East 43rd Street went car-free between Lexington and Third Avenue for a few hours today, giving New Yorkers a preview of what’s to come. DOT plans to turn this block into a “shared space” where motor vehicle access is limited to pick-ups and deliveries, one of the public space improvements linked to the rezoning of Midtown East.
People on foot typically outnumber cars 16-to-1 on the block, which dead-ends at Grand Central Terminal’s Lexington entrance, making it a natural candidate for pedestrian priority treatments. Once it was off-limits to cars this afternoon, the block filled up with people pretty much instantaneously — sitting at picnic tables, walking in the middle of the street, and stopping to take in the various amenities DOT had set up in the space.
“What you’re seeing today is more like a temporary street closure, but I think it gives you a flavor of what’s to come and