Mayor Ed Murray and new SDOT Director Scott Kubly have their eyes out for bold pedestrian plaza opportunities in the city’s right-of-way, Publicola reports. With New York’s extremely successful Times Square plaza project as their inspiration, Murray and Kubly would love to create a powerful Seattle public space:
We definitely LIKE the story we heard from a city hall insider that Mayor Ed Murray, evidently set on being Seattle’s version of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reportedly tasked his new SDOT director Scott Kubly with copying New York City’s pedestrian innovation in Times Square.
What did New York do in Times Square? Essentially, they had an area where so many people want to walk and hang out that they actually could not all fit on the sidewalks. Children were a rare sight, and people in wheelchairs and walkers had a particularly awful time trying to get around. Yet there was a ton of space reserved for cars, which spent most their time barely moving in the city’s iconic gridlock. So half a decade ago, the city did something unimaginable: They closed a part of Broadway to cars and reimagined it as an expanded public space. The result has been a success by essentially every measure, including traffic flow.
Here’s a great StreetFilms video about it: Continue reading