Op-Ed | Mayor Adams’ pedestrian plaza plan will power New York City’s comeback

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As New York continues to rise from the economic disruption of the pandemic, the key question of how to bring people and businesses back remains an ongoing challenge.

Despite many workers returning back to the office, where they can collaborate, develop skills and form team chemistry while bolstering the local economy—New York is still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels. This has resulted in the shuttering of countless local restaurants, bodegas and other small businesses that rely on workers actually coming into Manhattan.

The cost to our City of remote work and the absence of the pre-pandemic workforce is steep, with some estimates as high as $12 billion.

But it’s not all bad news, and as a CEO who founded his business in an NYU dorm room three decades ago, I am all in on New York City’s future. So despite the pandemic’s devastation, I am as excited as anyone about the opportunity for our leaders to act now in reimagining our city. As it turns out, Mayor Eric Adams chose the front stoop of TransPerfect’s New York headquarters to begin enacting his administration’s Broadway Vision, which will create new public spaces and enhance street safety from Madison Square Park to Herald Square.

New York City’s new plan to expand pedestrian plazas along crucial commercial corridors includes Broadway and 31st Street, where our company employs over 800 people. This is a savvy and forward-thinking idea which will bring foot traffic back to a key stretch of our city’s economy.

In fact, the official ribbon cutting of our New York office is set for April, and we will welcome hundreds more people back to our office. I have already heard incredibly positive feedback from our NY-based managers, who are eager for their teams to take advantage of this new pedestrian plaza. The benefits of having a safe place to commute, areas to sit outside for lunch, or taking a stroll down the street for some fresh air are self-evident.

The addition of more open space for foot traffic will create a chain reaction of positive events for our city. Pedestrians will be able to walk casually and safely. Restaurants and bars will be able to offer more outdoor seating. These new businesses and their employees will help boost property values, tax revenues, and eventually make the area not only more comfortable for commuters, but a more enticing place to live, work, and raise a family.

Mayor Adams and his administration are right to prioritize this program and if this vision can be executed as planned, it will spark the rebirth of a post-pandemic New York City.

TransPerfect employs over 8,000 people in 43 countries, but the core of our DNA is New York through and through. Nearly everyone reading this article has fallen in love with this magnificent City at some time in their lives, and the proposed pedestrian plaza enhancements will help rekindle that relationship by making it a safer, more walkable and livable city.