New York City makes Times Square a "pedestrian mall"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by ravenvii, May 27, 2009.

  1. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #1
    It's been all over the news, surprised no one posted it here.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/arts/design/26clos.html?ref=global-home

     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    Good. Now I don't have to tell my cab driver to avoid it next time I'm in NYC. I hate what Times Square has become. Giuliani ruined it.
     
  3. chstr macrumors 6502a

    chstr

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    #3
    guiliani and disney
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    You're right about that.
     
  5. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #5
    I had forgotten about this and had to drive to the Times Square area for a meeting today. What a fustercluck. 40 minutes to get around it.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #6
    On the one hand I'm thrilled as I'd love to see NYC and this will make walking around Times Square easier I'd imagine. However, all the cars are a bit of a landmark in a weird way as well. Guess all of the TS photos with cars are now a bit of a collector's item. ;)
     
  7. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    #7
    When I first read about it, as a non New Yorker I thought it was a stupid idea since it seems like it would make traffic worse, but reading some comments around the 'net, it seems that closing it would actually improve traffic, in which case it's a good idea for pedestrians and drivers a like. I have no idea if that's actually true, but it'll be interesting to see how and if that changes the "Times Square" experience.
     
  8. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #8
    I grew up in the area, and while the idea is very strange at first, and in it's current form seems "temporary" - the streets are still there, it's just blocked off by fences and cops, which is strange.

    But if it becomes permanent, and they redo the streets to get rid of the "street for cars" look, I think it's an awesome idea. Cars aren't really necessary in NYC, with the best public transportation in the nation. It would be awesome if people adjust to the idea of a car-less city, and this idea expands to cover more of downtown, like Copenhagen, or the many "medieval" European cities.

    The only thing that got my concerned, like the article above says, NYC might be trying to push this new-old idea too fast. People in general are resistant to change as we all know too well, and while this is a great way to go for the future, maybe it should be slower and more "transparent", so people won't be so resistant.

    But on the other hand, like yanking a bandage off, it's best to do it fast than slowly.

    Potentially an awesome transformation.
     
  9. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #9
    I grew up in the UK thinking the world-famous Times Square was a massive place - the pride of a large nation.

    When I finally visited NYC and went to TS, I was taken aback. It's tiny. Blink and you'll miss it. You can walk across it in a few seconds. I was expecting a place like London's Trafalgar Square which holds about 50-100 000 people, or a large plaza like you'll find in the central parts of many European cites.

    Hopefully turning TS into a plaza will add to the sense of place. As someone used to twisty turny streets, where the topography of every street is different, I found NYC streets very samey, with many major routes the same width as back roads. That's the NYC style but it was quite disorientating at first.
     
  10. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #10
    I'm all for no cars in the commercial parts of cities. Sydney is wonderful when there's an event on and our main George St is pedestrian only. The city takes on a completely different atmosphere that's a lot less aggressive and cold.

    The main streets getting closed off at night and people wandering around was one of my favorite things about Rome. Very friendly and festive and social :).
     
  11. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #11
    The "New" Times Square pretty much was a pedestrian mall even before this - no sane driver in NYC would try going through it unless they absolutely had to. And crowds of people would wander into the streets no matter what the traffic or lights were doing (because in NYC, these two are not related to each other) - I actually think this will make it a heck of a lot safer for people.

    I always take the subway anyhow.
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #12
    We don't need any more bloody malls; streets are congested enough.
     
  13. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

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    New York City
    #13
    Yeah, it's smaller than a lot of people imagine it to be, but that's not to say it can't hold a lot of people.

    New Year's 2009:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/31/new.york.new.year/index.html
     
  14. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #14
    Less reliance on cars both reduces congestion and improves the urban environment. Street malls improve the urban environment.

    Encouraging cars use and reducing street malls are two hits against a pleasing urban environment.
     
  15. youssefm macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #15
    It's so amazing now that traffic is closed off! I went today (I live in nyc) and I got to rest with my starbucks in a little lawn type chair.. then I went to the wax museum and such.. and OMG I saw obama leaving the theater (broadway) and it was great.. tons of police though =/
     
  16. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Canada
    #16
    I've never been to NYC, but I've been lucky enough to visit Europe a few times and it amazes me how many places are pedestrian only. It's fantastic. I realize most European cities are very old compared to anything NA has so their built differently to begin with, but I think NA can use some of the concepts.

    Walking around Trafalgar square; the (forget the name) long street in downtown Dulblin and in downtown Lisbon were unique experiences, did have a sense of place and it was people driven - tons of shops and things to see. I think any city, not just NYC, can benefit from a pedestrian only area.

    In the end, I think walking is good b/c well, #1, it gets people walking instead of sitting on their arses and #2, when you walk, you're typically slower than vehicles (maybe not in traffic jams) so you tend to notice more.

    cheers,
    keebler
     
  17. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

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    Lexington, MA, USA
    #17
    Times Square is more like Piccadilly Circus than Trafalgar Square. Intersection of several streets and lots of neon. Although if you think of Times Square as the entire area where Broadway and 7th Ave converge (at W 43rd Street) to where they cross over and diverge again (at w 47th Street), it is a pretty big area (just not a really open area like Trafalgar Square).
     
  18. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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  19. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneNYC

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    #19
    More peds and bikes and less cars is a good thing for Manhattan.
     
  20. InvalidUserID macrumors 6502a

    InvalidUserID

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    #20
    I still remember when I first moved to NY and the first couple times I visited Times Square. The awe and excitement. By the time I graduated and moved back to CA, I swore off Times Square and vowed never to visit again except to maybe show friends around.

    Meh, I don't know if I like the idea of closing any part of it off though. All the people, cars, traffic, lights...its what makes it what it is.
     

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