Building upon the success of NYC’s largest-ever holiday season-specific open streets program, ‘Fifth Avenue For All,’ and new “Making New York Work for Everyone” action plan, Mayor Eric Adams has outlined a future vision for a ‘pedestrian-centered boulevard’ to be a permanent part of Fifth Avenue.
The proposed plan focuses on improving the corridor between Bryant Park at 42nd Street to Central Park at 59th Street. Essentially, a pedestrian pathway/world-class boulevard would be constructed, prioritizing “cyclists, mass transit and the public realm.” The project proposal includes the addition of green spaces, enhanced lighting and new tree plantings along the avenue.
“As a world-class city and destination, New York City needs a world-class, pedestrian-forward avenue,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “From historic Central Park to the iconic Bryant Park, Fifth Avenue has the potential to become an even grander corridor, open to New Yorkers and international tourists alike.
This morning, I experienced the vibrancy of Midtown Manhattan and the possibilities we have to create a “New” New York City.
We are reinventing Fifth Avenue as a pedestrian boulevard and world-class public space for New Yorkers and visitors alike. pic.twitter.com/SC3gvOPQgm
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) December 18, 2022
The Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development, Maria Torres-Springer, explains that this new vision is an effective action for neighborhood and economic recovery. With droves of people taking to the streets the past three Sundays, local businesses benefitted from the high pedestrian traffic, while people were pleased with the expansion of public spaces.
“The ongoing holiday Open Street around Rockefeller Center has underscored just how much demand exists for enhanced public space across the city and proven once again that New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors alike will flock to car-free streets if given half a chance,” said Eric McClure, executive director, StreetsPAC “We’re thrilled that the days of penning tens of thousands of shoppers, tourists, office workers, and residents into a pedestrian Pottersville, while cars hog most of Fifth Avenue, will soon be over.”
Improvements to the avenue would begin in 2023, with a construction end date set for sometime in 2025. This project would be a major improvement for Fifth Avenue as it hasn’t seen a public investment in over 100 years.
“Fifth Avenue is among the most iconic and most heavily-used corridors in Manhattan, and a new vision that better prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit riders will be good for all who work in and visit the area,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.
Read more about the avenue proposal here.