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Author Topic: NYC: Times Square / Broadway Renovation  (Read 459 times)

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Offline mrnyc

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2009, 07:10:16 AM »


....I just don't buy the whole congestion-based argument.  Tourists will get there elbow room, and that's about it. 



ok here's the deal on that: madison square took out 45k sq ft of road and gave it over to pedestrians (i learned that from rando's video link, did you check that out? it's inspiring). i'd also guess roughly the same too for the meatpacking district before it. so that's the alterna/stealth-congestion pricing part.

as for times square, the changes, transformation or disneyfication or whatever you wanna call it is long over. it is what it is now. there is no denying the crush of people around there is much more than it ever was. in fact i think it is often extremely dangerous. i have had to walk in the street many times, even on side streets -- not good!
that was never an issue in the bad old days -- ditto for the meatpacking district, too.

my last thought about it is again remember that nyc in general is criminally underserved for places to sit down. the tkts booth steps and this project will go a long way toward correcting that in times square -- a place where it's the most needed of all.

bottom line is you can take heart as it's just an experiment. so we'll see. give it a chance.

Offline Ram23

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2009, 09:14:50 AM »
^ I took a look at the link.  I still think what happened at Madison was a bit different in the way it approached re-configuring the traffic flow.  I think at Times Square it will give the apperance of better traffic flow, but travel times will probably end up a bit longer. 

As for making it a pedestrian mall, I have no doubt it will be used, I just think it will ruin the feel of the space.  I guess it's been changing for awhile though, so the hope that it keeps the same feel might be in vain. 

To answer the previous question, as a naysayer ;-) I live in NYC currently so I visit it every once in awhile.  I actually walk underneath it every day on the way to work. 

Offline ks5214

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2009, 10:39:35 AM »
I live in NYC currently so I visit it every once in awhile.  I actually walk underneath it every day on the way to work. 

Therefore your profile is a lie.. you are not in Cincinnati, Ohio.  :)

Offline MyTwoSense

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2009, 10:42:26 AM »
I live in NYC currently so I visit it every once in awhile.  I actually walk underneath it every day on the way to work. 

Therefore your profile is a lie.. you are not in Cincinnati, Ohio.  :)
Spoken like a true Eastsider (by way of Solon).

Offline ks5214

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2009, 10:49:33 AM »
I live in NYC currently so I visit it every once in awhile.  I actually walk underneath it every day on the way to work. 

Therefore your profile is a lie.. you are not in Cincinnati, Ohio.  :)
Spoken like a true Eastsider (by way of Solon).

I believe my profile is accurate.. it says "New York, NY" where I reside. :)

Offline MyTwoSense

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2009, 10:51:42 AM »
I live in NYC currently so I visit it every once in awhile.  I actually walk underneath it every day on the way to work. 

Therefore your profile is a lie.. you are not in Cincinnati, Ohio.  :)
Spoken like a true Eastsider (by way of Solon).

I believe my profile is accurate.. it says "New York, NY" where I reside. :)

LOL  LOL   Ahhhh you UES folks.  How is your friend Bernie?  LOL

Offline JoeL

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2009, 11:10:28 AM »
I can understand opposition to the extent that someone simply dislikes change. That's a natural instinct, and virtually any project in the history of development projects will have opponents who like the way things are (or used to be).

But as far as the character of the street goes, I'm just not sure that's a strong factor in this context. First of all, you have all these people who clearly think the character will IMPROVE with this change. Furthermore, the pedestrian mall is addressing serious infrastructure issues (both pedestrian and auto) in an amazingly inexpensive way. If this project is even half as successful at reducing pedestrian and auto conjestion as the proponents say its going to be, it'll be one of the cheapest fixes in the history of the city!! :)

Offline MyTwoSense

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2009, 11:24:38 AM »
Let me tell you.  In order to get some things done, my team went to TS e at   
  • 12 Noon
  • 3 PM
  • 6 PM
  • 9 PM
  • 12 Midnight
  • 4 AM

I wasn't there at 4 AM, but I can tell you that there is significant foot traffic, hence several 24 hour restaurants and the addition of bars, etc.    We have interactive advertising (ie. see yourself on the cover of Time, Essence or People Magazine).  There is serious foot traffic.There are folks out there like you would not believe.
 
