Times Square Traffic Shutdown Preview Of World Without Cars?

Last Sunday, New York City sealed off Broadway to traffic at Times Square and Herald Square, from 35th to 33rd Streets. A day later 350 lawn chairs were set out where cars had previously reigned supreme. Is this the future?

After the city sealed off Broadway to traffic at Times Square and at Herald Square, from 35th to 33rd Streets, where it intersects with the Avenue of Americas, that might be a logical question. Especially when on Monday — Memorial Day — the Times Square Alliance, a group that represents local businesses, set out 350 lawn chairs and 26 chaise lounges.

Times Square Traffic Shutdown Preview Of World Without Cars?

While you shouldn't expect to see traffic-limiting measures such as the Times Square shutdown to hit places like LA or Detroit with their limited mass transit options, in other large cities with a developed alternative to appliance-driving, expect to see more of this.

And you know what? We're OK with it. That may seem anti-auto to some, but frankly, we're sick of cars being ruined by commuters. This desire for independence while commuting has turned cars into something more akin to refrigerators — a commodity. So in a time when once-proud automakers have developed into milquetoast shadows of the icons they once were, we're happy to see commuters forced to look at alternatives to their Camccordibus and taxis. Get off the roads and onto a bus or subway, you McDonald's breakfast sandwich-eating, 7-11 big gulp-drinking cows — they're for enthusiasts. Or, as is the case on this small patch of asphalt in the Big Apple — the lawn chairs. [via NYT]

Photo Credit: Marc Isler @ Flickr