MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan: What’s Good for Times Square Is Good for America

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Should a pedestrian-friendly Times Square serve as a model for other American cities? Who would ask such a thing? Certainly not the real New Yorkers who constitute the city’s hard-bitten press corps.

No, for meaningful analysis of the use of public space, it’s best to look elsewhere. Case in point: MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show,” which recently dedicated a full eight minutes to the redesigned Times Square. Spurred by the report that air quality has improved since Broadway traffic lanes were reclaimed for pedestrians, Ratigan asked Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, and Ben Goldhirsh, publisher of GOOD Magazine, whether such measures are “good for America.”

Ratigan, who used to work in Times Square, was once a skeptic, but two years later he’s a convert who ultimately makes no bones about his “bias.” Yet he still manages to hold a rational discussion about car-free spaces, punctuated by facts and figures, leaving the hysterics and fear-mongering to the pros.