The Meatpacking District is a cultural hub on Manhattan’s west side running from West 14th St. south to Gansevoort Street, and from the Hudson River all the way east to Hudson St.
This trendy neighborhood with its cobble stone streets and luxury shops & restaurants offers 30,000 square feet of public plazas. As both a popular tourist destination and area for local businesses, the neighborhood handles tons of foot traffic each day.
And though 30,000 square feet seems like an ample amount of space, around “80% of all public right of way is dedicated to automobiles,” shared the Meatpacking District in 2021. Thus, to curb this imbalance, the already participating roads in the Open Streets program have become permanently blocked off to cars. These streets include: Gansevoort Street, Little West 12th Street, and W. 13th Street between Hudson and Washington Streets, along with the 9th Ave slip lane. Business Improvement District (BID) is utilizing barricades to continue blocking off the aforementioned streets from vehicle entry.
The Open Streets Program has already aided multiple struggling restaurants in the neighborhood throughout the pandemic as businesses were able to extend seating into the streets to bring in customers. Further neighborhood improvements from the program are in the works thanks to the “Western Gateway Area Needs Report and Public Realm Vision.”
The new proposal envisions a safer, more inviting and pedestrian-centered environment that connects with the Hudson River waterfront. Project highlights include a potential new plaza, possible extension of Open Streets further west, new crossing at Gansevoort St., Gansevoort Peninsula Park to open in 2024 and Pier 57’s food hall.
These efforts ultimately intend to make The Meatpacking District a more walkable neighborhood, that will hopefully help keep businesses booming with pedestrians.