6½ Avenue

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

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

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 six 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 a 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 fractional avenue name is a new idea for the numbered street system of New York City.[4]

History[edit]

In 2011, the Friends of Privately Owned Public Spaces proposed the creation of a six-block pathway from 51st to 57th Streets that would be mid-block between 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 naming it Holly Whyte Way.[8] The idea was presented to the Community Board 5 Transportation Committee and the full Community Board 5, then the board sent a formal request to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) in May 2011.[1]

In March 2012, NYCDOT announced the plan, with a list of improvements, to construct a new pedestrian-only avenue.[4] The Community Board 5 Transportation Committee unanimously voted in favor of a resolution to support the project as presented by NYCDOT on March 26, 2012.[9] The $60,000 project was completed in July 2012.[10]

Criticism[edit]

Some drivers have complained about the installation of the new stop signs, due to 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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Meet Me on 6½th Avenue: DOT Planning Public Promenade Through Middle of Midtown Towers". New York Observer. March 26, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ "New York City Mulls ’6 1/2 Avenue’ Proposal, Linking Pedestrian Walkways In Midtown". CBS New York. March 30, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ "NYC DOT Announces Completion Of “6 ½ Avenue,” Connecting Midtown Public Spaces With New, Safer Pedestrian Crossings" (press release). New York City Department of Transportation. September 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "For Walkers, a Sixth-and-a-Half Ave. May Take Shape", The New York Times (March 29, 2012). Accessed: July 30, 2012
  5. ^ City to Create New Mid-Block Crossing on West 57th Street, DNAInfo.com (November 11, 2011). Accessed: July 30, 2012
  6. ^ "Midtown Mid-Block Crossings", New York City Department of Transportation (May 10, 2012). Accessed: July 12, 2012
  7. ^ "City Room: Officially Marking a New Manhattan Avenue", The New York Times (July 13, 2012). Accessed: July 31, 2012
  8. ^ "Secret Midtown Passageways Seek More Exposure". DNAInfo.com. April 27, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Mary (27 March 2012). "Avenue of Midtown Plazas Could Be Connected by the Summer". DNAInfo. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "New Crosswalks Connect to Form '6 1/2 Avenue' in Midtown", DNAInfo.com (July 12, 2012)
  11. ^ Sutherland, Andrew. "New 'avenue' a stopping mall", New York Post (July 16, 2012). Accessed: July 30, 2012
  12. ^ "Stop Signs Along Midtown's 6 1/2 Avenue Catching Drivers By Surprise", CBS New York (July 19, 2012). Accessed: July 30, 2012

External links[edit]