Great White Walkway

Friday, February 27, 2009

NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan on the plan to make Broadway a pedestrian-only zone around Times Square.


Janette Sadik-Khan

Comments [40]

Margaret Gracie from Singapore

We just moved from NYC to Singapore. Major roadways have pedestrian walkways above the streets. Auto traffic flows below as foot traffic crosses intersections above. Talk about free flowing. It is a year-round solution!

Feb. 28 2009 12:00 AM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

The idea of closing Broadway in Times Square might sound good right away, but will do bad in the long run. It will actually cause more traffic than it will stop. Many find it to be more for the tourists than for residents and workers there. Storeowners will find it hard to get their goods delivered to them if they are not by the outereaches of it or have no entrance on 7th Avenue or 8th Avenues along with 6th Avenue at Herald Square. There is already a lot of parks, squares, and plazas for pedistrians to hang out at, so stop taking away all of the roads. As for tolling or congestion pricing, that too is a bad idea in the long run because it will be more like a regressive tax. If the MTA needs money there are more sublte ways to get it rather than screwing with both riders and drivers.

Feb. 27 2009 04:57 PM
eliot from brooklyn

Can't wait to see this new design on my commute!

If you want more projects like these, join Transportation Alternatives, they're making New York a better place for the majority of people who walk, bike, or take the train every day.

Feb. 27 2009 03:14 PM
mc from Brooklyn

If you're still looking--I think it is likely that the out-of-state plates you see in your 'hood belong to people who don't want to pay NY insurance. Brooklyn car insurance is just about the highest in the US. As far as whether East River tolls will get people out of their cars--like you, I doubt it. I think it will just make Fort Greene and Dumbo unbearable. If mass transit truly served all of Brooklyn and Queens we might be more likely to get people out of their cars.

Feb. 27 2009 01:02 PM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

I think it’s a great idea. It’s insane trying to get through Time Square on foot or by car. But hopes that MBTA will some how pick up the slack of extra congestion? Let’s see, MBTA has more riders then it’s ever had in history. Yet it claims if it doesn’t get more money, it has to raise fairs by 23%. So how is such an inefficient agency such as the MBTA (if they have more riders then ever then it should have more revenue then ever….) going to handle more riders when they can’t handle what they have now?

Feb. 27 2009 11:12 AM
hjs from 11211

u know these selfish drivers will just paid the toll and keep driving. it's really not enough to get people out of their cars.
by the way in my hood on a lot of cars (already parked to get on the L train) I note out of state licence plates, hmmm wondering if these NYers don't want to pay NY fees and insurance.

Feb. 27 2009 10:35 AM
Akeel Haider from Union Square

I really hope this idea works. I'm a big supporter, and I hope New York one day will be a car free city and a world leading Green City. We need to do more recycling, more energy saving, and start carbon emissions reduction, we are far form that now.

Feb. 27 2009 10:32 AM
KT from Brooklyn

BRAVO! Finally! This is 10 years overdue. I hate the Disneyland that Times Square has become, but at least now we won't have to worry about getting mown down when we have to venture in there... This is the best thing out of Bloomberg's office in a long time...

Feb. 27 2009 10:31 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Imagine the Ratner project in downtown Brooklyn actually going through (pushed by the mayor) and then add to that East River tolls. Oy!! Maybe we should make him live in Fort Greene for a year.

Feb. 27 2009 10:27 AM
hey, i moved

to the listener complaining about the car fumes and lousy concrete area w trees --

move! it's quieter and cleaner LITERALLY EVERYWHERE ELSE.

Feb. 27 2009 10:26 AM
Bill from E.V.

How come with all their "foresight" they are ripping out all the parking meters, instead of doing this?

Feb. 27 2009 10:25 AM
Leo from Queens

I think the mayor is Always challenging the commissioners to find new and creative ways of squeezing more revenue from taxpayers.
Aside from the Million Trees initiative, there is nothing that this administration has done in 8 years that is productive or is good. I've seen more extortion on the part of City agencies, much higher tolls and taxes and reduced services (in police, education, sanitation, transportation, etc.)

Feb. 27 2009 10:24 AM
dage from park slope

i love the public seating and new crosswalk created at 5th ave and i think it's 25th street.

driving in manhattan these days is a nightmare, at all times of day. i don't know what the answer is. these days it seems that all the building construction (with cranes and machinery) causes more traffic jams than anything else.

we need more frequent trains! what's going to happen with the cutbacks??

Feb. 27 2009 10:23 AM
rick from nyc

re; bike paths/parking/avenues

bike paths/street design on 9th ave are visually very disruptive and visually confusing; little plantings seem lost and forlorn
can that be improved?

Feb. 27 2009 10:23 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Won't lengthening the green-light interval for 7th Av. also lengthen the wait for crosstown traffic--already notoriously slow--& for pedestrians waiting to cross 7th Av.?

Feb. 27 2009 10:21 AM
mc from Brooklyn

East River tolls will turn the neighborhoods into even worse gridlock points than they are now. Find another way to get these drivers to subsidize mass transit.

Feb. 27 2009 10:21 AM
ceolaf from brooklyn

I applaud the city for moving past superstition and being trapped in tradition to think about what might actually work better than what we had in the past.

If red light time and grid lock are problems in these two squares, finding a way to solve those problems is great. The idea of gathering data to verify its effects is excellent.

Call me a technocrat, but this sounds like good government.

