Times Square is Still A Mammoth S#!+show — But NYC Can Learn from London

A common scene in Times Square — pedestrians crammed into tight space, while drivers rule the road. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.
A common scene in Times Square — pedestrians crammed into tight space, while drivers rule the road. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

New York has done a world of good in Times Square — where a large pedestrian plaza offers respite from cars, and a place to sit, pause or meet friends.

But just outside the pedestrian zone is a total mess, especially just before and just after Broadway performances. Side streets are a constant cacophony of noise and unending gridlock with crowds pushed off inadequate sidewalks.

It is, in short, what Streetsblog calls #DeblasiosChaos.

It doesn’t have to be this way, of course. We could easily have a network of slow pedestrian-priority avenues or completely car-free streets surrounding the theater district and leading to Times Square. The solution is very simple: give more road space to the people using the streets the most (pedestrians) and stop allowing car-drivers to park and clog the roadways. It should be an easy decision by the city.

In this film, Streetsblog Publisher Mark Gorton walks around Times Square and is appalled — and he talks about how London’s theater district provides a model for how we could solve this problem.

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