Midtown Pedestrian Tunnel Inches Closer to Reality

Vornado's proposal for 15 Penn Plaza includes widening and reopening the Gimbels passageway, an underground tunnel, shown in yellow above, that would connect Penn Station and the Herald Square subway station.

Some relief for pedestrian overcrowding near Penn Station may be in sight.  The reopening of the Gimbels passageway, and a host of […]

Broadway Makeover is a Hit

New Yorkers approve of the new Broadway, and the plazas have improved both safety and travel speeds.

Mayor Bloomberg and NYCDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced this morning that the makeover of Broadway, with pedestrian plazas replacing traffic lanes for seven blocks in Midtown, will become permanent. Backing up the decision is data showing […]

Penn Commuters May Reclaim Pedestrian Tunnel From Rats

A private developer has offered to renovate and reopen the Gimbels passageway, in yellow above, which would provide an underground connection between Penn Station and Herald Square.

The walk from Penn Station could be less crowded in a few years. As part of the redevelopment of Hotel Pennsylvania and the Manhattan Mall, the […]

1,100 Pedestrians a Minute? Just Another Day at Penn Station.

As press reports detail NYC DOT’s plan to create a public esplanade along Broadway from 42nd to Herald Square, the 34th Street Partnership released the results of its annual spring pedestrian counts, which were taken May 13-14 (a Tuesday and Wednesday). Tens of thousands of people each hour cross the area’s busy intersections, […]

New ARC Design: Smaller Station, Larger Crowds

Absent mitigation, Access to the Region’s Core will bring overwhelming crowds to the NYC crosswalks and sidewalks highlighted in black. [Image from ARC SDEIS.]

NJ Transit has released a Supplemental Draft EIS (SDEIS) for Access to the Region’s Core, a project whose main component is a new cross-Hudson tunnel which will […]

The Most Obvious Idea Ever

Who needs the space on 32nd Street more?

NYC’s Penn Station is the busiest transit hub in the country, handling more people a day than the three NYC-area airports combined. Every day, thousands upon thousands of commuters and travelers spill through its entrances. So why is the surrounding area so inhospitable to pedestrians?

The Tri-State Campaign office is mere blocks from Penn, so Campaign staffers often ponder this question as they circumnavigate vehicles in crosswalks on their way to work. With increased attention focused on Penn as the Empire State Development Corporation’s Moynihan Station environmental review moves forward, now is as good a time as ever to change this state of affairs. That’s why Tri-State is launching a campaign to win pedestrian improvements around Penn Station.

Others are concerned about this lack of regard for pedestrians, particularly Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer. Last week Stringer proposed widening sidewalks and creating bike lanes on West 33rd Street, an idea supported by the Regional Plan Association, Transportation Alternatives, and the Tri-State Campaign. Stringer and the three groups are also pushing for inclusion of pedestrian improvements in the Moynihan Station environmental review.

The prioritization of cars reaches its most absurd on 32nd Street between Seventh and Sixth Avenues. This stretch of 32nd Street is one of the heaviest traveled areas around Penn Station, since it leads directly to the Seventh Avenue entrance of Penn Station and links it to the Herald Square subway and PATH stations on Sixth Avenue. Its narrow sidewalks are made narrower by scaffolding and street vendors, and can’t handle the commuters’ parade which unfolds every weekday morning and afternoon. (Images after the cut.)

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