June 23, 2022
Administration Working With Local Partners to Immediately Expand Open Streets Program, Protect Pedestrians
Proposed Reimagination and Redesign Will Go to Community for Review, Would Prioritize Pedestrians, Create More Shared Space, Calm Traffic Between West 25th and 32nd Streets
City Moving Forward With Reimagining of Broadway to Prioritize Safety, Reclaim Public Space for Pedestrians Between Union Square and Columbus Circle
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today unveiled a two-pronged street safety strategy with immediate measures to expand pedestrian space and a proposal to reimagine and redesign Broadway between West 25th and 32nd Streets. The proposal seeks to prioritize pedestrians, create more shared public space, and calm traffic on Broadway between West 25th and West 32nd Streets. Public engagement on the redesign proposal will begin this evening with a Manhattan Community Board 5 Transportation and Environment Committee meeting, which DOT and the community board jointly agreed to hold earlier than originally scheduled to address this urgent issue. The new steps are part of the city’s “Broadway Vision” plan to reclaim public street space for pedestrians in much of the corridor between Union Square and Columbus Circle.
“There is no more iconic street in this city than Broadway — both our small and large businesses sit on it, our tourism and entertainment hubs move through it, and millions of pedestrians walk on it every day, so I completely reject the idea that people will inevitably be injured or killed by vehicles on this very street,” said Mayor Adams. “Traffic violence is preventable, and I will do everything in my power to prevent another crash when we already have the tools in our toolbox to prevent it. I want to thank our partners in the community who are helping to craft and execute this plan; we look forward to working with them and others on other similar projects in the future.”
A pop-up plaza on Broadway between 25th and 27th Street. Credit: Flatiron NoMad Partnership
“The ‘Broadway Vision’ proposal is a great reimagining of some of our busiest corridors to make them more livable,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Thanks to DOT, we can create public spaces that support a wide variety of mobility and are safer, cleaner, and more vibrant for all.”
“Reclaiming space from vehicles on Broadway will allow us to create welcoming plazas and promote safe, efficient transportation options that link together some of the most beloved parks in the heart of Manhattan,” said DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. “We are thrilled to begin outreach on this next section of our ‘Broadway Vision’ plan, and we remain committed to delivering these transformative redesigns throughout the entire corridor between Union Square and Columbus Circle.”
In the near term, DOT is working with the Flatiron NoMad Partnership to extend the current Open Street at this location two blocks north by the end of June. The Open Street currently spans Broadway from 25th Street to 27th Street and will expand to include the area up to 29th Street.
DOT will also begin public engagement this evening with the Community Board 5 committee meeting on the next phase of “Broadway Vision,” which focuses on the span from 25th Street to 32nd Street, Madison Square to Herald Square. The proposal for this span would add new pedestrian space and loading zones, while formalizing two-way cycling. Among the proposed changes is a plan to convert Broadway between 28th Street and 29th Street into a shared street to calm traffic and add new pedestrian space protected by physical additions like planters and granite blocks.
Phase one of the proposal would reimagine Broadway from 25th Street to 29th Street as follows:
DOT’s public engagement will include presentations of the proposal to Community Board 5, as well as public surveys along the corridor on Friday, June 24 and Tuesday, June 28. Meetings with the community board will start immediately, with additional meetings to be scheduled for the summer.
“Broadway Vision” is the city’s blueprint to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists across more than 40 city blocks along Broadway — improving traffic safety, accessibility, and quality of life. The vision deploys a mix of pedestrianized streets and car-light designs to completely prohibit — or dramatically reduce the presence of — personal vehicles. The blueprint promotes safe designs and behavior to maintain access for local delivery drivers while dramatically reducing speeds on blocks accessible to vehicles for local deliveries.
Working in close collaboration with neighboring business improvement districts (BIDs), DOT has already successfully transformed sections of Broadway — including between 21st Street and 23rd Street in Flatiron, 38th Street to 40th Street in the Garment District, and 48th Street to 50th Street in Times Square.
“I applaud Mayor Eric Adams and the Department of Transportation’s initiative to expand pedestrian space with ‘Broadway Vision.’ Between West 25th and 32nd Streets, New Yorkers will be able to take advantage of vast public space,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney. “I applaud the city for reimagining what public space can and should be for New Yorkers. It is imperative to prioritize pedestrians, create more shared public spaces, and calm traffic — all factors that contribute to the unification of our community.”
“Far too often, we’ve seen the deadly results of allowing cars to rule our streets. New Yorkers deserve the ability to enjoy our streets in peace and safety, and that means getting cars out of the way,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I am delighted that Mayor Adams and DOT Commissioner Rodriguez are creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists in one of our city’s busiest corridors. These efforts will reduce air and noise pollution, enhance traffic safety, and bolster pedestrian accessibility and comfort. I share the vision of a walkable, car-free Broadway, and today’s announcement brings us one step closer to making that vision a reality.”
