Times Square Then and Now: A Streetfilms Retrospective

Mayor Bloomberg is expected to announce his verdict on Times Square’s new pedestrian spaces very soon. Will the changes be permanent? This morning Bloomberg told radio host John Gambling that we’ll find out sometime next week. In the meantime, it seems like the media has decided to fixate on rumors that Midtown traffic speeds may not have increased across the board, without paying much attention to the tremendous difference this project has made for hundreds of thousands of pedestrians every day.

It’s been eight months since this part of Broadway went car-free, and maybe it’s hard to recall just how bad Times Square used to be for everyone walking around. To really appreciate what we have today, you’ve got to take a trip back in time to see the crowded, dangerous mess that used to fester at the crossroads of the world. Naturally, the moment calls for a Streetfilms retrospective.

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Great Public Spaces for Midtown

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The new Times Square versus the old Times Square — worth a few seconds of motorist inconvenience on a few streets. Photos: berk2804 and midweekpost via Flickr Mayor Bloomberg has seen some of the data from the city’s trial of car-free, pedestrian-priority spaces in Midtown, and it looks like the changes in traffic speeds are […]

Times Square Flashback: Revisit the Bad Old Days With Streetfilms

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New Yorkers might have forgotten just how bad the bad old days were in Times Square. Gridlock blocked crosswalks. Pedestrians were relegated to crush levels on the sidewalks. It wasn’t a pleasant place to be. Relive the nightmare with this Streetfilm from 2006, in which Streetsblog publisher Mark Gorton interviews Danish architect and public space expert […]

In the Tortured Mind of Steve Cuozzo, Even Street Trees Are a Threat

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Well it finally happened. Steve “Quixote” Cuozzo has conceded that the Times Square pedestrian plazas, the project to which he has devoted two years of relentless tilting, are a hit. Not only are they “popular with burger-chomping tourists,” writes Cuozzo in Thursday’s column, such a draw are Times Square’s new public spaces that they threaten […]