First-Ever “Shared Streets” Brings Stress-Free Streets to Financial District

With car traffic in the neighborhood limited, pedestrian and cyclists has most of the Financial District to themselves on Saturday. Photo: David Meyer
With so few cars, people were easily able to navigate Lower Manhattan’s streets. All Photos: David Meyer

DOT’s first-ever “Shared Streets” event limited car traffic entering a 60-block section of the Financial District for five hours on Saturday. With the neighborhood free of the near-constant stream of cars passing through on a typical day, pedestrians and cyclists were free to navigate the streets without fear.

Drivers who entered the area between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. faced barriers at streets along the edge of the neighborhood, with NYPD officers on hand to let motorists through and, aided by temporary street signs, remind them of the day’s 5 mph speed limit.

Officials held a noon press conference celebrating the event. “I think this is an opportunity to show you can go five miles an hour in a car [and] you can still get there,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for New Yorkers and visitors to New York to see how our historic center can operate with less traffic, and still accommodate cars, but to be a very pedestrian- or bicycle-friendly place that works for everybody,” said DOT Deputy Commissioner for Policy Michael Replogle.

While the heat kept many inside, those who did venture outdoors were rewarded with a tranquil traffic-calmed zone punctuated by event hubs, including a drum line at Federal Hall and bike races for children at Park Row.

A new sight in old New York: Children playing ball in the street during DOT's "Shared Streets" event on Saturday.
A new sight in old New York: Children playing ball in the street during DOT’s “Shared Streets” event in the Financial District on Saturday.

Take a look below the jump for more photos of “Shared Streets” in action:

citibike shared streets
Biking in the Financial District was a whole lot nicer during “Shared Streets.”
5mph_sign
Signs reminded drivers of the 5 mph speed limit during the “Shared Streets” event.
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, joined by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Public Advocate Letitia James, at a "Shared Streets" press conference Saturday afternoon.
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, joined by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Public Advocate Letitia James, at a “Shared Streets” press conference Saturday afternoon.

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