While other populous cities in the U.S. have recorded population declines in the past decade, people continue to migrate to New York City at a staggering pace even as the effects of the Great Recession wear on. The 2009 Census Bureau estimates 8,391,881 people live in New York City, with approximately 1,629,054 living in Manhattan alone. With higher birth rates among minorities, and a continuing influx of immigrants, the city’s population is expected to balloon to nearly 9.4 billion people by the year 2025.
This rise in critical mass lays a fundamental need to accommodate higher pedestrian traffic and larger areas to congregate in the city’s public spaces.
Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s vision for New York City’s Sustainable Streets is really showing results. In particular, the radical alteration of Broadway at 17th Street, a heavily trafficked intersection, to accommodate public seating is a remarkable improvement to the city’s urban fabric.
Taken from the DOT's Pedestrian Projects Group webpage:
Broadway and Union Square Improvements (link: pdf)
“Union Square, one of New York City's most important and historic intersections and public places will receive safety and quality of life improvements this summer. The changes extend improvements made in 2008 and 2009 to Broadway between Columbus Circle and Madison Square Park, bringing safety changes, traffic simplification, plazas, greenery and bike paths south to Union Square.”
“In the Spring of 2008, NYCDOT released Sustainable Streets, its new strategic plan. The plan laid out, for the first time ever, a clear and detailed transportation policy for New York City — one that promised a new direction. DOT is delivering on the promises of its plan, and is moving forward on every one of the 164 actions committed to in Sustainable Streets. … ”
Originally written by Fernando Arias at FutureTransport US