Pedestrianize Midtown

The Story

Photo: JamesPatrickWaddell/iStock

Last week, Mayor de Blasio nixed a plan to ease pedestrian traffic around Rockefeller Center during the Christmas season. The proposal would have closed two lanes of Fifth Avenue to car traffic and given them over to pedestrians, easing the crush of shoppers and tourists coming to see the famous tree. The mayor should reconsider his decision and approve the plan–and more plans like it, to make New York a more walkable city.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Walk: Pedestrianizing Times Square played a big role in its rebirth. Read more.

  2. Visit: The city should focus on improving attractions like Rockefeller Center instead of trying to engineer points of interest. Read more.

  3. Cars: Hundreds of thousands of people walk around Rockefeller Center in December; it makes little sense for the city to give priority to the many fewer people traveling in cars. Read more.

"New York still doesn’t know what to do with the planet’s most famous piece of real estate."

John Tierney, Contributing Editor at City Journal

Twitter Take


The image above (rendered by Sam Schwartz) is a conceptual design of the Rockefeller Plaza proposal that was recently scrapped.

The Past is Present

Ungridlocked By Nicole Gelinas (Spring, 2012)

“Back in February 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that, in three months’ time, New York City would permanently close Broadway to car and truck traffic in Times Square and Herald Square.”

And in other news...

“Political experts are watching whether the wave of enthusiastic Democrats who propelled the party to major legislative gains last year will show up at the polls again this week.”