“New York City never stands still. Even at the lowest point of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers were working and creating and innovating like never before”. Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul’s words have never been more true. Last Sunday, March 12, Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez officially kicked off the first phase of the “Broadway Vision” plan. It will create new pedestrian-friendly spaces between West 25th and West 32nd Street, from Madison Square to Herald Square.
In his opening speech, the DOT Commissioner explained that this phase consists of the construction of new plazas, bike lanes, and shared streets – meaning that local vehicles are allowed access for deliveries, pickups and drop-offs, “to create world-class public spaces”. As of last Sunday, new plazas will be added between West 25th Street and West 26th Street and between West 26th Street and West 27th Street; curbs will be extended to ease traffic; crossings will be shortened and crosswalks will be widened to enhance pedestrian safety; a two-way bike lane will be reconfigured together with the related signages and signals; and all the additional amenities, such as seating, planters, bike parking, will be improved.
In the coming months, until the end of the summer, milling and paving work will take place. This is only the beginning of the “Broadway Vision” project which will renovate the entire area from Union Square to Columbus Circle – 2.6 miles in total. It is part of an even larger initiative launched in December by Mayor Adams and NY Governor Kathy Hochul: “New New York” has a budget of $375 million and aims to rebuild the city after the devastation of the pandemic. As Mayor Adams said, “Midtown is back, and New York City is back”.