Broadway car ban starts Sunday
The curtains open Sunday night on one of the biggest revamps to the city grid in recent memory.
Cars will be banned from Broadway at Herald and Times squares under a city pilot program intended to curb traffic and make room for Midtowns pedestrian throngs.
And to sweeten the controversial plan, the city yesterday announced a lineup of performances along Broadway this summer. Events include lunchtime concerts by buskers in Times Square and a simulcast of the Tony Awards in Broadway Plaza.
Under the proposal, Broadway traffic will be rerouted to Seventh Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets and to Sixth Avenue between 33rd and 35th streets. In its place, the city is building pedestrian plazas in three acres of space.
I am sure there will be some bumps in the road, Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said at a news conference yesterday. But no one is well served by the congested streets and spaces we have now.
Shutting the diagonally-running street and increasing green light timing will cut waits by 17 percent at Times Square and 66 percent at Herald Square, according to city Department of Transportation.The MTA voted to eliminate the M6 bus on Broadway and reroute seven other lines down Seventh Avenue to accommodate the overhaul.
Thousands of fliers about the street closures have been distributed to area businesses and taxi drivers, DOT said.
The city will evaluate the $1.5 million program by the end of the year.
(Photo courtesy DOT)