NEW YORK CITY-The Bloomberg administration says it’s going to make Broadway in both Times and Herald Squares into a permanent pedestrian mall, following a nine-month pilot program and an evaluation by the city’s Department of Transportation. The NYCDOT study found that taxi speeds through West Midtown, the accident rate among motorists and pedestrians and foot traffic through the area all improved over the course of the pilot program, known as Green Light for Midtown.

“The most reliable data shows an overall 7% increase in vehicle speeds—an improvement few thought could be achieved in Midtown traffic,” Bloomberg said at a news conference Thursday. The evaluation report of bypassing the formerly congestion-prone intersections utilized two sets of traffic data: GPS records from more than two million taxi trips and field travel time surveys conducted by the NYCDOT, the Bloomberg administration says.

Bloomberg added, “We found even better results in the area of safety, with dramatic reductions in accidents”—a 63% drop in motor vehicle accidents and a 35% decline in pedestrian injuries. “Surveys indicate clear support among New Yorkers and local businesses for the project, and the increased foot traffic has been good for business.”

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