Times Square Flashback: Revisit the Bad Old Days With Streetfilms

New Yorkers might have forgotten just how bad the bad old days were in Times Square. Gridlock blocked crosswalks. Pedestrians were relegated to crush levels on the sidewalks. It wasn’t a pleasant place to be.

Relive the nightmare with this Streetfilm from 2006, in which Streetsblog publisher Mark Gorton interviews Danish architect and public space expert Jan Gehl about the problems with Times Square.

“When we talk about the conditions for pedestrians here, it’s really lousy,” Gehl said.

“Thousands of people are literally pushed into the street because it’s so congested on the sidewalk,” Gorton added. “It’s beyond unpleasant. It’s unsafe and it drives people away from this neighborhood.”

That Police Commissioner Bill Bratton wants to return to the bad old days — and Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering it — is a clear signal that they don’t believe New York’s streets are for people.