14

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    I'm kind of disappointed. Times Square's known for it's hustle and bustle of people and cabs. I think it's great the way it is. Just maybe some more skyscrapers around it.

  15. #15
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    Times Square traffic plan unveiled by city

    by patrick arden / metro new york

    OCT 13, 2006

    TIMES SQUARE — The city announced a traffic plan here yesterday intended to make streets safer and to provide more space for pedestrians.

    Beginning Nov. 4, the vehicle crossover between Seventh Avenue and Broadway will be closed, forcing cars and trucks traveling on Seventh to continue on Broadway south of 45th Street. Posted signs will tell these drivers they no longer have the option of crossing over to Seventh. Taxis make up two-thirds of the cars using the crossover during peak hours.

    The street reconfiguration will be temporary until its full effects are studied after six months, but yesterday Iris Weinshall, commissioner of the city’s Department of Transportation, said the change will lead to one big improvement: larger sidewalks.

    “Anyone who’s walked through Times Square knows that it requires squeezing, standing and twisting your body to get through the crowd,” Weinshall said. “Our engineers have counted over 13,000 pedestrians an hour in this area, and these sidewalks are simply not big enough to handle the crowds. We’ve also found that the crossover is the site of the most vehicular accidents of any of the intersections along this stretch of road — two to three times as many [accidents] in some cases.

    “With the help of our new signs going up along Broadway and Seventh Avenue, drivers will be able to adjust to the new traffic pattern, and we will have created up to 50 percent more pedestrian space throughout the neighborhood.”

    While the change will bring “significant sidewalk expansions” on Broadway between 46th and 47th streets and along Seventh Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets, the change will also mean the end of one bus stop and the closing of a bicycle lane on Seventh. The plan was advocated by the area’s business improvement district, the Times Square Alliance.

    “The same way that crime was a problem for Times Square 20 years ago, the intense congestion on the street is our new quality-of-life issue,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the TSA. “In the longer term, it threatens people’s willingness to come to Times Square.”

    © 2006 Metro. All Rights Reserved.

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