6½ Avenue

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6½ Avenue looking north from 51st Street
6½ Avenue and West 51st Street in Manhattan.

6½ Avenue[1] is a north-south pedestrian passageway[2][3] in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, running from West 57th to West 51st Streets between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

The pedestrian-only avenue is a quarter-mile corridor of privately owned public spaces, such as open-access lobbies and canopied space,[4] which are open except at night. There are stop signs and stop ahead signs at 6 crossings between 51st and 56th streets. The mid-block crossing at 57th street is equipped with a traffic light.[5] At the crosswalk areas, there are sidewalk pedestrian ramps with textured surface and flexible delineators to prevent vehicles parking in the areas.[6] Each intersection along the thoroughfare has street sign that reads "6½ AV" and the name of the cross street to officially mark the street name.[7] The mid-block stop signs are unusual for Manhattan, and the avenue name involving fractions is a new idea for the numbered street system of New York City.[4]


In 2011, the Friends of Privately Owned Public Spaces proposed a creation of a six-block pathway from 51st to 57th streets that would be mid-block of Sixth and Seventh avenues to ease pedestrian traffic. The proposal called for connecting public spaces in the area that were not known to most pedestrians into a pedestrian corridor and called it Holly Whyte Way.[8] The idea was presented to the board and the board in turn sent a formal request to New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) in May 2011.[2] The group also organized an event in October 2011 to boost awareness of the shortcut while the study was on going.[9]

In March 2012, NYCDOT announced the plan with a list of improvements to construct it as a new pedestrian-only avenue.[4] The $60,000 project was completed in July 2012.[10]


Some drivers have complained after the installation of the new stop signs with concerns about traffic jams.[11] Many drivers have also driven past the stop signs and the crosswalks without stopping, which could be a safety issue for pedestrians.[12]



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