New York City is taking steps to make a busy stretch of Broadway more pedestrian-friendly, Mayor Adams announced Sunday.
Construction of two “walkable plazas” and other changes to Broadway from Madison Square to Herald Square begin Monday, he said.
It’s the latest phase of the mayor’s $375 million plan to make city streets safer.
“Recover space for people. to enjoy the best city in the world – you really appreciate this city when you can walk it, bike it, skateboard it and really participate in all that the city has to offer,” Adams said at a Sunday press conference. conference.
One pedestrian plaza will extend one block from W. 25th St. and the other will span one block starting at W. 26th St. That means there are no cars along those stretches of Broadway, although they will still be able to traverse W. 26th St. Greenery and other beautification steps are also in the works.
Broadway from W. 27th St. to W. 32nd St. will still be open to cars, but they will have to make room for two-way bicycle traffic under Adams’ plan.
The mayor referred to a tragic accident in June, in which a taxi driver ran over a cyclist and pedestrians on Broadway at W. 29th St., as a reason to change the streets.
“The accident was one of the main reasons we knew it was time to move forward on this issue,” Adams said.
He plans to continue the effort on Broadway to Columbus Circle and in the outer boroughs. Previous mayors have launched similar projects, Adams noted.
“We are going to expand this throughout the city,” he said.
Under the city’s existing “open streets” program, Broadway from W. 21st to W. 23rd Sts. and from W. 25th to W. 28th Sts. is already closed to vehicles during part of the day.
Adams said she wants to take advantage of that to bring more outdoor dining, a program launched during the pandemic, to the new pedestrian areas. She recently appointed a “public spaces czar” to oversee efforts to help make outdoor dining permanent.
The city has already made changes to Broadway under the mayor’s “Broadway Vision” plan. These include a series of blocks with additional space for bicycles and several new spaces.
People should think about getting rid of cars as the city tries to make Broadway and other busy streets more pedestrian-friendly, Adams said.
“I am encouraging people to get out of their cars,” he said. “Let’s ride our bikes, walk, skateboard. I hope people realize that vehicles are not the only way to get around.”
Paint and similar changes to Broadway from W. 25th to W. 32nd Sts. It is expected to be finished around the summer. There is no completion date yet for the heavier work, such as placing concrete for the pedestrian plazas.