Campaign History & Events
NYC DOT's Broadway Plan and the start of #OpenBroadway
Back in January 2020, the DOT released the first Broadway plan to pedestrianize portions of Broadway from 14th to 59th. The plan was an important step, but modest, incremental and stalled during COVID. The Manhattan Activist Committee in collaboration with Transportation Alternatives created the #OpenBroadway campaign to push for a comprehensive transformation of Broadway. We have reached out to local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and organized events like bike rides and temporary public art installations (see here and here). DOT has moved forward with more ambitious plans in April 2021, and in June 2022. This finally culminated in March's rebranding of DOT's efforts as Broadway Vision, reworking the plazas from 25th to 27th St, as well as turning the streets to 32nd into slow streets, featuring a two-way bike lane, due to complete in May 2023. This is a welcome improvement, but it still fails to envision Broadway as more than occasional plazas and shared streets.
The emergence of The BLiP
The state of Broadway is getting better, but at a glacial pace. It remains stuck in a place that is neither an automotive thoroughfare nor the pedestrian and bicyclist safe haven it should be. The Broadway Linear Park vision is aimed at rethinking Broadway, not incrementally, but so NYC conceives of what effective, green design can deliver in the most innovative city in the world.
The Green Line Proposal
In 2015, Perkins Eastman Architects released a proposal called The Green Line, and our proposal is very similar to theirs. The exception is that The Green Line also incorporates the areas where the cross-street intersects, while ours leaves those as they are now, with traffic able to cross. Additionally, their proposal is completely designed, while ours is a much vaguer vision, leaving space for others' ideas and creativity that would make the linear park's sections each thematically distinct. Both of our visions embrace transforming Manhattan's most under-used resource into seven, pedestrian-welcoming acres.
Recent Advocacy Events
Improv Everywhere Mp3 Experiment
We partnered with Improv Everywhere and the Garment District Alliance to coordinate a 2,000-person flash mob on one of Broadway's newest pedestrian plazas! This fun-filled event showed whats possible when we reclaim street space for the people.
Pumpkin Protected Bike Lanes
There are still unprotected bike lanes on Broadway, yet DOT numbers show 300 cyclists use Broadway every hour during rush hour. We used pumpkins to protect them on Halloween, but the only spooky thing is leaving them unprotected the rest of the year.
March Against Traffic Violence
After a taxi smashed into a cyclist and barreled into pedestrians on Broadway in June, we worked with other partners in Transportation Alternatives to organize a march against traffic violence. Prioritizing cars on our city's most popular thoroughfares goes directly against the Vision Zero initiative. We must make Broadway a linear park avoid further traffic violence on the corridor. Read coverage about this action here!
Parking Spot Art Takeovers
One parking spot can serve one car owner or provide joy for thousands who pass by! We partnered with the Garment District BID to take over two parking spots with chalk art murals and show how art makes our streets more vibrant and lively than parked cars.
Notable Installations on Broadway
An installation of glowing seesaws in the Garment District! This was reported on by the New York Times, and was very popular for families, tourists, and, later at night, inebriated locals staggering out of Koreatown kareoke parlors.
Painted plazas between 34th-40th Streets
There have been many temporary and beautiful art treatments along Broadway, which show the great potential of this corridor.