Municipal Art Society of N.Y. Backs Times Square Mall

New York, N.Y.  The Municipal Arts Society of New York has started a campaign to save the threatened Times Square pedestrian mall.


In a letter MAS writes:

Times Square is the crossroads of the world and the heart of New York. It has become a safer and better public space since it was closed to traffic in 2009. But recent concern over the influx of costumed characters and topless women in Times Square has generated unfavorable news for the area’s pedestrian plaza.

In response, Mayor de Blasio announced last week that he would set up a task force, co-chaired by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and City Planning Commissioner Carl Weisbrod, to address the issue. The Mayor said one option being considered is to rip up the plaza entirely.

MAS supports the creation of the task force, but we strongly oppose ripping up the Times Square plaza.

Ripping up the plaza would cause more traffic injuries and remove a vital open space, and it won’t address the underlying problem—the lack of a legal framework for pedestrian plazas in general, and Times Square in particular.

MAS has long supported a pedestrianized Times Square. We believe pedestrian plazas across the city create much needed civic and open space, reduce traffic injuries and fatalities, and help business’ bottom line.

That is why we are asking you to take action today. Join with us, the Design Trust for Public Space, and numerous other civic groups citywide: Tell the Mayor to keep Times Square as a place for people, not cars.

And be sure to read our policy recommendations for the Times Square task force.

The Municipal Art Society of New York
488 Madison Avenue, 19th Fl., New York, NY 10022

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The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation ( There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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