Controversial bike lanes and Times Square street furniture pushed it out of the spotlight, but the Department of Transportation's ambitious plan to remake 34th Street is back with a vengeance. We first got the details in the spring of 2008: Dedicated bus lanes would travel in both directions on 34th Street, but cars would only be allowed to head one way?west on 34th Street street from Sixth Avenue, and east from Fifth Avenue. The block between Fifth and Sixth Avenues would be a car-free pedestrian plaza, but the bus lanes would still snake through the block.
The goal is to create more space for pedestrians and speed up the buses (9 out of 10 people travel along 34th Street by bus or foot, according to a city study), and the DOT is now preparing environmental and design reviews and meeting with business leaders to rally support. The plan is expected to be in full swing by the end of 2012, giving angry tabloid columnists something to pencil in for their first thing to hate in 2013.
· Plan for 34th St. Puts Buses and Feet First [NYT]
· A Car-Free 34th Street? (For One Block. Maybe.) [Curbed]