(New York, NY - Jim O'Grady, WNYC) Critics of the New York City Department of Transportation's plan to redesign 34th Street won a round yesterday when the city nixed a plan to replace car traffic in the corridor with bus lanes and a pedestrian island.
The plan had called for higher curbs, special bus lanes and bus ticket kiosks on the block between 5th and 6th Avenues. Some business owners said the redesign would've tied up traffic, and made it harder for drivers to shop and for businesses to receive deliveries.
Macy's was among the concerned. Senior vice president Ed Goldberg said he worried the changes to the streetscape would have made it harder to steer giant cartoon balloons up Broadway on Thanksgiving.
"Obviously anything that we do that is an obstruction, be it sidewalk or street, is of concern to us," he said." It's about our one big magic day of the year during the parade."
But others had looked forward to the city's plan to make one block of 34th Street free of cars. Several small store owners said they favored the move because a pedestrian island would've brought more shoppers on foot and made it easier to cross the street in the middle of the block.
Clothing store manager Rossana Rosado said pedestrians needed more space to move around. "There's always a traffic jam out there," she said. "It's impossible for people to get across the street, even, because there isn't a place for pedestrians to cross."
The city's Department of Transportation will present a revised plan for the 34th Street corridor at a public meeting on March 14.