You can thank all that space in Times Square for your creative Instagram picture you just posted in the middle of one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. You got the perfect shot, with all those lights in the background, and with the perfect filter, you got a picture with over a hundred likes. It wasn’t always like this though, at one point Times Square was a much smaller area for pedestrians with more roads covering the now famous space that has tourist flocking to the square for their pictures.
What is now a spacious area for the most visited in the United States, was something once hard to believe. In 2009 an experiment was conducted to see just how much of a difference it would make to have more space. It was deemed “foolish” by many. When the experiment proved to be a huge success, it was proposed again to make more space, but this time the idea was not foolish and instead proved a whole new reinvention for one of the most iconic areas in the world. In the spring of 2014 the first phase of the pedestrian sidewalk opened.
Just last Thursday, New York City announced the completion of the pedestrian project that started years ago. A 2.5-acre pedestrian-only public plaza on Broadway. This was designed by the architect firm Snøhetta. This was another milestone in making the square more visitor friendly and provoking fewer accidents.
More space has made it’s contribution in a powerful way, not only to tourists gazing up at the massive billboards but also to the ecosystem, as it was reported that air pollution fell 60% in eliminating traffic in the area. Pedestrian injuries decreased by 40% with more space, and even crime has fallen by 20%. The space has allowed a more safe way to enjoy Times Square as in the past it was difficult to navigate through the tight, crowded sidewalks.
Thanks to the NYC Department of Transportation, Department of Design and Construction, the Times Square Alliance, and Snøhetta all of this is possible. Known as the “Bowtie” for being in the heart of Times Square, put together by Broadway, 7th Avenue, and between 42nd and 47th street, has made the heart of NYC a more pleasant one, not just to tourists, but to residents as well.
Featured Image Via Pixabay