January/February 1998, p.11

Wall St. Bullish on Pedestrians

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What do you do if you want to improve the nation's third-largest business district? Try a little pedestrianization. According to the new Lower Manhattan Pedestrian Study produced jointly by the Departments of City Planning and Transportation, improving walking is just the thing for an economic renaissance in Manhattan's southern tip. Home to the New York Stock Exchange and City Hall, the area attracts hundreds of thousands of pedestrians each day, but badly overcrowded sidewalks and dangerous intersections hardly reflect the region's world-class stature. The DOT/DCP report has special resonance as downtown strives for a new identity as a "24 hour a day" mixed business and residential area. The strength of the report is the hundreds of specific pedestrian improvements it recommends in a color coded map of downtown. Almost every street corner has a proposed sidewalk extension or widening, or a change in light timing or signage. The Departments of City Planning and Transportation and DCP project leader Scott Wise deserve congratulation for persevering through three years of hard work to get the study out. Now it is up to the Department of Transportation to implement the pedestrian improvements the report recommends.