Surprise! Times Square air cleaner now that cars are gone
Photo: Ed Yourdon
Despite positive reviews from local business owners, area workers, tourists, and other human beings, New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo won’t stop frothing at the mouth about the pedestrian plazas in New York’s Times Square, lamenting that the once car-clogged streets have become “asphalt loitering grounds,” and that the redesign has “extinguished the strangely beautiful confluence of auto lights between 47th and 42nd streets, an archetypal image of elegant, urban dynamism.”
His latest screed was prompted by the proposed addition of food service to the plazas, which have been in place since spring 2009.
So I doubt that Cuozzo is going to be swayed by a new report from the city that shows pollution is down sharply in Times Square since the ped plazas went in. From the city’s report:
[C]oncentrations of nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), two pollutants closely associated with traffic, were among the highest in the city [before the change]. After the conversion to a pedestrian plaza, NO pollution levels in Times Square went down by 63 percent while, NO2 levels went down by 41 percent.
Sixty-three and 41 percent less toxic crap that kills people in the air. That seems like truly “elegant urban dynamism” to me.