Category Archives: New York City

Streetsblog Op-Ed: If Not Now, When? Changing the Car Culture

“We worked for years to reduce car use. If everybody drives a car, there is no space for people, there is no space to move, there is no space for commercial activities outside the shops.” ~ Milan deputy mayor Marco Granelli

In normal times, we have too many cars moving around New York City. Why? Because we spend billions of dollars on roads and highways that encourage people to drive. Milan, Brussels, and Paris are all using Open Street experiments during the pandemic to permanently change the driving culture in their cities. Here in New York, we can do that too.

Read the rest of the op-ed at Streetsblog.

New York Quiet Streets — Making Lemonade from Lemons

Yorkville Promenade (Second Avenue), New York, New York, Massengale & Co LLC and Dover, Kohl & Partners, 2011. An aerial view looking south from 86th Street.

A Streetsblog Op-Ed from John Massengale:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for making New York City streets safer for pedestrians and social distancing while we all stay close to home. Mayor de Blasio responded with a program to open more space for pedestrians on one street per borough.

We can do more. We should use this time when traffic is light to work on ideas for safer, quieter, and more pleasant streets for pedestrians and cyclists now and in the future. During this COVID-19 crisis, we can implement ideas that are great for the long-term health of the city. Specifically, let’s make some of our quiet side-streets primarily for cyclists and walkers.

Quiet Streets (continue reading at Streetsblog)

More Photos at Slow New York
Download a PDF

Daily News Op-Ed: A Highway That Hurts The City


On November 25, 2019, CNU NYC Chair John Massengale and former Congress for New Urbanism Chair and President John Norquist published an Op-Ed in the New York Daily News. The topic was what to do about the falling-down Brooklyn Queens Expressway and to improve city life in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The drawing above illustrates this part of the text:

On the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, Chambers Street used to go through the Municipal Building to a dense urban neighborhood. Now the gateway to Manhattan is a 24-hour mass of irritated drivers honking at pedestrians trying to get from the subway to City Hall Park. There are enough existing ramps that all the cars could be redirected back towards Water Street and the FDR Drive. That would free up the no-man’s land between Park Street and Centre Street for a great new public space at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

John Norquist has decades of experience with highway tear downs. When he was Mayor of Milwaukee, Norquist was one of the first American mayors to tear down a city highway. As Chair and President of the CNU, he started a program called Highways to Boulevards that has worked with states, cities, and Congress. Their 2019 report Cities Without Futures can be downloaded here.

The online version of the Daily News Op-Ed is here, with the title “Buck the BQE: The city should not replace a key stretch of the cantilevered Brooklyn highway.” Twitter replied, “Don’t need no stinkin’ BQE.”