People in the Streets

I was in New York City for a couple days last weekend visiting friends and roaming- as I do- and there’s something (else) cool going on in midtown.  The city has blocked off half of some streets (definitely Broadway, and maybe some of 7th Ave, but I might have been going rogue on my street sign reading skills there) and turned them into pedestrian avenues, with huge bike lanes.  I read about the city starting this in Times Square this summer, and it was great to see them keeping up with it.  Seems they’ve expanded the original zones, too- they extended up to about 59th, from what I noticed.  The weather was weirdly nice last weekend, and there were people strolling and reading and eating at the tables they’ve set out for public use in these former traffic lanes. Huge planters and green and red dots painted on the road mark off the new pedestrian zones.  It was nice to see people encroaching on traffic instead of traffic encroaching on people.

At night, somewhere near Times Square:


And I forget where the next day:


We could do this here in Alexandria- King Street would be a great place to have a long pedestrian mall.  There are plenty of side streets to pick up the extra traffic.  Close off 10 or 15 blocks to cars like they do during art festivals there- keep open crossing at Rt 1 and Washington, sure- and let people wander around all those shops and restaurants for a few weeks at Christmas, and see how everybody likes it?

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