Big Sidewalk Extensions Coming to Bowling Green

Proposed sidewalk extensions along Whitehall Street would keep pedestrians out of auto traffic. Image: NYC DOT

Pedestrians at the southern-most tip of Manhattan are getting a lot more space to walk, thanks to a DOT proposal [PDF] first reported by DNAinfo last week.

New sidewalk extensions along Whitehall Street, as well as a new plaza at the famous statue of the bull at Bowling Green, will make conditions safer for people walking to the subway, the Staten Island Ferry, or the Battery.

Right now, there’s just not enough room for all the pedestrian activity in Lower Manhattan. Along one block of Whitehall, for example, 390 pedestrians walk in the roadway during a single peak hour, according to DOT. Existing sidewalks can’t handle the capacity.

Under the DOT plan, sidewalks on both sides of Whitehall would be extended into the street between Broadway and Pearl Street. The extensions would be even larger at intersections in order to shorten crosswalk distances. The effect is a sizable expansion of the pedestrian realm.

The redesign would use paint and flexible delineators, and could be put into effect in as little as two weeks.

DOT also proposes using the same materials to extend the plaza on which the bull stands all the way back to Morris Street, providing space for tourists who currently crowd onto a striped median in the street to take pictures of the statue.

The pedestrian improvements were unanimously approved by Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee, according to DNAinfo. Said committee chair Ro Sheffe: “What’s not to like?”

  • Guest

    I walk this route every day, and while the extensions will be nice, traffic on this street (during rush hour, no less) is so low that they barely feel relevant.

    A would be much more interested in extensions/traffic calming on State and Bridge street as I make my way to the southbound Bowling Green subway stop. Northbound vehicles routinely speed and visibility is marginal. 

  • Guest

    I spoke too soon – they will do some “clarification” of striping on State St, but I don’t believe it is intended to resolve the issues that I see.

    Also, some of this plan unfortunately requires that the police remove the barricade around the bull statue, which I want to say went up “due to” the occupy movement. Not sure if /when they come down.

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