What if the city built a huge public park in the heart of Midtown, stretching half a mile over seven city blocks? As Midtown began to creep West toward Times Square in the 1970s, a quirk in the zoning between Sixth and Seventh Avenues led to a string of towers in the middle of the block, all with public plazas, atria or arcades running through them. Everyday, thousands of people traverse this secret boulevard stretching from 51st Street to 57th Street, according to Department of Transportation data.
The plan calls for creating new pedestrian crossings between these public spaces, which generally are directly across the street from one another. Stop signs will be installed in front of new raised crosswalks. Warning markings—BUMP, STOP, chevrons and stripes—will all alert drivers to the new intersection while curbed cuts and painted street space will make crossing easier and prohibit parking. The goal, as with so many Sadik-Khan-era projects, is improved pedestrian circulation and traffic “calming.”