Jan Gehl, an architect and urban design consultant, has helped cities like London and Melbourne create less congested urban areas by banning cars from certain streets and giving citizens and bicycles top priority. Bloomberg is now looking to the Danish architect in order to ban traffic from Times Square and raise parking prices.
As a plan of Bloomberg’s plaNYC program, Janette Sadik-Khan, City Transportation Commissioner, is working with Gehl to help prepare a citywide master plan. Goals include reducing traffic and pollution, increasing mass transportation and making it possible for anyone to reach a park with just a ten minute walk.
On Thursday, when Bloomberg was out to rally support for plaNYC, Ghel spoke about Times Square and his vision for the city. “We could take all of the pedestrians out of Times Square or we could take some or most of the traffic out – whatever,” Gehl said. “I think that should be the strategy for reducing the vehicular traffic in this dense city.” He also spoke of taking parking off some avenues altogether and raising pricing for parking as well.
Critics of Ghel’s suggestion fear the plan would shift traffic to neighborhoods around the toll zone creating more congestion there. That would call for an increase in security with surveillance cameras capturing images of license plates.
Source: Daily News (via Kicking Tires)
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