“Rethinking I-81”: OCL’s Study Blog

No ‘Carmageddon’ in Times Square

In a move to create a smoother traffic flow and more pedestrian-friendly environment, the NYC Department of Transportation shut down parts of Times Square to traffic.  On Tuesday, two days after Broadway was closed to traffic between 42nd and 47th Streets, cars, trucks, taxis and other vehicles still flowed as usual on Seventh Avenue.  The city closed sections of Broadway on Sunday, creating a pedestrian mall that extends to Herald Square.

The bottlenecks and ‘Carmageddon’ that were predicted failed to materialize, not even on Tuesday, the first workday without cars.   Even 48th Street, “where cars now have their last chance to jog over to Seventh Avenue before reaching Times Square” …. “appeared largely trouble-free”.   (While midtown workers and pedestrians are pleased, delivery truck drivers are not happy with the experiment that requires them to park farther from their destination).

The experiment is part of the plan of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his transportation commissioner to ease dangerous traffic congestion in the area. Whether the Mayor decides to suspend the traffic rerouting or to continue or even extend it farther along Broadway, for now it is another example of the adaptability of drivers and the power of the street grid to absorb traffic.

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