Eyes on the Street: DOT’s “Shared Space” Comes to Life by Madison Square

Cars are allowed, but the block belongs to people.

"Shared space" in effect on Broadway by Madison Square. Photo: Hilda Cohen
"Shared space" in effect on Broadway by Madison Square. Photo: Hilda Cohen

DOT’s reconfiguration of Broadway near Madison Square Park is almost complete. Streetsblog reader Hilda Cohen shared this bird’s-eye view of the pedestrian-priority block taken around noon today.

The project turns Broadway between 25th and 24th streets into a “shared space” with limited vehicular access [PDF]. Instead of a through street for southbound traffic, the block is now a zone where pedestrians take precedence. Direct vehicular access to the block is available, but only to northbound drivers, who are supposed to observe a 5 mph limit. Traffic is very light.

Image: DOT
Image: DOT

The asphalt roadbed has been resurfaced with epoxy and gravel, creating a single unified space linking the sidewalk and concrete island between Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

The Broadway bike lane, meanwhile, was rerouted around the shared space onto 25th Street and Fifth Avenue. It then picks up on Broadway again and links to the Fifth Avenue bike lane, which will soon be getting physical protection south of 23th Street. Concrete Jersey barriers now separate the block-long contraflow bike lane on 25th Street from car traffic.

  • Jeff

    That’s a nice looking shared space prototype you got there, DOT. Sure would be a shame if someone were to… ruin it by surrounding it with jersey barriers…

  • Vooch
  • sinion

    Can someone explain to me what’s the point of not pedestrianizing it? It’s an honest question, because it’s only a very minor redundancy to making a right-turn on 25th street directly. Like, who would ever drive that detour?

  • AnoNYC


    The way it’s been reconfigured though, the vast majority of automotive vehicles using the space will be for deliveries and pickups.

    I imagine more of Broadway receiving this treatment in baby steps.

    Realistically the DOT could close the entirety of Broadway between Union Sq and Columbus Circle to automobiles tomorrow and the city would be better for it.

  • AC

    Yeah, odd that this article doesn’t mention that, especially since there was a post on streetsblog about it yesterday. Wouldn’t be such a bad thing if they moved the jersey barriers to the outside of the bike lane.

  • Jeff

    I like to be an optimist and say it’s a pilot project for other places in the city where shared space really is the most practical design.

  • N_Gorski

    Broadway should really be a two-way bike path between Bowling Green and Columbus Circle with a two-way bus-only path between Bowling Green and Union Sq. Deliveries at night only.

    (Also, the shared space treatment should be applied to every one-way street between the triangle of Broadway, Water St and Fulton St.)

  • c2check

    omg this is hilarious XD

  • BrandonWC

    And yet the way according to the plan deliveries will be banned by changing the parking regs to no standing any time. So it’s a but puzzling.

  • Vooch
  • justjess

    mad sq eats food trucks and food deliveries usually park here, since that plaza has a food market.

  • Rex Rocket

    Count down to Third Annual Farmed Salmon Festival sponsored by Virgin Atlantic filling the space for 6 weeks…5…4…3…2…