Building on Progress

New York City can be greatly improved. Progress being made today that we can build on tomorrow.

Each street and neighborhood faces its own issues and opportunities. Here are several recent examples of how the New York City Department of Transportation and other city agencies have successfully worked with communities to improve streets and neighborhoods.

A Highway turned into an Urban Amenity

West Street was transformed into one of New York’s most visited waterfront public spaces, spawning neighborhood regeneration and development.

Hudson River Park includes a bicycle and pedestrian trail which spans the length of Manhattan’s west side.

A Destination that Accommodates the People Who Use It

Sixth Avenue and 34th Street’s Herald Square Pedestrian Project has succeeded due to the installation of 146 planters (paid for by the DOT) delineating new sidewalks reclaimed from the street. The temporary widening was so popular with local users that the DOT has agreed to make sidewalk widenings permanent.

Fixing an Unsafe Intersection

Mulry Square, the intersection of 7th Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, 10th, and 12th Streets was transformed from a dangerous intersection to a safe and pleasant crossing.

In 1996, the NYC DOT painted the proposed sidewalk bulbouts as a cheap and effective experiment at the dangerous Mulry Square. In 2001, once it became clear that the experiment was successful, NYC DOT invested in real sidewalk expansions. Today, Mulry Square is much safer and more pleasant to navigate – both for pedestrians and drivers.

Neighborhood Streets that are Easier to Cross

Shortening the crossing distances on neighborhood streets indicates that streets are designed for the community first.

At Lafayette Street in Brooklyn, bulbouts extend past the regular curb to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians.

Thoroughfares as Boulevards

Divided lanes reduce the impact of traffic on downtown Brooklyn. A new boulevard has brought refuge and a pedestrian scale to an otherwise unfriendly corridor. Crossing the street is now easier and safer.

A Downtown Retail Street and Pedestrian/Transit Destination

Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn is a vibrant pedestrian environment with retail stores, amenities, and numerous subway and bus connections. Wide sidewalks, amenities, and slow vehicle speeds have created a walking environment that attracts pedestrians from all over Brooklyn to the otherwise isolated downtown area.

Bicycle Lanes that Protect Riders


In June 2005, the NYC DOT announced its plan to build an on-street greenway on Sands Street in Brooklyn. The new on-street greenway, with fencing and bollards, will connect the Manhattan Bridge bike path with the Navy Street bike lane and planned Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. It will make bridge access safer for many of the 1,200 cyclists who ride across it each day.


The new Tillary Street greenway connects the Brooklyn Bridge bike path to the Clinton Street bike lane, improving bridge access for many of the 2,000 cyclists who cross the bridge each day. The greenway connects the Brooklyn Bridge path with the Clinton street bike lane.

An Historic Street Brought Back to Life

Once a desolate, neglected street in Lower Manhattan, Stone Street was used as a back entrance alley for adjacent businesses.

In 2001, Stone Street was closed to cars and is now a lively dining and retail destination. New restaurants and businesses have opened creating highly desirable retail space.

Private Partners Building Streets as Public Spaces

Over the years, Rockefeller Center has closed streets to traffic to serve a variety of users. The newly created space has become a civic square for New York City, featuring public markets, art, seating, plantings, and events, including the daily taping of the Today Show.

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