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Making More of Boulevards and Parkways

Between efforts to make bicycling better and improve the public realm in Manhattan, New York City has been making some steps to upgrade boulevard streets for more users — making the center medians of these facilities into usable and attractive public spaces rather than just an area between two directions of traffic.

An initial separated bike lane on Pike Street.

Case in point: Pike Street. The city’s Transportation Department has been working to add physically separated bike facilities (or cycle tracks) along the central median in both directions and creating plaza-like public spaces by closing off certain intersections. Plans eventually call for adding trees, benches and gardens to the median promenade, through the Parks Department. (Streetsblog provided a picture showing some of the initial changes, see at right.)

The changes are supported and were devised with input by the local community. A model for this concept has been the Boulevard de Clichy in Paris, which is essentially a linear park with cycle tracks on each side, separated from traffic by landscaped buffers. Below are some pictures of that boulevard and plans for Pike Street’s further upgrades from the Department of Transportation.

Boulevard de Clichy, Paris

Boulevard de Clichy, Paris

Planned further improvements for Pike Street

Planned further improvements for Pike Street

The new plazas, seen in above picture from Streetsblog.

The new plazas, seen in above picture from Streetsblog.

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2 Responses

  1. These kinds of transformations make a lot of sense and make better use of limited urban space. Great idea, thanks for sharing.

  2. [...] many of these spaces have been retrofitted probably too much for automobile use, and described the ways to refit them back for more rambling and two-wheeling. But another issue is present today — that many [...]

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