Last year's brouhaha over the Times Square pedestrian plazas (and their accompanying costumed characters) made one thing clear: New Yorkers feel pretty passionately about their public spaces, even when they're in the middle of a tourist-clogged urban jungle. And now, thanks to an effort by the DOT and the Garment District Alliance, a new pedestrian plaza will be implemented just steps away from Times Square.
The GDA announced today that an open space on Broadway between 36th and 41st Streets, which has been used as a pedestrian plaza during warmer months, will become permanent and year-round. The space will also get a revamp, with new additions—free Wi-Fi, better seating, lighting, and the like—intended to draw patrons to the space no matter the time of day. The permanent space will also allow the GDA to bring more public programming and artwork to the space.
A current design for the new plazas has yet to be finalized, and the GDA says that it plans to work with the community on the design through a series of meetings. But the public will get a taste of the possible infrastructure this summer, when wooden decking is installed along Broadway, mimicking what could come when the permanent plazas are completed. That's not scheduled to happen until 2020.