Taking a page out of Europe’s book, New York’s concrete jungle is about to get a little more pleasant. The city has announced plans to permanently make Fifth Avenue between Bryant Park and Central Park a pedestrian-friendly boulevard.
Reimagined as a public space solely for pedestrians, New York Mayor Eric Adams shared that the vision is shaped by data on commuter trends, traffic patterns, and congestion pricing, while specifics of the project are still being developed.
What to expect from Fifth Avenue’s face-lift:
Enhance the public realm along Fifth Avenue, including expanded green space, new trees and enhanced lighting.
Focus on mass transit and sustainable modes of transportation, including speeding up bus travel.
Expand sidewalks across the avenue and prioritize pedestrian mobility and accessibility.
Improve safety on the road, including for cyclists.
“Fifth Avenue is an iconic corridor and an engine of our midtown economy. But it is also an unmissable opportunity to show the city and the country how world-class public space can help create vibrant central business districts,” Mayor Adams shared.
Those who live, work or visit Fifth Avenue hope to benefit from a safer and less congested street, but the plan raises some concerns for frequent drivers and residents in the city who believe the changes that could lead to the relocation of cars and buses merely add to the chaos already prevalent on Fifth Avenue.
Construction on the major makeover will begin this year and take two years to complete.