Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for July 27th, 2009

Carmaggeddon Averted as Broadway Comes to Life

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The closure of Broadway in New York City at Times Square and Herald Square is a lesson for us – and all cities that have yet to grasp the concept. The one that this blog has been talking about for a long time. Traffic expands – and contracts – to fill the space allotted to it. Streetfilms have produced this short video which demonstrates how it is working now there. It also seems to be working on Burrard Street Bridge for the cycle lane. But this is not just about how to move people more efficiently, it is about how to make cities work better for people.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Carmaggeddon Averted as Broadway Come…“, posted with vodpod

Annoyingly vodpod picked up another video on the same page about somewhere else. I am going to post this anyway since both films are worthy of your attention. I just hope that someone responsible for the “Post to WordPress” button notices this and works hard to improve it.

Incidentally, I happened to be in Herald Square not so long ago – before this experiment started – and took this picture of the bike lane.

Lane closure Herald Square Broadway

There had already been an attempt to recover some of Broadway to improve pedestrian and bicycle movement. There is a shot in the video from almost the same point. This new facility is not about movement at all – it is about creating a space where people will want to linger – where loitering is actually encouraged. For the last century we have been obsessed with moving people along, with speeding things up. In the process we lost something precious – which the people of New York are now beginning to appreciate once again.

I wonder how long it will take us to make a move in this direction?

Written by Stephen Rees

July 27, 2009 at 8:16 am