Bloomberg Administration Revising Traffic, Pedestrian Mall Plan For 34th Street

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest plan to expand the 34th Street plaza was not popular with either residents or businesses, who are relieved now that the administration is backing off of it.

34th street plan Bloomberg Administration Revising Traffic, Pedestrian Mall Plan For 34th Street

34th Street Plan (credit: CBS 2)

The plan would have turned the 34th Street plaza into a large pedestrian mall, with cars and trucks banned between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It is similar to earlier efforts which turned Times Square, Union Square and Herald Square into pedestrian malls.

From Sixth Avenue, cars and trucks could only go west to the Hudson, and from Fifth, only eastbound to the East River.

Some New Yorkers denounced the plan saying traffic would increase on side streets with drivers seeking alternate routes to get across the city.

Businesses and residents complained that an express bus lane would block access to their buildings.

“It’s going to destroy the neighborhood,” said Murray Hill resident Marisa Bulzone.

One man says closing 34th Street would’ve made his life miserable

What do you think about the plan? Leave a comment below…

“East, west, east, west – this is not a highway. This is the heart of a residential neighborhood,” said Aline Chatmajian, Transit Action Committee spokesperson.

The proposal had been intended to ease gridlock and speed up buses, shaving an estimated four minutes off crosstown commute times.

“Is four minutes worth potentially safety issues from fire?” asked Sam Milgrim, spokesman for the 7 Park Avenue Co-op. “Because they’re going to put a concrete barrier here.”

WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane with the story from Midtown

Apparently bowing to public pressure, the city was backing off Thursday, with Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan publicly saying “The design has evolved as we continue to work with the community.  We want the public process to play itself out.”

A revised plan was set to be unveiled next week. Sadik-Khan said it will expand curb access for deliveries and parking, but she hasn’t given any other specifics, such as whether 34th Street will continue to be open to traffic from both directions or will be reduced to one-way traffic.

A final plan likely won’t be ready until this fall with construction set to begin in the spring of next year.

More from Paul Murnane
  • Bartholomew Harte

    They really ought to put a leash on this people
    “Emperor”!34th known for and always has been Famous for SHOPPING!!!
    How can merchandise be delivered to the stores ,oh Mighty One???
    SkyTrain????This Mayor is not only Wrong,He’s Wrong-Headed! !

  • VY

    Make 34th Street one way going EAST from 2nd Ave. to the Westside Highway.
    Make 42nd Street one way going WEST from 11th Ave. to thw FDR Drive.
    Allow left turns off of 42nd Street ONLY to enter acceses to the Licoln Tunnel, 11th Ave. or onto the Westside Highway.
    Allow left turns off of 34th Street only to enter the Midtown Tunnel, 1st Ave. or the FDR Drive.
    Combined the M34 and M42 buses into a circular route up 1st Ave., west on 42nd Street, down on 11th Ave. and east on 34th Street.
    This will create a highway like traffic pattern (regulated by traffic lights) between the Lincoln and Midtown Tunnels, and increase travel speeds without allowing speeding.

  • Brian Uckert

    Too bad Walt Disney isn’t mayor- EPCOT with monorails is a whole lot more appealing – Michael B should take note

    • Bartholomew Harte

      Bloomby couldn’t Shine Uncle Walts Shoes!!

  • nathan

    I Like the idea

  • Josh

    If Las Vegas can move pedestrians above ground and separate them from the flow of motor traffic, so can NYC. It’s cost effective and more importantly, it works.

  • Robert Benkelman

    I think that Times Square and areas ajacent to Times Square should be tourist friendly and people friendly. Other cities have adopted certain areas as pedestrian malls and people have accepted them. The busses need to be smog free. Too many cars for a congested area.

  • Endre Gabor

    Certainly other options could be considered . without hurting the traffic .
    Either underground passage for the pedestrians or for vehicles.
    Both options are more expensive but on long round worth it.
    I can predict in the near future under a new mayor most of the street changes will be reversed . I also could bet the current changes happens because the mayor’s congestion plan had been rejected. Other wise he would not touch anything .
    On the contrary he would urge more cars to pass under 96th street, to generate more income.

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