The Broadway Pedestrian Plazas Near Times Square Are Getting a Makeover

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A rendering of the renovations to the Broadway pedestrian plazas, which run between Herald Square and Times Square.

During the Bloomberg administration, two lanes of Broadway between Herald Square and Times Square were closed to traffic and turned into bare-bones pedestrian plazas, with tables, chairs, and planters with flowers. But the Daily News reports that the string of plazas, which the city calls “Broadway Boulevard,” are set for a makeover.

The Garment District Alliance tells the paper that the changes will transform the spaces into permanent plazas, in which trees will be planted, water fountains will be added, and new lighting will be installed. Wooden planks will also be added in the road bed so it’s even with the sidewalk. The alliance will work with the Department of Transportation on the project.

The Garment District Alliance’s president, Barbara Blair Randall, tells the paper, “What we’re trying to do is activate the neighborhood a little more at night.” Randall added that the group hopes the plazas, which run along Broadway from 35th Street to 41st Street, will encourage people to "really stop and take advantage of the retail.”

It’ll be a while until New Yorkers — or out-of-towners walking between major tourist hubs — will be able to enjoy the fully renovated plazas: It’s expected to cost up to $70 million and be completed in five years.