I can remember when you were strongly advised not to walk down 42 street between 7 Avenue and 10 Avenue.
 
The tables, umbrellas, and chair are all sponsored.  Advertisers know TS is a tourist Trap there is a built in audience, which they can speak too. It's a way to take a break - on the crossroads of the world - while the hustle and bustle goes on around you.

Offline Ram23

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2009, 12:50:55 PM »
Let me tell you.  In order to get some things done, my team went to TS e at   
  • 12 Noon
  • 3 PM
  • 6 PM
  • 9 PM
  • 12 Midnight
  • 4 AM

I wasn't there at 4 AM, but I can tell you that there is significant foot traffic, hence several 24 hour restaurants and the addition of bars, etc.    We have interactive advertising (ie. see yourself on the cover of Time, Essence or People Magazine).  There is serious foot traffic.There are folks out there like you would not believe.
 
I can remember when you were strongly advised not to walk down 42 street between 7 Avenue and 10 Avenue.
 
The tables, umbrellas, and chair are all sponsored.  Advertisers know TS is a tourist Trap there is a built in audience, which they can speak too. It's a way to take a break - on the crossroads of the world - while the hustle and bustle goes on around you.

You sound like a used car salesman ;-)

I live in NYC currently so I visit it every once in awhile.  I actually walk underneath it every day on the way to work. 

Therefore your profile is a lie.. you are not in Cincinnati, Ohio.  :)

I move every 3 months for co-op jobs, it's tough to keep my profile up with it :-)

Offline MyTwoSense

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2009, 01:09:19 PM »
Let me tell you.  In order to get some things done, my team went to TS e at   
  • 12 Noon
  • 3 PM
  • 6 PM
  • 9 PM
  • 12 Midnight
  • 4 AM

I wasn't there at 4 AM, but I can tell you that there is significant foot traffic, hence several 24 hour restaurants and the addition of bars, etc.    We have interactive advertising (ie. see yourself on the cover of Time, Essence or People Magazine).  There is serious foot traffic.There are folks out there like you would not believe.
 
I can remember when you were strongly advised not to walk down 42 street between 7 Avenue and 10 Avenue.
 
The tables, umbrellas, and chair are all sponsored.  Advertisers know TS is a tourist Trap there is a built in audience, which they can speak too. It's a way to take a break - on the crossroads of the world - while the hustle and bustle goes on around you.

You sound like a used car salesman ;)

I live in NYC currently so I visit it every once in awhile.  I actually walk underneath it every day on the way to work. 

Therefore your profile is a lie.. you are not in Cincinnati, Ohio.  :)

I move every 3 months for co-op jobs, it's tough to keep my profile up with it :)

I know where you live and work, don't make me call some folks from Washington Hts. on you!  lol

Offline UncleRando

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2009, 08:31:01 PM »
Times Square Plan’s Challenge: Lose the Cars, Keep the Grit
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/arts/design/26clos.html

When New York City announced a plan to shut down parts of Times Square to traffic, New Yorkers’ reactions ranged from bemusement to mild hysteria.Despite reassurances from the Transportation Department that the changes would create a greener, more pedestrian-friendly city, some critics of the plan worried that it would sap the square of its chaotic energy. Others, apparently nostalgic for the seediness of the 1970s version of the square, denounced it as another step in New York’s transformation from the world’s greatest metropolis to a generic tourist trap.

For more, click the link
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 09:04:31 AM by ColDayMan »

Offline Ram23

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2009, 11:18:49 PM »
I will wait until I get back to NYC this summer to pass final judgment, but I'm going to bet it lost a lot of it's nostalgia.  Seems like a total sellout to tourists to me. 

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2009, 09:35:11 AM »
^ Yeah, but what local even comes close to the square? It is avoided by cabbies. I would bet that the majority of cabbies going through Times Square are request made by tourist.

Offline ks5214

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2009, 09:50:10 AM »
^ I throw up in my mouth when I hear mention of TS, let alone go to it.

