NYC’s New Street Design Manual

The Bloomberg Administration issued a new street design manual today in an effort to make over the city’s “utilitarian 1970’s-style streetscape.” According to The New York Times, New York City’s Department of Transportation will now review development plans to see whether they align with the 232-page manual’s guidelines. In comments to The New York Times, Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner said: “Lots of things have changed in 40 years, but this part of our infrastructure hasn’t. If we’re going to be a world-class city, we need guidelines that lay out the operating instructions of how we get there.”

The New York Times writes: “Imagine narrow European-style roadways shared by pedestrians, cyclists and cars, all traveling at low speeds. Sidewalks made of recycled rubber in different colors under sleek energy-efficient lamps. Mini-islands jutting into the street, topped by trees and landscaping, designed to further slow traffic and add a dash of green.”

Read the article and see pre- and post-guidelines photos of streetscapes. Go to the New York City Department of Transportation to read the new street design manual. Also, check out “Greenlight for Midtown,” a new project to remove cars, and reduce traffic congestion along key spots on Broadway in Midtown.

Additionally, The San Francisco Chronicle wrote about “Pavement to Parks,” a program in San Francisco which turns streetscape into temporary mini-plazas. The idea is to “take space away from cars and give it to people.” The first park is at the historic corner of 17th street, Castro, and Market streets. The 7,800-square-foot plaza at 17th and Castro streets features 24 donated chairs on a streetcar platform. Three other test sites are planned.

Image credit: New York City Department of Transportation

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