They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…
On Sunday New York City closed two of the busiest sections of perhaps
the most famous street in the U.S. to traffic and created pedestrian
plazas in the “Crossroads of the World” (and also in Herald Square) [brief plan / NYCDOT detailed plan].
Spearheaded by Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (featured in an excellent New York Magazine article)
and the Bloomberg Administration as part of the “Green Light for
Midtown” program, the pedestrian malls are ostensibly a pilot program
to determine the feasibility of permanent conversion later this year,
with the stated goal of increasing traffic flow through midtown (warning PDF).
Criticism from motorists, especially taxi drivers (New York Post), and for the quality of the chairs and planters used in the conversion aside (New York Times Architecture Review), the urban plazas have received generally favorable reviews (New York Times YouTube channel, NYDailyNews.com, AMNY) and national attention.