Feb. 27 2009 10:21 AM
antonio ortiz from park slope

what about vision42?

Feb. 27 2009 10:19 AM
Leo from Queens

Questions for the commissioner:
(1) Any efforts or plans to increase parking in residential communities? This will increase productivity and reduce carbon emissions if we can reduce the amount of hours people have to drive around for parking. Unfortunately cars are needed as people don't have permanent jobs and they usually have to travel to work in many different directions around and across the city core in Manhattan.

(2) Why aren't traffic and parking laws enforced uniformely? Why do these laws do not apply to City workers and those politically connected who are able to get 'official' City parking cards?

Feb. 27 2009 10:19 AM
Daniel from Midtown

Good question about the handicapped.

Another experiment to try:

Feb. 27 2009 10:19 AM
Ryan from Jersey City

I have experience getting around the city as a driver, a biker and a pedestrian (although I currently live in Jersey City). I think this is an excellent idea! There is certain to be a lot of resistance at first because people will not want to change their habits, but something has to be done to force a reduction in vehicular traffic. In the end, we will all reap the benefits.

Feb. 27 2009 10:18 AM
ceolaf from brooklyn

What about bikes through those squares?

Feb. 27 2009 10:18 AM
Nina from East Village

Please please PLEASE do not forget designated (separated!) lanes & safe parking for cyclists!!!!!

Feb. 27 2009 10:18 AM
Freelancer from Washington Heights

This will be fantastic! Something I've hoped the city would do for a long time! Hopefully it will work great and even be expanded some to a few other areas. Add some trees in a box etc to green it up.

Drivers will anticipate the break at Broadway and not try to use it in midtown.

As a resident I never take my family to midtown. I will definitely take my kids!

Feb. 27 2009 10:16 AM
Yan from Upper West Side

Personally I feel torn about this decision (the typical gentrification dilemma). In general, I'm in favor of closing streets and giving pedestrians the space they deserve. On the other hand, it's such a thrill to bike down those two sections of Broadway and slalom through the billboard jungle - that's something I'm going to miss terribly.

Feb. 27 2009 10:16 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Will pedicabs be allowed in the zone?

Feb. 27 2009 10:16 AM
Katherine Schwan from Brooklyn

What about disabled people who'd like to go to Broadway shows? Will the city provide wheelchair jockeys to get us to the theatres in the restricted district?

Feb. 27 2009 10:14 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Another idea: Please don't put in stupid concrete planters which make it difficult to walk through. Some of us work in that neighborhood and have to carry equipment. It is hard enough to walk around the tourists without the idiotic planters.

Feb. 27 2009 10:14 AM
sclark from Ringwood

How will the handicap access mid block on the N/S part of the block?

Feb. 27 2009 10:14 AM
Carol from Manhattan

What about public transportation? Where will the 104 bus turn from Broadway to 42nd? and where will #6 and #7 go between 42nd and 34th?

Feb. 27 2009 10:14 AM
Barbara Lewin from Yonkers

Fabulous! These areas have become impossible to traverse. I was nearly crushed to death at holiday-time. It was frightening. I also think this plan will boost the city's economy. It makes NYC more people-friendly. Yay!

Feb. 27 2009 10:13 AM
Anne from Manhattan

This is an awesome idea! But won't the tourists just feel more inclined to stop and clog the street anyway, like at a street festival?

Can we add a commuter lane for pedestrians? If you're "lucky enough" (ha!) to commute through Times Square every day you could get an ID badge that allows you to walk in a special lane that actually keeps moving. Just a thought.

Feb. 27 2009 10:13 AM
ann m from manhattan

i am a member of transportation alternatives and i support this idea fully!

tell your listeners about

if you build a city for pedestrians and bikers then thats what we will have. i am so happy.

Feb. 27 2009 10:13 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Great idea. Why not year round? It is just as hard to walk through Times Square during the winter holidays as it is in the summer.

Ask Ms. Sadik-Khan about the speeding ticket she got while on the way to Albany to lobby for congestion pricing, hee-hee.

Feb. 27 2009 10:12 AM
Daniel from Midtown

I agree with #3. The dedicated bike lanes on river and 9th are fantastic!

I sat outside on B'way.

Traffic Calming rocks

Feb. 27 2009 10:12 AM
RLewis from The Bowery

Great idea! Please more of this. I'm soooo tired of risking my life between cyclist and cars, cuz there is no room on the sidewalks. And the decreases in turning traffic will make the other avenues flow more smoothly. Thank you Bloomy.

Feb. 27 2009 10:11 AM
Daniel from Midtown

Thank you, commissioner! I LOVE this idea! I heard about it when I moved to the city ten years ago! I've worked in Herald Square and I still get nervous crossing there. This will be a wonderful tourist draw, too.

Feb. 27 2009 10:10 AM
SteverR from Manhattan

Any concerns that it will look like all those horrible "pedestrian malls" that descimated and emptied america's cities in the 1970s and 80s?

Also-- put in dedicated bike lanes. Just do it!

Feb. 27 2009 10:09 AM
roses from 8th avenue

Does that mean that the traffic will be pushed to 8th ave? I live on 8th ave and even now the street noise is overwhelming. I can't imagine what it will be like with even more cars honking and sirens blaring.

Feb. 27 2009 08:48 AM
Darius from Prospect Heights


Feb. 27 2009 08:33 AM

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