Now all that's about to change. Mayor Bloomberg announced his plan to turn most of Times Square into a pedestrian mall. The streets that will be closed to traffic include 42nd to 47th streets and 33rd to 35th. This urban experiment will last from Memorial Day until the end of the year, and depending on the results, could become a Big Apple fixture. More reason to visit!
The thinking behind the plan is that Broadway's diagonal path disrupts the Midtown traffic grid where it intersects with crosstown streets. By releasing these pinch spots, traffic is expected to flow more smoothly across town.
Taxi drivers are afraid of taking a major hit, as many of their fares head to Broadway theaters or Macy's. But if someone has to walk an extra block to catch the hit musical Avenue Q in exchange for less congested traffic and increased walking plazas, it'll be worth it.
New York is lacking as a major city without a major pedestrian strip. Just look at Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Paris, literally any major European city. A wide pedestrian promenade encourages green spaces, outdoor dining, safe walking, and of course, shopping. Maybe if we're lucky, the naked cowboy will finally be able to buy a pair of pants.