NYC DOT is making over Broadway in a big way. Not only are they making much needed improvements at Madison Square, they are reclaiming street space from 35th to 42nd Streets by eliminating two lanes of traffic. They are proposing a Broadway Blvd were people can dine and relax, and a separate bike lane will allow for smoother biking through the area. This New York Times article covers the new design and hits the streets:
Many people interviewed on Broadway on Thursday were curious about the work, which included newly painted pavement and orange-and-white plastic traffic barriers that had mysteriously appeared on the street in recent days.
Ms. Sadik-Khan said that the department was planning to unveil the project closer to its scheduled completion, on Aug. 15. But she said that officials had spent months discussing it with the three business improvement districts and the local community board.
She said the city was spending $700,000 to create the string of blocklong plazas from 42nd to 35th Streets. That includes painting the bike lane green, buying the chairs, tables, benches, umbrellas and planters and applying a coat of small-grained gravel mixed with epoxy onto the pedestrian areas, which will set them off from both the street and the bicycle path.
I like DOT's approach to Broadway. Hit the main congestion areas first, and then later down the road they can easily reclaim the rest of the blocks between these two new Broadway Blvds. Considering this was designed by Gehl, and he has made it clear in the past that this sort of treatment needs to be done to all of Broadway, this might be a great thing.