The New York City Department of Transportation today welcomes the American Planning Association’s (APA) designation of the Broadway corridor as one of the 10 Great Streets for 2014. APA celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning, each year selecting 10 Great Streets, 10 Great Neighborhoods and 10 Great Public Spaces in the country. These places represent the gold standard for having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow that adds value to communities and fostering economic growth and jobs.
“Broadway reflects the city it runs through. Its 14 miles in Manhattan from Bowling Green to West 230th Street in Marble Hill makes it a true Main Street that all New Yorkers can be proud of,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “From the Custom House on the south end to the iconic Flatiron Building at Madison Square, to Columbia University in the northern area, there are so many attractions and things to enjoy, making it a truly Great Street.”
In the last few years, the New York City Department of Transportation implemented several transformative projects along the Broadway corridor stretching from Columbus Circle to Union Square, including at Madison Square in 2008 and at Times and Herald Squares in 2009. Each of these projects reconfigured traffic patterns on Broadway, and in some locations completely closing the roadway to vehicles. DOT carved out and converted newly-created spaces into pedestrian-only plazas with planters and moveable seating benefiting tourists and locals alike.
The projects were widely successful, not just due to their public space creation but also due to safety and mobility enhancements. Most recently DOT completed major safety projects at Broadway and 96th and at Broadway and Dyckman Street. All of these projects combined speak to the greatness of Broadway as the agency seeks to ensure all users have safe access to the corridors many cultural institutions, parks, businesses and residences.
In addition to Broadway’s designation as a great street, APA also recognized the following nine other streets: 5th and 6th Avenues at Portland Transit Mall in Portland, Oregon; 25th street in Ogden, Utah; Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas; Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, Florida; Congress Street in Portland, Maine; King Street in Charleston, South Carolina; Main Street in Sag Harbor, New York; Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.D.; State Street in Santa Barbara, California.
Since Great Places in America was launched in 2007, APA has designated 230 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces. Places are announced annually. For more information about the 10 Great Public Spaces for 2014, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces
Broadway: The 14-mile stretch of Broadway in New York City cuts across the city’s grid system, creating a series of squares – Union Square, Madison Square, Herald Square and Times Square among them – which have unique personalities, define neighborhoods and remain centers of activity day and night. Originally a Native-American footpath that traversed the length of Manhattan, Broadway was completed at the end of the 19th century. The 1811 Commissioners Plan, which put the dominant grid system plan in place, were unsuccessful in their attempts to straighten Broadway above 14th Street, challenging future traffic engineers and planners with improving motor vehicle traffic and pedestrian circulation along the corridor for decades.