New York City Pedestrian Plazas

New York City Department of Transportation has been the national leader in creating vibrant pedestrian plazas from New York City streets. They have worked hard to improve pedestrian safety, increase accessibility and create a more comfortable pedestrian environment in typically chaotic areas in Times Square and Madison Square.

Herald Square BEFORE, NYCDOT

Herald Square AFTER, NYCDOT

They have successfully created small scale and large scale plazas that have increased pedestrian and cyclist safety and comfort and created usable, enjoyable destinations and have improved the flow of all users and garnered world-wide attention.

Madison Square, NYCDOT

Click on the link for a Vimeo of the Putnam Plaza opening, Brooklyn, by Adele Pham

For more information on the NYCDOT program, please click here.

San Francisco Pavement to ParksSan Francisco’s Pavement to Parks program recognized than streets take up more space that all the city’s parks combined. This program reclaims underused streets in an effort to create more park and public space.San Francisco is also experimenting with “parklets”, which repurpose a few parking spaces to extend the sidewalk on a platform and create a destination for people to sit and enjoy their city. These spaces are full of plants, artwork and moveable seating.

Castro Commons, sfpavementtoparks.org

 

Noe Valley Parklet, sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org/

For more information on Pavement to Parks, click here.

Long Beach Parklets

Long Beach has lead Los Angeles County in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and they have recently implemented their own series of parklets based on San Francisco Pavement to Parks program. If the residents and business community feel that these spaces are successful, the city hopes to expand parklets to their business corridors in the city.

Lola restaurant parklet, Studio One Eleven

For more information, please click here.

Los Angeles’ CicLAvia

In addition to short-term projects like plazas, pedestrian-oriented events can have a tremendous impact in our city. CicLAvia is a wonderful example of such an event.

Over 30 years ago, Ciclovia started in Bogota, Colombia as a way to ease traffic congestion and decrease pollution. In 2010, LA launched it’s own version of Ciclovia closing 10 miles of streets to cars and creating boulevards where it was safe for people to walk, play, run, cycle and relax. The CicLAvia events are hugely popular and have allowed residents of Los Angeles to look at their city in a new way by getting out of their cars and on to the street. These events have also been a boon to local businesses along the route and have garnered national attention.

The next Ciclavia is Sunday, June 23, 2013. Please visit their website for more information.

Ciclavia.org