Monday, October 25, 2021


Two-block shared street space in Flatiron slows cars, reclaims space for pedestrians and cyclists 

Six blocks now fully complete of DOT’s “Broadway Vision” to remake 12 blocks of iconic throughway

 Mayor de Blasio and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Hank Gutman unveiled major street improvements in the heart of Manhattan, including six blocks of Broadway to be fully pedestrianized or modified to share space with pedestrians and cyclists.
The mayor cut the ribbon on two blocks of shared street space on Broadway in Flatiron between 22nd and 23rd streets, alongside local elected officials, small businesses, and BID leadership. These two blocks create the largest shared street citywide and feature innovative new designs that will be used in future shared streets. Four additional blocks were also unveiled today along Broadway in the Garment District and Times Square, meaning six blocks total are now complete of DOT’s “Broadway Vision” to remake 12 blocks as shared streets.
“Open space knits our communities together and reduces our reliance on cars – and there’s no more powerful statement than proving it can be done in the heart of Manhattan’s most iconic street,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These improvements will make Broadway more vibrant and accessible for everyone, not just car owners. It proves we can get more out of our streets with the right mix of hard work and creativity, and I’m excited to see these ideas implemented at more locations across the five boroughs.”
“These innovative new designs reimagine how every New Yorker interacts with our streetscape,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “These streets are safer, more accessible, and make the experience for people – not cars – the best it can be. With the strong support of local businesses, these designs serve as a model that we look forward to implementing on key streets citywide, including some of our most successful Open Streets.”
The street improvements announced today include:
  • Plaza Block from 39th to 40th Street, fully closed off to cars. This represents the time DOT has ever fully pedestrianized a Garment District block.
  • Shared and Slow Streets from 21st Street to 23rd Street in Flatiron, 38th to 39th Streets in the Garment District and 48th Street to 50th Street in Times Square, featuring expanded pedestrian spaces, a maximum 5 MPH speed for cars and protected bikes lanes.
Shared streets feature design elements that slow cars and allow all people equal use of the street. Cars are slowed to 5MPH, but still allowed to make essential deliveries, pick ups and drop offs. At the same time, pedestrians have increased sidewalk space and can also walk in the roadway. Cyclists have a protected bike lane alongside the pedestrian and vehicle space. Finally, large pedestrian plazas allow vendors, outdoor dining, and art installations.

DOT data shows 18 times more pedestrians use Broadway between 22nd and 23rd Street than vehicles.
The streets opened provide a template for new uses of shared streets across the city. These streets prioritize space for cyclists and pedestrians using roadway and plaza space with innovations like chicane designs (a curb extension creating an S-shaped curve to slow traffic), gravel for pedestrian space, shorter pedestrian crossings, and a 5 MPH speed limit.

DOT’s Broadway Vision, from Union Square to Columbus Circle, offers a variety of design elements that can be implemented based on community and stakeholder input, including public space, bicycle lanes, greenery, shared spaces, and traffic calming elements.

The Broadway designs also preview the types of innovative street designs that DOT will propose for some of its most successful Open Streets – including those in Jackson Heights, north Brooklyn, Prospect Heights, the South Bronx and more.

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