A Gift for New York’s Pedestrians

"Rockefeller Center poses the same problems that Times Square did more than a decade ago, when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg shut much of it to cars and trucks. Today’s record numbers of tourists and commuters, and a near-record population, means unparalleled foot traffic—an increase of 11 percent in 10 years—and not enough room for the people crowding the streets.

One broad measure illustrates the pressure: in 2018, according to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, nearly 3 million people entered core Manhattan each day by subway, commuter rail, bus, bicycle, or ferry. Fewer than 900,000 arrived by car or truck. By comparison, in 1998, fewer than 2.4 million people took public transportation or bicycles into Manhattan and more than 1.3 million drove. These 600,000 new non-car commuters require more room on sidewalks to make their way from train and bus stations to work, as any rush-hour walk down Eighth Avenue toward the Port Authority shows."