A new report, released in May by the Alliance for Downtown New York (AFDNY), has suggested updating the district that encompasses the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to make it more pedestrian-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Thousands a day visit the NYSE – which is bordered by Pine Street, Beaver Street, William Street and Broadway – but the district can be unseemly and difficult to navigate on the street level, the report notes. The report outlined myriad issues, referring to “a jumble of competing, unsightly design elements,” with “no sense of place.” The area also lacks seating, greenery and the paving is mismatched and hasn’t been maintained, according to the alliance.

After a nine-month process that included research from local businesses and residents – plus input from the NYPD – the AFDNY is proposing a complete redesign to make the area more pleasant for pedestrians (tourists and daily commuters) and maintain NYPD’s safety standards. The report recommends ridding the district of elevated sidewalks altogether and creating curb-less shared streets for traffic in the area, where pedestrians outnumber cars 26-to-1.

An estimated 2,316 pedestrians walk through Broad Street past the NYSE every hour, 45% more than the next busiest location in Lower Manhattan, according to the report. The neighborhood, where vehicle access is strictly limited, is confusing and difficult to navigate for pedestrians. Some of the current design elements were implemented after 9/11 when the NYPD increased security to protect the historic buildings and iconic importance of the district. The initial emphasis was on “protection, not pedestrian circulation or aesthetics,” according to the report.

Other proposed changes include more lighting, a new delivery center for the entire neighborhood, and more seating and planting beds. City officials have expressed a willingness to begin the redesign process.

Source: Tribeca Patch

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