The Dept. of Transportation is prepared to physically link a stretch of privately owned public spaces (POPS) that cuts through a number of midtown towers between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, running from 51st to 57th Streets. For years there has been a continuous string of atria and open plazas that extend in almost a straight line midway between the long avenue blocks, but they have been disconnected by crosstown traffic unless one was a determined jaywalker. Now the Dept. of Transportation and its Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn are prepared to highlight the linear nature of these public spaces by linking them with crosswalks, signage, and traffic-slowing measures so pedestrians will be more inclined to follow a continuous route, according to the Observer.
The series of POPS is unofficially being called the Holly White Way, in memory of an urban planner who helped popularize privately owned parks. Movement from the DOT was actually instigated by an assemblage of architects, artists, and community leaders who are proponents and watchdogs for POPS in NYC called F-POPS (Friends of Privately Owned Public Spaces). It's unclear how these mid-street intersections will affect cross-town traffic flow, but it should make it safer for midtown workers trying to get to their favorite sandwich place and back on a short lunch break.