Big Sidewalk Extensions Coming to Bowling Green

Proposed sidewalk extensions along Whitehall Street would keep pedestrians out of auto traffic. Image: NYC DOT

Pedestrians at the southern-most tip of Manhattan are getting a lot more space to walk, thanks to a DOT proposal [PDF] first reported by DNAinfo last week.

New sidewalk extensions along Whitehall Street, as well as a new plaza at the famous statue of the bull at Bowling Green, will make conditions safer for people walking to the subway, the Staten Island Ferry, or the Battery.

Right now, there’s just not enough room for all the pedestrian activity in Lower Manhattan. Along one block of Whitehall, for example, 390 pedestrians walk in the roadway during a single peak hour, according to DOT. Existing sidewalks can’t handle the capacity.

Under the DOT plan, sidewalks on both sides of Whitehall would be extended into the street between Broadway and Pearl Street. The extensions would be even larger at intersections in order to shorten crosswalk distances. The effect is a sizable expansion of the pedestrian realm.

The redesign would use paint and flexible delineators, and could be put into effect in as little as two weeks.

DOT also proposes using the same materials to extend the plaza on which the bull stands all the way back to Morris Street, providing space for tourists who currently crowd onto a striped median in the street to take pictures of the statue.

The pedestrian improvements were unanimously approved by Community Board 1′s Financial District Committee, according to DNAinfo. Said committee chair Ro Sheffe: “What’s not to like?”