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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mass Mentality

The All-Star Parade
Photo by myself, on 6th Avenue and 42nd Street, just before the All-Star Parade, Tuesday.

Streets around Bryant Park were blocked off around lunchtime, to make way for the All-Star Parade (as in baseball). There were policemen on horseback, yellow tape and general chaos.

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I suffered through the above parade, held without warning near my outdoor lunch spot. It was mayhem.

I hear that Mayor Bloomberg is also planning to shut down a couple lanes of Broadway between 42nd and 34th Streets, to create a bike lane and pedestrian zone. It's called the Broadway Boulevard, and as mayor, Bloomberg can just do this without a city vote.

Boom, it's done.

In searching 'Bloomberg shutting down', I see that Bloomberg will also shut down Park Avenue on various days this summer.

Um, hello? What about the people who live and work here, who have to get from Place A to Place B? How are we poor slobs supposed to know when streets are being shut down, for whatever street fair, or parade, or silly whim? We'd simply be stuck on a corner with all the other sweaty people, trying to figure out how to cross the street.

I get it, though. I've been seeing a lot of 'SALE' signs in retailers' windows, much more than the average summer quantity. It makes sense - draw in the tourists, have them buy stuff, keep the businesses going so we New Yorkers have these retailers and services around.

But geez. I have to wonder at the end of the day, who will be left living here?

Related posts: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times, A Pedestrian City, and The Rules.

7 comments:

Sara Nejati said...

Dear Kitty,
I'm so glad to find your photo blog.My name is Sara,the new author of Mashhad Daily Photos.I study Architeture in Iran and it made me happy to find some one's blog who studies same field!

Kitty said...

Hi Sara
Welcome to my blog. I'm so glad to connect with you and Meead.

It'll be interesting to find out how people view architecture (and life) from around the world!

Kizz said...

By "shutting down" he means shutting down vehicular traffic not all traffic, right? So he's probably got a dual purpose of driving foot traffic to businesses and reducing vehicular traffic city wide. If there are bike lanes involved I bet you could even use pedicabs on the streets that are shut down. Do you really think it'd be that big a turn off to people who live and work nearby? I take the subway and walk to work so if they shut down a street near me and devoted it to pedestrian traffic it'd actually be helpful. All the tourists (lots of hotels near where I work) can walk in the damn street so I can take the sidewalk and get to work unhindered! :)

Kitty said...

hey kizz
well, I guess my rant was two-fold. I was really annoyed by the parade, where I was stuck on a curb for a good while under the hot sun.

The second part has to do with being a passenger in a car, where we've encountered street fairs before. Or as a cab passenger, getting to a meeting. But those times are few.

my thing is...traffic is bad already. Is this move going to help at all? it will most likely create more traffic.

I see your point, though, and you're right. Pedestrians will not be so effected by the 'boulevard'.

Kim said...

Nice shot in black and white. Sally posted about waiting in the streets of Sydney for the Pope to go by, and your shots have similar elements today. It looks like it was really warm, too, which never makes waiting pleasant.
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

Kitty said...

Thanks Kim!
I like black and white, too. It allows for a lot of contrast while giving an image a unified look.

Kizz said...

I think the suckage, if you will, is part of a long term, multi part plan. The idea being that if there are opportunities for pedestrians and they make the driving suck then people will say, "Eh, it's not worth driving the traffic is horrible!" Then they won't drive and eventually traffic will get better.

Whether this is a viable plan or not I have no idea. It's logical and it might work but who knows?