15 October 2009

Vision 42 ~ Trans-Manhattan Sans Autos!

Great to see Alison Gregor's NYTimes piece Without Cars, a Different Sort of 42nd St. Envision a prime avenue in Manhattan owned not by autos but people and railcars!
"Vision 42 would like to turn the full length of 42nd Street into a pedestrian mall, while adding a light rail line that would connect the 39th Street ferry terminal on the Hudson River, near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the West Side Highway, with the 36th Street ferry terminal on the East River, near the undeveloped Con Edison sites on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. [...] Douglas Durst, the chairman of the Durst Organization, which owns five office buildings on 42nd Street, including One Bryant Park and 4 Times Square, said it made sense to build light rail, which is faster and creates less pollution than buses. "Real estate people should take a look at what’s happened with real estate values in other cities where there are these walking streets," said Mr. Durst, who visits pedestrian-friendly Copenhagen frequently, as his wife is Danish. "They’ve increased tremendously." Vision 42 advocates said light rail lines in Dallas had stimulated more than $1 billion worth of development. In Portland, Ore., light rail has catalyzed about $1.2 billion worth of development."
We all need to be thinking much more creatively about road and rail use, plus friendliness to pedestrians and bicyclists! This is one delightful instance of a more general movement towards more vital cities, with clean and green systems.

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