Cars restricted to 5mph over 60 blocks of Financial District at weekend, as transport department runs Shared Streets event inspired by Bogotá and Paris
A shadow is cast long upon New York by the ghost of Robert Moses, the titan “master builder” of 20th century whose almost unrivalled power to chart his vision of urban renewal fostered the car-dominant and public transport-starved metropolis that is, for better or worse, one of Gotham’s most enduring legacies.
But pedestrianism among advocates and urban planners in the new, young century has been on the ascent in global cities far and wide, with many pushing for more restrictions on cars in the interests of bipeds and cyclists.
That was part of thinking behind the Shared Streets initiative, a five-hour long event over the weekend. It saw the city demarcate some 60 blocks of Manhattan’s oldest neighbourhood as part of an urban geographical experiment meant to alter the often-fractious dynamic between motorists and pedestrians that is the unwritten law of the concrete jungle.