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Times Square: The Pedestrian Walkway?

Are they kidding?

This is a well-intentioned, but badly executed plan. A pedestrian walk-way in the middle of Manhattan is a noble idea. Cutting down on traffic, greenhouse gases, noise, pollution...no one would argue that these are honorable pursuits.

I visited New York last week, immediately after the new pedestrian Times Square was launched. Who's kidding who?

Anyone who has ever visited a European city where there are true pedestrian plazas (Rome, Barcelona, and Siena are cities that come quickly to mind) will laugh out loud at this pretense.

First of all. let's be clear. There is still traffic through Times Square. Less of it, to be sure, but it's there. The entire picture is absurd and somewhat hard to describe without sounding as though I'm making it up. One thick lane down the middle of the street is closed to traffic. There is a narrow lane of traffic going north and going south on either side of the "pedestrian walk-way." Here is the truly bizarre part. Lounge chairs and cafe chairs have been set up in this middle lane and there are people, dozens of people, lounging. Traffic to the right of them, traffic to the left of them; there they are lounging. Some are reading books. It's dark. It's loud. It's dirty. It's the middle of Manhattan and there they are. You should go. This is something like the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China that has to been seen to be fully appreciated. Hurry up. It's a "pilot project" for the next few months. I, for one, doubt it will last.
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Posted by teethetrav 11:48 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites

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