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2009, 10:18:44 AM »
^ I throw up in my mouth when I hear mention of TS, let alone go to it.

Yeah, I've got two good friends that live at 10th and 42nd and they avoid it at all cost.

Offline eastvillagedon

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #45 on: May 26, 2009, 10:56:49 AM »
I will wait until I get back to NYC this summer to pass final judgment, but I'm going to bet it lost a lot of it's nostalgia.  Seems like a total sellout to tourists to me. 
Times Square lost its "nostalgia" decades ago when it became a gentrified theme park; closing off much of it to traffic is just the last nail in the coffin (much of the mystique of the Times Square experience has always been the sea of traffic and the honking of horns). Although there are many serious, critically acclaimed plays currently on Broadway--a revival of Desire Under The Elms; Neil LaBute's reasons to be pretty; Mary Stuart; God of Carnage; etc--some of them are not doing that well at the box office because of 1) astronomical ticket prices (in evidence now for ages) which drives away many New York residents who would otherwise like to go to the theater more often; and 2) the fact that most tourists who make up the bulk of the Broadway audience want to see big musicals with brand name stars, despite their dubious quality (though now even straight plays often demand those stars to draw an audience--James Gandolfini and Jeff Daniels in God of Carnage, for example). That being said, I still love walking through Times Square on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Offline MyTwoSense

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #46 on: May 26, 2009, 12:12:56 PM »
I will wait until I get back to NYC this summer to pass final judgment, but I'm going to bet it lost a lot of it's nostalgia.  Seems like a total sellout to tourists to me. 
Times Square lost its "nostalgia" decades ago when it became a gentrified theme park; closing off much of it to traffic is just the last nail in the coffin (much of the mystique of the Times Square experience has always been the sea of traffic and the honking of horns). Although there are many serious, critically acclaimed plays currently on Broadway--a revival of Desire Under The Elms; Neil LaBute's reasons to be pretty; Mary Stuart; God of Carnage; etc--some of them are not doing that well at the box office because of 1) astronomical ticket prices (in evidence now for ages) which drives away many New York residents who would otherwise like to go to the theater more often; and 2) the fact that most tourists who make up the bulk of the Broadway audience want to see big musicals with brand name stars, despite their dubious quality (though now even straight plays often demand those stars to draw an audience--James Gandolfini and Jeff Daniels in God of Carnage, for example). That being said, I still love walking through Times Square on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

When I first got here in '97, it was on it's last legs of filth and fun.  When the club, the world, closed, TS was officially disneyfied.

Offline mrnyc

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #47 on: May 26, 2009, 02:49:57 PM »
via curbed blog -- here's how it looks is so far:



 

1) The Great Broadway Pedestrian Experiment kicked off on Memorial Day with the closing off of the Great White Way to cars between 42nd Street to 47th Street, and 33rd Street to 35th Street. Though the plazas have yet to really be built-out, it's so far, so good, says Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. It's splendid if a little rushed, says Big Nic, and if the idea becomes permanent the city will need to design plazas that better reflect the city rather than just some small café tables. Above, a gallery pulled from Flickr of some of yesterday's sights in Times Square. ['Lose the Traffic. Keep That Times Square Grit.']

more pics:
http://curbed.com/archives/2009/05/26/it_happened_one_long_weekend_bway_goes_for_a_stroll.php?o=1

Offline Ram23

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2009, 07:53:28 AM »
I will wait until I get back to NYC this summer to pass final judgment, but I'm going to bet it lost a lot of it's nostalgia.  Seems like a total sellout to tourists to me. 

I can't say anything about whether the traffic is better or not, but I spent some time with a friend here last night and enjoyed being able to have a seat and have a bit of room.

My final judgement is that it's only slightly more Disneyworld-esque than it used to be, and only slightly more of a tourist trap.

Offline jpop

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2009, 08:33:26 AM »
I think this plan is a really good one, and it has great potential.

But the tacky lawn chairs??? I mean, I really hope they spruce the area up a bit.

