In a stunning win for walkers everywhere the New York City Department of Transportation announced yet another round of the NYC Plaza Program. The program is an attempt to close current roadways to vehicles and turn them into pedestrian plazas. The spark that lit the fire was the temporary closing to vehicles — which has recently become permanent — of Broadway between Times Square and Herald Square. The program has been quite successful and to many a driver’s dismay, another round of proposals is being accepted by the city now.
The Times Square and Herald Square plazas — dubbed the Greenlight for Midtown Project — were the first areas to go carless, (a move that was fought against by drivers across the city). While Mayor Bloomberg first proposed the project as a temporary experiment, after the plazas proved to lower the injury rate to pedestrians by vehicles in the area, he decided to make them official. With the success of the Greenlight for Midtown Project the city government decided to expand the plazas into all parts of the city.
“This Program is a key part of the City’s effort to ensure that all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of quality open space,” the city notes on their website. Proposals can be of all shapes and sizes but must be submitted by a non-profit organization. In the last round of proposals 22 plaza ideas were submitted and 9 were selected to be transformed by 2011 into bonafied pedestrian right-of-ways. If you’d like part of your neighborhood to be considered make sure to submit your proposal by Wednesday, June 30, 2010. This upcoming round of proposals will be completed by 2013. New York City’s really racking up the cool green spaces these days, and we like it.