In its continued effort to encourage motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to be more mindful of each other’s presence, the city officially opened its first permanent “Shared Street” on Wednesday.
The Shared Street is located on Broadway between 24th and 25th Streets in the Flatiron District. This one-block stretch was chosen after traffic data showed that pedestrians in the area outnumbered vehicles 18:1 during peak evening times.
“With so few cars moving so slowly, pedestrians and cyclists can now safely take up all the space they need,” NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
The project was inspired by the success of similar initiatives in Seattle, London, Pittsburgh and Barcelona — and a one-day pilot in Lower Manhattan last August.
Flatiron’s Shared Street area includes a redesigned intersection, new signs, a relocated Citi Bike station, a new 5 mph vehicular speed limit and new crosswalks and designated bike lanes. It also redirected the traffic flow from southbound to northbound and changed driving to one lane.
The Flatiron Shared Street is a joint initiative of the DOT, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District, Madison Square Park Conservancy and Community Board Five.
Shared Streets is a permanent extension of the city’s car-free events, such as Summer Streets and Weekend Walks.
More permanent Shared Streets such as the Flatiron stretch are on the horizon, with streets in Chinatown currently being assessed on Friday afternoons, said Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez.