Union Sq. claims some calm space

Union Square is the latest of the city’s bustling iconic spots to get a DOT makeover, transforming traffic lanes with cafe tables and chairs at the northern end of the park.

The DOT redesigned the chaotic area around East 17th Street and Broadway, — a corridor that has seen 95 pedestrian accidents from 2004 to 2008 — at the behest of the Union Square Partnership, which represents the area’s business community. The new plaza got rave reviews at its unveiling yesterday.

“I love it,” said home health aide Marlene Malone, 62, who said it felt less congested than the park.

One detractor, Kabir Ahmed, was a cabbie. “It’s too much traffic,” he said, complaining about the narrowing of Broadway. There did not, however, appear to be any jams yesterday afternoon.

Broadway was narrowed to one lane. On 17th Street, an eastbound lane was replaced with a bike lane and more pedestrian space.



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