For years, 1,200 people an hour have been seeing this six-block stretch of street in secret. But finally, New York City is bringing these back-alley relationships into the light, and giving them the official municipal seal of approval. Now the street can announce to the world: “I’m here. I’m part of the city. I’m not an unnamed pedestrian walkway you’d be ashamed to walk your mother down. I’m 6 ½ Avenue.”
The newly named avenue runs from 51st to 57th Street. It’s primarily a pedestrian walkway, and as Transportation Nation says, that makes the city’s official approval more significant:
In giving this stretch of walkways a name, the New York City Department of Transportation is encouraging more walking. Even more than the cute name, they do so by painting crosswalks and stopping traffic mid-block where people already jaywalked with more than the usual amount of New York pavement entitlement (if that’s possible).
This walkway exists in part because of provisions the city made for creating density in the city: The stretches in between buildings are Privately Owned Public Spaces created in exchange for the right to build higher up into the sky. Now the public can feel just as legitimate walking through these red-headed stepchildren of city planning as down any other avenue.
Crowded Midtown Manhattan Gets a New Avenue: 6 and 1/2 Ave (in Pictures), Transportation Nation.
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