“New York’s Sidewalks Are So Packed, Pedestrians Are Taking to the Streets,” by Winnie Hu, The New York Times, June 30, 2016
New York is indeed, as is stated in this article, a “world-class walking city.”
It’s kind of a fun article. The reporter, Winnie Hu — is there such a thing as a BAD reporter on the Times? – does a very good job.
But the supposed problem of overcrowded sidewalks in New York City is really not a problem, in my opinion — it’s a non issue.
I am always walking, practically everywhere, in the city, it seems (that’s admittedly hyperbole). I occasionally do step off the curb and walk in the street to avoid obstacles. Usually, it’s not pedestrians that are blocking the way. It could be cars or trucks illegally parked jutting out onto the sidewalk, or perhaps (often) a construction site.
Yes, certain areas are particularly crowded with pedestrians: Times Square; the Penn Station area; lower Manhattan (Broadway) in the vicinity of Houston Street and SoHo; Flushing, Queens.
But, most areas aren’t. Take Fifth Avenue, for example. It’s a major thoroughfare for locals and tourists alike with many shops and attractions and lots of pedestrians, but it’s almost always pleasant and not onerous to stroll on. This is also true of most of Broadway (with the exception of Times Square), particularly in the Upper West Side.
I walk everywhere and almost never experience pedestrian gridlock. Even on the most crowded streets.
The only such experience I’ve had in recent memory was a few months ago when the police roped off and shut down a stretch of 58th Street in Maspeth, Queens for a couple of days due to a criminal investigation. (There had a near abduction and robbery at a local business establishment.)
The traffic engineers should turn their attention elsewhere.
Some people love to fret, complain, and worry about any and all perceived inconveniences, but, believe me, the walkers can and will continue to do just fine.
— Roger W. Smith