Broadway Boulevard takes center stage in a USA Today story on New York City’s recent pedestrian improvements. Those who questioned whether people would sit in plazas near passing traffic have their answer:
Bianca Assim-Kon, 30, was initially skeptical about the plazas. "I saw them doing this, and my co-worker and I (said) all the tourists are going to sit there and we’re going to laugh at them because they’re going to get hit" by cars, says Assim-Kon, who works as a production assistant in a building across the street from one of the plazas. "And now here I am, sitting."
Reading a "chick-lit" novel on her lunch break, she says she can eke calm out of the surrounding cacophony. "I’m a New Yorker," Assim-Kon says. "You learn to focus."
Understandable as those initial doubts may have been, anyone familiar with the work of Project for Public Spaces and William H. Whyte could have predicted that, yes, New Yorkers will even venture across a bike lane for a decent place to sit.
Bonus photo and quote from Whyte after the jump.
"I end then in praise of small spaces. The multiplier effect is
tremendous. It is not just the number of people using them, but the
larger number who pass by and enjoy them vicariously, or even the
larger number who feel better about the city center for knowledge of
them. For a city, such places are priceless, whatever the cost. They
are built of a set of basics and they are right in front of our noses.
If we will look."
Photos: Brad Aaron