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Boulevard look coming to Madison Square area


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Boulevard look coming to Madison Square area



April 29th 2008



Daily News[/float]The city will overhaul the Madison Square area where Broadway and Fifth Ave. now converge in a confusing crisscross, "reclaiming" blacktop for pedestrians and cyclists in an area roughly the size of Bryant Park's lawn, officials said.


The Transportation Department envisions 38,000 square feet of new public space, featuring seating and landscaping, between 21st and 25th Sts. Combined, that's roughly the same area as the lawn at Bryant Park.


Officials hope to start making changes in June and have the "Broadway Boulevard at Madison Square" completed two or three months later.


The boulevard initiative is part of a 68-page strategic, environment-friendly plan unveiled last night by Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the Municipal Art Society.


"We are remaking our streetscapes into attractive and vibrant public places, which I think is one of the most profound contributions that New York City DOT can make," Sadik-Khan said.


The "Sustainable Streets" plan also calls for cutting traffic fatalities in half, doubling bicycle commuting by 2015 and speeding bus travel. It's an outgrowth of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC that included congestion pricing to raise money for many transportation projects. The state Legislature failed to authorize the new tolls, but the DOT is moving forward, Sadik-Khan said.


"The vision laid out here will go a long way towards easing transportation conditions in our growing city while also squarely addressing the environment, climate change and improving the city's quality of life," Sadik-Khan said.


Southbound traffic on Broadway and Fifth Ave. now splits into five different streams, some just one lane wide, through the area. The boulevard plan would simplify that by having two corridors for vehicles.


At 23rd St., the seven combined southbound lanes on Broadway and Fifth Ave. would be reduced to four lanes.

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