Traffic Lanes Turned Pedestrian Plazas

Public plazas have been cropping up along Broadway and Madison Square in New York, occupying spaces that were once traffic lanes.
September 25, 2008, 7am PDT | Judy Chang
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"On Broadway, the neon-lit, iconic avenue that slices through Manhattan, city officials have transformed two traffic lanes between Times Square and Herald Square into pedestrian plazas where folks can sit at tables and watch the city rush by. The spaces opened last month, and another plaza, in nearby Madison Square, opened Sept. 5.

'I look at our streets as our patios, our playgrounds, our backyards,' says Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the city's Department of Transportation. 'For many years, our transportation policy has been about moving cars as quickly as possible from point A to point B, and we're trying to rebalance that system.'

The creation of pedestrian plazas helps fulfill a goal of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's to have all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a park or open space. It's part of a broader plan to tackle climate change and improve the quality of life in a city that is likely to have 1 million more residents by 2030."

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Published on Monday, September 22, 2008 in USA Today
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