Friday, February 16, 2007

Check Out Car-Free Bedford Avenue

Car Free Bedford

What you are looking at above is a visualization of Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, without the cars. It was posted yesterday by the good people at Streetsblog and is the creation of the graphic designer now going by the name of Emil Choski (formerly Kozerawski) who has combined last names with his wife. You might remember them from the Poland-Korea Relations Blog. In any case, Emil is the person behind and the site now has some cool visualizations of what Bedford would like without cars, including a video game like "flyby" video. Streetsblog calls it "my favorite grassroots livable streets initiative going right now." The blan includes banning cars from Bedford from Metropolitan Avenue through McCarren Park, but leaving cross streets open. The B61 would be rerouted and emergency vehicles could still use Bedford. He writes, "What will replace the cars is a thriving pedestrian community, more outdoor seating for restaurants, islands of greenery, public sculpture, and anything else that makes the community more alive and beautiful."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the idea of a car free bedford but hate that design. the random grass patches look horrible! just cobblestone the whole thing and be done with it.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a horrible idea. it's like saying, "let's make 5th avenue car-free". bedford is a business/residential mix. there are some logistics that need to be considered, like say...garbage pick up? i can see proposing this plan for a side street but bedford needs to remain open for vehicular access.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, like anyone would just sit back and let the buses be rerouted onto their street. Ha! Nice try.

You know, for what they spent on renderings they could've bought combs and anti-perspirant for every hipster in Williamsburg. Now that would be some serious community development.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A car-free 5th Ave on weekends would be a great thing. Good idea.

None of the logistics issues are real problems. There are lots of very successful urban pedestrian plazas in Europe similar in scale and use to Bedford Ave.

NYC should try this. At least for some weekends in the summer. See how it works. People will most likely love it. Traffic will most likely be reduced on all of the streets around Bedford. The economy would most likely be boosted as well as the environment.

NYC is crazy not to try these sorts of things. We're becoming a backwater traffic sewer. A giant parking lot.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO NO NO NO! Have you guys learned nothing from the failures of 70s "urban renewal"? Listen, I HATE cars in NYC, and I really love it when there's a holiday and there are dramatically fewer of them. But look at, say, State Street in Chicago, which converted to a pedestrian mall in the 70s or early 80s--and put every retailer on the street out of business. It was a disaster. Finally in about 95 they re-opened the street to traffic, and despite all sorts of money spent (new main library, parks, streetscape stuff, etc.) it has still only partially recovered. (Both Sears and Toys R Us were lured to the street, and both are gone; Carson Pirie Scott just announced they're closing, etc.) And look at Minneapolis! What a disaster pedestrian malls are there. The problem is, you take away the cars and the retail dies. It's been tried, and it has resoundingly failed. Better idea: Charge $20 to take a car into Manhattan.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


nyc 2007 isn't minneapolis in the 1970's.

almost all of those 1970's urban renewal pedestrian malls were trying to revive nearly-dead downtowns that had been killed by white flight to the suburbs.

nyc is booming and densifying rapidly. it is no longer efficient or economically viable to use our limited public space for the storage and movement of a relatively small number of individuals' private motor vehicles.

pedestrianization combined with improved transit and congestion pricing would help the city grow, prosper and be more environmentally sustainable. there are the small matters of foreign oil dependence and global climate change as well. but, hey, you don't want to give up your parking spot. fair enough.

12:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home