Sixth and a Half Avenue

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612 Avenue and West 51st Street in Manhattan.

Sixth and a Half Avenue (612 Avenue) is a north-south pedestrian avenue[1][2] in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, running from West 57th Street to West 51st Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. The pedestrian-only avenue is a quarter-mile corridor of privately owned public spaces, such as open-access lobbies and canopied space,[3] 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.[4] At the crosswalk areas, there are sidewalk pedestrian ramps with textured surface and flexible delineators to prevent vehicles parking in the areas.[5] 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.[6] 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.[3]


612 Avenue looking north from 51st Street

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 traffics. 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.[7] 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.[1] The group also organized an event in October 2011 to boost awareness of the shortcut while the study was on going.[8]

In March 2012, NYCDOT announced the plan with a list of improvements to construct it as a new pedestrian-only avenue.[3] The $60,000 project was completed in July 2012.[9]


Some drivers have complained after the installation of the new stop signs with concerns about traffic jams.[10] Many drivers have also driven past the stop signs and the crosswalks without stopping, which could be a safety issue for pedestrians.[11]



  1. ^ a b Meet Me on 6½th Avenue: DOT Planning Public Promenade Through Middle of Midtown Towers, New York Observer, March 26, 2012 - accessed July 30, 2012
  2. ^ New York City Mulls ’6 1/2 Avenue’ Proposal, Linking Pedestrian Walkways In Midtown, CBS New York, March 30, 2012 - accessed July 31, 2012
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ City to Create New Mid-Block Crossing on West 57th Street,, November 11, 2011 - accessed July 30, 2012
  5. ^ Midtown Mid-Block Crossings, NYCDOT, May 10, 2012 - accessed July 12, 2012
  6. ^ Officially Marking a New Manhattan Avenue, NYTimes - City Room, July 13, 2012 - accessed July 31, 2012
  7. ^ Secret Midtown Passageways Seek More Exposure, April 27, 2011 - accessed July 30, 2012
  8. ^ Holly Whyte Way Arcade Parade, Time Out New York - accessed July 30, 2012
  9. ^ New Crosswalks Connect to Form '6 1/2 Avenue' in Midtown,, July 12, 2012
  10. ^ New ‘avenue’ a stopping mall, NYPost, July 16, 2012 - accessed July 30, 2012
  11. ^ Stop Signs Along Midtown’s 6 1/2 Avenue Catching Drivers By Surprise, CBSNewYork, July 19, 2012 - accessed July 30, 2012

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