Mayor Bill de Blasio cut the ribbon on six blocks of Broadway reconfigured to give more space for pedestrians, cyclists, and seating on the famous Manhattan thoroughfare Monday.
“Broadway is supposed to be for people not just for cars and now more than ever Broadway will be for the people again,” said de Blasio during a ceremony celebrating the revamp next to the Flatiron Building at 22nd Street on Oct. 25. “This is going to make it better for everyone. Right here in the heart of the busiest and greatest city in this nation, we’re showing that the streets can be about the people once again.”
The Department of Transportation redesigned the half dozen blocks of Broadway to add more pedestrian space, reduce speed limits to 5 miles per hour, and install bike lanes as part of its so-called Broadway Vision project, which seeks to ultimately expand the redesigns to six more blocks between Columbus Circle and Union Square.
The second half of the program is slated for 2022 — after de Blasio is out of office — according to DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman.
DOT gave the treatment dubbed “Shared” or “Slow Streets” to the stretches between 21st to 23rd Street, 38th to 39th, and 48th to 50th.
To slow down cars, the agency has implemented so-called chicane designs creating S-shaped lanes, along with beige gravel to mark the zone, and shortened crosswalks.
“This is a genuine sharing of the streets responsibly and safely for all New Yorkers,” Gutman said.
From 39th to 40th Streets, DOT fully closed off the block to cars creating a so-called “Plaza Block.”
One local politician said the city should extend the initiative further south to Astor Place.
“I have a very good feeling that we’re going to be able to take this vision even as far down to Astor Place, so I want to keep it going,” said Councilmember Carlina Rivera.