“With more New Yorkers getting killed in crashes every month, it’s critical that we redouble efforts to make New York City a safer urban environment for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists alike,” said New York State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried. “The two-pronged expansion of the city’s ‘Broadway Vision’ initiative will expand the Open Streets program on this congested, world-famous thoroughfare and encourage all of us to envision a city in which people, not cars, are the top priority in our streetscapes.
“The emergency of traffic violence demands urgent action from all levels of government,” said New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera. “We must design our street to put people’s safety and accessibility first, and we can’t wait for another tragedy to make that happen. This is about making the necessary changes to save lives. The ‘Broadway Vision’ can be a start.”
“Our streets in Midtown clearly need further redesign to end these tragedies before human error can even become a factor,” said Marisa Maack, district manager, Manhattan Community Board 5. “Manhattan Community Board 5 is encouraged by how quickly DOT is responding and we look forward to seeing their new proposals.”
“As our neighborhood reels from Monday’s crash, our thoughts are with those who were seriously injured, and our gratitude is with the New Yorkers and first responders who aided them,” said James Mettham, president, Flatiron NoMad Partnership. “We applaud the city for recognizing the urgent need to implement the next phase of DOT’s ‘Broadway Vision.’ Our long-standing collaboration with the city on safety and accessibility improvements along Broadway in Flatiron and NoMad created the Flatiron Public Plazas, three pedestrian-focused shared-use blocks, and the new NoMad Piazza pop-up. We look forward to assisting our city partners in quickly shepherding new ‘Broadway Vision’ projects, including life-saving pedestrian areas and fully protected bike lanes.”
“For too long, Broadway has been dominated by cars, with pedestrians, cyclists, and the businesses they support being treated like second-class citizens,” said Ken Podziba, president and CEO, Bike New York. “The ‘Broadway Vision’ proposal will go a long way toward making this vibrant and vital part of New York City what it should be: a safe haven for those who choose to walk or bike. We thank Mayor Adams, Commissioner Rodriguez, and their visionary staff for both moving this proposal forward and gathering important public input.”
“Designing street corridors that truly prioritize people encourages folx to walk, bicycle ride, or scoot. These transportation modes reduce street violence, increase commerce, increase mobility, better air quality, is heart-healthy, and improves mood, balance, and cognition. Statistics, consistently, show that increased foot and bicycle traffic benefits communities, businesses, residents, and visitors,” said Angela Azzolino, executive director, Get Women Cycling. “Kudos to the current administration for extending Broadway’s pedestrian plaza. Manhattan’s ‘Broadway Vision’ must serve as the first of many collaborative DOT initiatives that provide robust public engagement, education, and outreach to ensure the vision satisfies the needs and concerns of its community. And, of course, with the success of Manhattan must come a successful ‘Broadway Vision’ for the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Placemaking promotes people’s health and well-being. Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez, thank you for continuing New York City’s commitment to it by dedicating our public spaces to people.”
“Shared streets are an important tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving local air quality,” said Julie Tighe, president, New York League of Conservation Voters. “That includes more space for pedestrians and cyclists, loading zones for deliveries, and measures to make drivers slow down and be aware of their surroundings. We applaud Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez for moving forward with this proposal to reimagine Broadway.”
“We’re pleased to see that the city is moving quickly to improve safety on Broadway in the wake of Monday’s horrific crash. We urge the mayor and the Department of Transportation to fully implement the ‘Broadway Vision’ plan as soon as humanly possible and, at the same time, to develop a safety plan for similar pedestrian-rich areas across the city,” said Eric McClure, executive director, StreetsPAC. “It’s crucial that we act before the next devastating crash, and we have the tools to keep people safe: hardened barriers to protect people on foot and on bikes, shared-street treatments to slow drivers to 5 miles per hour, expanded sidewalks, curb extensions, and ultimately, many more car-free spaces. The BIDs along Broadway know that these things not only save lives and limbs — they save and boost businesses through increased economic activity. Let’s take ‘Broadway Vision’ and turn it into a citywide vision.”
“This announcement is a positive step that builds upon our long-running campaign for a car-free Broadway,” said Danny Harris, executive director, Transportation Alternatives. “As we face a crisis of traffic violence on our streets, we need to accelerate efforts to put people before cars not only in the heart of Manhattan but citywide. We remain focused on achieving a car-free Broadway and look forward to working with government, business, and community partners to make this a reality.”
“The city must use every tool in its toolbox to prevent pedestrian and cyclist deaths, and the ‘Broadway Vision’ is an excellent demonstration of what’s possible,” said Liam Blank, policy and communications manager, Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “Yes, we can achieve Vision Zero goals, but that means the city and New York City Department of Transportation must continue to be proactive by implementing more protections for vulnerable road users, calming traffic through better design, and outright banning cars on some streets. We commend Mayor Adams and DOT Commissioner Rodriguez for making this issue an urgent priority.”