There’s currently no hotter topic in NYC than Mayor de Blasio’s backwards proposal to rid Times Square of its pedestrian plazas. Because how could returning one of the city’s busiest areas back to a battle between man and vehicle (and man and man) be a good idea?
Let’s remember the Times Square of just a few years ago, shall we? In this video filmed back in 2006, Streetsblog publisher Mark Gorton brings Danish architect and urban design consultant Jan Gehl to the center of Times Square to get his opinion on the area and his thoughts on what could be improved. The pair’s fascinating conversation is punctuated with cars honking and brakes screeching, but Gehl makes his views clear despite all the distraction: “It would be completely idiotic to chase people away by giving them very poor conditions. If we are to talk about the conditions for pedestrians here, it’s really lousy… The balance is all wrong and something ought to be done to celebrate this unique place, so that more people, in a dignified way, can enjoy it.”