Sunday, October 25, 2009

Civic Group Intends to Turn New York's 42nd Street into a Pedestrian Mall with Light Rail

New York's 42nd Street may be closed off to cars and served by light rail if a local organization realizes its vision. The group projects that a light rail line stopping at intersections would traverse the heart of midtown Manhattan from the East River to the Hudson in about twenty minutes, half the time it takes buses today, with much less pollution.

A 42nd Street light-rail corridor would connect a wide range of New York attractions and transit hubs, including, from West to East, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, The Circle Line pier, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Times Square, the Theater District, Bryant Park, the New York Public Library Main Branch, Grand Central Terminal and the United Nations.

The New York Times quotes vision42 co-chairman George Haikalis citing Portland, Oregon along with Dallas and Jersey City as places where light-rail has stimulated development. The Times also reports that an economic study commissioned by vision42 projected that about 398 office properties along 42nd Street would have an average increase in lot value of 4% or $188 due to the time light rail passengers would save.

When my family and I have visited New York and transitioned between activities on or near 42nd Street, we have often resorted to taxis because some of us were tired of walking. I also think that the traffic on that street is noisy, smelly, and overwhelming. So my initial reaction is positive, provided adequate provisions are made for truck traffic to service businesses in the area. What do you think? Post a comment or vote in the poll to the right (Facebook readers click on View Original Post below to visit my blog

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