New York City mayor Bloomberg has announced yesterday that the Broadway public space experiment through Times Square and Herald Square will, after an eight month trial period, be made permanent. From the press conference:
"I think the issue is, are the roads for multiple uses – everybody, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists – or are they just for motorists? And in this day and age, if you go around the world, all the other great cities have already tried to reduce the number of cars on their streets and convert some of the open spaces into space for other people."Janette Sadik-khan, the city DOT commissioner, expressed the intent to "transform the plazas into iconic spaces worthy of their iconic setting."
To show how historic this decision is, I've dug up a couple of Times Square illustrations from previous decades. The first drawing of Times Square is from the the 1974 book Pedestrian Revolution. The source is not cited, so I assume it is the vision of authors:
This 1981 drawing of Times Square is from NY Office of Midtown Planning:
Finally, the illustration released by NY DOT last year: