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File Under: No Wonder New York City is Falling Behind London

7:00 AM EST on December 5, 2006

london_congestion.jpgWhile New York City inexplicably continues to open up Central Park to motor vehicles from Thanksgiving to New Year's as a "holiday traffic mitigation," London transformed its most popular shopping area this weekend into a car-free pedestrian zone for holiday shoppers and visitors. Stretches of Oxford and Regents Streets were made into car-free zones this Saturday, December 2 from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. Mayor Ken Livingstone wants to transform Oxford Street into a permanent pedestrian zone with light rail running down the middle. This weekend's event was set up as a test. This London reports:

Mark Taylor, manager of Boots in Oxford Street, said: "I've been in retail for 15 years and Saturday was one of the best days in retailing I can ever remember. "The West End was completely buzzing. It would be impossible to get rid of transport in Oxford Street altogether, so I think a tram would be an excellent middle ground." Jace Tyrell, of the New West End Company, which organised the event and aims to boost trade in the area, said: "It shows what Oxford Street could achieve if it was treated as a destination and not as a thoroughfare."

Note to Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Schumer: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act isn't the only reason why London is overtaking New York City.

Note to the 34th Street Partnership and the Times Square Alliance: Hello?! What are you guys waiting for? You don't have to look far for help.

Note to Gwyneth Paltrow: I'm sad to say it but New York City's leadership appears to be proving you right.

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