November 17, 2019

THEN AND NOW: 42nd Street's New Look

42nd Street, looking west from the Tudor City Bridge, then and now.

October, 2019
November, 2019
This edition of Then and Now focuses on the newly painted bus lanes on 42nd Street, part of the city's Better Buses Action Plan. The goal is to improve the speed of the M42 crosstown bus (currently clocking in at a poky 4 MPH) by 25% and thereby increase ridership (currently 16,000 daily passengers). The trade-off: regular traffic is now reduced to a single lane in each direction. Robert Moses must be spinning in his grave. 

It's all part of a burgeoning trend in the city to take its streets back from automobiles. Congestion pricing, bike lanes, bus lanes and pedestrian plazas are the tools of this initiative. The recent transformation of 14th Street into a car-phobic, bus-centric corridor has been a runaway success. One can only hope this idea is in the cards for 42nd Street someday soon.

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