Offline tedders55

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2009, 08:57:52 AM »
I dont know the tacky lawn chairs has a grittier feel to it.  If they put in more stylish chairs then the disneyfication effect goes on.  These at least make you feel like your sitting on the porch.  Gives off a good retro vibe.

Offline Ram23

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #51 on: June 23, 2009, 09:22:54 AM »
It looks like they are going to replace them eventually, as some places have nicer seating and landscaping elements already, and there was some work being done on more.  Right now the streets are just blocked off with orange barrels (ah, reminds me of Ohio..) and people nervously wander around, not sure if they're supposed to be walking/sitting in that street or not.


Offline jpop

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #52 on: June 23, 2009, 10:03:18 AM »
Exactly. It would be nice if they could at least lay down some gravel like they have in other parts along Broadway, with planters, etc. I dunno .. maybe the current look they're going for is intentional, but it just looks .. tacky and thrown together to me. Regardless, I avoid TS like the plague, so I don't know why I'm getting in such a huff over it.

I also really wish that Times Square could throw some trees into the mix. It's too bad that it's all so concrete and asphalt-y. But that's just me.

Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #53 on: June 23, 2009, 05:32:09 PM »
I agree, people seemed confused if they could go into the street or not (when it was less crowded of course).

Offline Hayward

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #54 on: June 23, 2009, 07:24:35 PM »
Here's an interesting question.  Do you think this might increase crime?  You always hear at festivals and big events when crowds gather purses, wallets, and cellphones are stolen.  I feel like when everyone is up on the sidewalk there's a lot more eyes watching.  With everyone scattered about I feel like these incidents would be less conspicuous.  Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know.

Offline mrnyc

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #55 on: June 24, 2009, 03:12:34 PM »
i think this will spread the people out and give them more elbow room and it will be safer.

my guess is that would decrease the pickpocketing, which is rampant on the narrow ts area sidewalks packed with %#@!! stop-dead-in-your-tracks-in-the-freakin-middle-of-the-sidewalk gawkers.

otherwise, whether people stay on the sidewalks or now in the streets too its heavily patrolled, full of people and there really are no inconspicuous areas. that's the beauty of nyc, aside from petty stuff generally there is safety in those numbers.

also, i'm not sure about ts, the changes are too new and i avoid the place, but come to think of it i haven't seen too many bums/addicts camping out in the meatpacking or madison square seating, i think the foot patrols must roust them out.



Offline StapHanger

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2009, 03:56:26 PM »
Pretty sure that the plan is to reassess (or at least to pretend to) in August and determine then whether the changes should be permanent.  The general sense is that the changes will be permanent unless the traffic is shown to be a complete and total disaster, which I don't think is the case.  After the reassessment, there will be bike lanes, the gravel spray, better quality seating, planters and bollards in line with the changes further south on Broadway.

I walked around last week or the week before and thought it was awesome.  So awesome that I don't even feel like I have to avoid Times Square at all costs.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 03:57:04 PM by StrapHanger »

Offline JDD941

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #57 on: June 24, 2009, 05:18:10 PM »
And Cleveland can't seem to make its Public Square a true unified square/park because of what reason?.....

Offline jpop

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2009, 06:49:14 PM »
And Cleveland can't seem to make its Public Square a true unified square/park because of what reason?.....

Because people keep making excuses and backpedaling. Which is pretty typical.

Offline mrnyc

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Re: New York City: Times Square - Broadway is kicking cars to the curb!
« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2009, 08:18:24 AM »
it's brooklyn's turn, flatbush avenue could be next:


Could this be the new face of Flatbush Avenue?

By Gersh Kuntzman
The Brooklyn Paper


W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Taming the mean street: The North Flatbush Business Improvement District has hired an architect to make the meanest of the mean streets more friendly.


Flatbush Avenue would become a walkable, livable, shopable boulevard — no, really! — under a new plan being put forward by a local business group that is frustrated by the dour, traffic-choked strip between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue.

For more, click the link
www.brooklynpaper.com
©2009 The Brooklyn Paper
http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/25/32_25_gk_flatbush.html
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 09:04:52 AM by ColDayMan »