Grand Street bike lane? Flatiron plaza? Psh, child's play. The radical rethinking of the city's streets under Mayor Bloomberg may get more radical come Memorial Day, when sections of Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square go car-free. The mayor is expected to announce the experiment at a press conference today, and the details are as follows: Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets and 33rd (though the Post says 32nd) to 35th Streets would be closed to cars, but traffic would still cut through via cross streets. The areas between the streets would become pedestrian malls with chairs, benches and café tables?like what's been done near the Flatiron building, or a bigger version of the "Broadway Boulevard" experiment between Herald and Times Squares last summer (a "Broadway Boulevard" roadside strip of tables and chairs is being considered from Times Square up to Columbus Circle). This Utopian fantasy would last through the end of the year, and Seventh Avenue in Times Square would be widened to accommodate the extra traffic. Is the mayor now just basing policy on bad Tom Cruise movies? If he shows up to the press conference in an eyepatch and SS uniform, we'll have our answer.
· Mayor Plans to Close Parts of Broadway to Traffic [NYT]
· Broadway Cars Can Take a Walk [NYPost]
UPDATE: Here's a rendering of the Herald Square plan.