Here’s a great video I came across explaining the improvements for pedestrians that have been made in Midtown Manhattan over the past few years.
A few things really stood out for me:
- That reducing the roadspace didn’t lead to more congestion – in fact the simplified intersections meant less congestion and better flowing streets.
- That there was a dramatic reduction in pedestrian injuries.
- That foot traffic increased after the projects were completed, by more than 10% in Times Square (quite an achievement considering the massive numbers already).
What seems to have been the key to the project’s success is that the changes were put in place just temporarily at first – they were “given a go” to see how things went. After watching Campbell Live on Friday discuss pedestrian improvements to Auckland’s City Centre I’m convinced that the next step forwards for Auckland is to try something similar – trial out a few things like pedestrianising parts of Queen Street, perhaps on weekends, perhaps at lunch-times, perhaps permanently. But just give it a go and see what happens.