"Breathe in that fresh...Times Square air? According to the most recent New York City Community Air Survey, those Times Square pedestrian plazas are doing their job. The report shows, "After the conversion to a pedestrian plaza, NO pollution levels in Times Square went down by 63 percent while, NO2 levels went down by 41 percent."
From NYC press release: "A quarter-million pedestrians enter Times Square each day and have the potential to benefit from the cleaner air. After the pedestrian plaza was created, concentrations of traffic-related pollutants were substantially lower than measurements from the year before and were less than in other midtown locations."
Of course, this being New York, not all are pleased. With cleaner air comes a better environment to eat while enjoying Times Square without the auto traffic, but a NY Post columnist is complaining about the new "plans to cater to those tourists with alfresco food, alcohol and delivery service." See The new grub street - Times Square plaza's food folly.