NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Broadway – the most famous one – and Main Street in Sag Harbor, Long Island, both won the distinction of being Great Streets of America Wednesday in a new list by the American Planning Association.
October is National Community Planning month, and the APA Great Places in America program names 30 “exemplary” streets, neighborhood and public space that the association believes add value to communities and generate jobs and economic growth.READ MORE: New Jersey Lab Comes Up With Rapid Analysis Test That Specifically Looks For COVID-19 Delta Variant
In naming Broadway to the list of great streets, the association focused on the Manhattan section of the road. Broadway begins at Bowling Green near the southern tip of Manhattan, and crosses the Spuyten Duyvil Creek at the northern Manhattan Island.
Broadway technically exits the borough of Manhattan at 230th Street, where it exits the neighborhood of Marble Hill – politically a part of Manhattan but geographically in the Bronx. The iconic road then continues another two miles through the Bronx and 18 more through Westchester County.
The planning association emphasized the eclectic and diverse nature of Broadway through its many neighborhoods.
“The street hosts world-renowned events for hundreds of thousands of people, houses fabric suppliers patronized by famous designers, is home to highly competitive academic institutions, and encourages shoppers to purchase anything they desire,” the association wrote. “Broadway also welcomes residents and visitors to sit comfortably on a bench surrounded by greenery in a space carved out of its wide berth.”
The association also emphasized the improvement to vehicular and pedestrian traffic along the Broadway corridor in recent years – particularly in Times and Herald squares.
Two traffic lanes of Broadway between 42nd and 35th streets were closed to traffic and converted to public plazas under Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2008. The sections of Broadway in Duffy Square, Times Square, and Herald Square have been closed to automotive traffic altogether since May 2009.
Broadway was originally a Native American footpath called the Wickquasgeck Trail, and became the main road through Manhattan when the Dutch founded New Amsterdam in 1626, the association noted. The name is the literal translation of the Dutch name “Breede weg.”
The contemporary Broadway was completed in the late 19th century by joining Broadway, Eastern Post Road, Bloomingdale Road, and Western Boulevard.READ MORE: NYC Mayoral Candidates Make Last-Minute Push For Votes Ahead Of Tuesday's Primary
Broadway inspired the name of several other streets in New York City and around the country – including East Broadway and West Broadway in Lower Manhattan, and separate streets called Broadway in Brooklyn and Queens and on Staten Island. Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and Cleveland also all have major streets called Broadway inspired by the Manhattan original.
In naming Main Street in Sag Harbor to the list, the association noted that the Suffolk County village has worked to maintain the historical and architectural integrity of the corridor.
“Since a large portion of the village was designated a national historic district in 1973, the village’s Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review has been responsible for ensuring the integrity of historical and cultural landmarks along Main Street and elsewhere in the village,” the association said. “The village also approved measures in 2009 to keep the size and style of new development along Main Street compatible with its historic buildings.”
The character and ownership of the commercial properties on Main Street has become wealthier and more exclusive over the years, but local business owners have worked, as the association put it, “to balance private property interests with community values and concerns that commercial properties on Main Street remain affordable to small businesses.”
Residents have also worked with the Sag Harbor village Architectural Review Board to renovate and transform some of the historic mansions on Main Street into viable retail spaces, the association noted.
Main Street in Sag Harbor dates back to 1745, and in the early 19th century was a fashionable thoroughfare supported by the whaling industry, the association said.
Also on the Great Streets list were Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas; State Street in Santa Barbara, California; Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.; Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, Florida, Congress Street in Portland, Maine; the Portland Transit Mall on 5th and 6th avenues in Portland, Oregon; King Street in Charleston, South Carolina; and 25th Street in Ogden, Utah.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:MORE NEWS: Parents Say Children Who Narrowly Avoided Gunfire In Brazen Mount Eden Shooting Are Suffering Mental Trauma
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]