New Yorkers take in car-free Broadway

May 25, 2009 1:09:42 PM PDT
New York's Times and Herald squares are a lot more pedestrian-friendly now. Sections of Broadway from 47th to 42nd streets and 35th to 33rd streets have been closed to cars in a city effort to reduce traffic and pollution and cut down on pedestrian accidents.

Times Square looks like a street festival, with street performers entertaining the crowd and even a movie being shown.

Pedestrians enjoying the good weather can even take a break to lounge in the beach chairs set up on the street.

The Department of Transportation set up barriers on Sunday around the two densely-traveled squares in Midtown Manhattan.

Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says her department will monitor the area closely during the initial adjustment period.

The city believes the move will reduce pollution, cut down on pedestrian accidents and help traffic flow more smoothly.

Broadway is closed to vehicle traffic for five blocks at Times Square, turning part of the "Crossroads of the World" into a pedestrian mall of throbbing lights, animated billboards and towering skyscrapers.

A second pedestrian promenade was created from 33rd to 35th streets on Broadway by Herald Square, where Macy's dominates the intersection. The city will try out the pedestrian malls for an undetermined amount of time, and if things go well it could make the change permanent.

Planners hope that the uncontrolled chaos that has long defined the heart of this city will shift to a gentler landscape, one where a visitor could conceivably use the word "stroll" to describe getting from one side of Times Square to the other.

Learn more on the net at:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/greenlight_outreach_may.pdf


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