Starting in May, the city will test a pilot program to ease congestion and reduce traffic fatalities by closing seven blocks of Broadway to vehicles.
Former Department of Transportation Commissioner Sam Schwartz, also known as "Gridlock Sam", says he tried to implement a similar plan when he was commissioner in the 80's, but it didn't work.
SCHWARTZ: The city was crime ridden, so when we presented this to Macy's at that time, which now supports it, [and] to the theater district, they essentially saw more space for pedestrians meaning more space for crime, for the homeless. So we are now fast forward, the city is "tamed' and now we can enjoy our public spaces.
REPORTER: The pedestrian plazas will last through year's end and, if successful, could become permanent.