Broadway closures cause some bumps along the ride
Pedestrians take a break on lounge chairs in the middle of Broadway in Times Square. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
It wasn't quite a nightmare for drivers, but cabbies still griped about the first workday closure of Broadway Tuesday.
I hope the mayor changes his mind for those who are trying to make a living, said Nick Pierre, 55, who struggled to pickup passengers at the Marriot Marquis on Broadway Tuesday.
The Department of Transportation has implemented a six-month car ban on five blocks of Broadway in Times Square and two blocks in Herald Square to increase pedestrian space and clamp down on pollution. Chairs and benches now sit where cars once drove between 42nd and 47th streets and 33rd and 35th streets.
Instead of reading in the train, and getting a headache, I can study here for 15 minutes, said Paul Son, 29, of Midtown, as he sat in Times Square.Broadway north of 47th street experienced some delays periodically throughout the day, with four lanes of traffic having to merge into two, said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. Traffic flowed smoothly down Seventh Avenue, he said, but volume was lighter than usual after the holiday weekend.
We'll have to see how things go on the weekend, Tompkins said.
Cars turning off of Broadway at 35th Street experienced some backup at the busy intersection, which runs next to Macy's and leads to the Lincoln Tunnel, said corner coffee vendor Mohammad Mahdi. Cars must maneuver through one lane on 35th, as workers are digging next to an entrance to the Herald Square subway station.
The traffic is always so bad here, Mahdi said.
About 50,000 vehicles a day travel through Seventh Avenue and Broadway in Times Square, the DOT estimates. More than 350,000 people walk through the congested area daily.
Traffic moved well through both intersections and the DOT is not planning any immediate changes to the six-month plan, said spokesman Montgomery Dean.
It's still a work in process and we'll make an adjustments in the coming weeks or months, Dean said.
Anastasia Economides contributed to this report.