"The most reliable data shows an overall 7% increase in vehiclespeeds—an improvement few thought could be achieved in Midtowntraffic," Bloomberg said at a news conference Thursday. Theevaluation report of bypassing the formerly congestion-proneintersections utilized two sets of traffic data: GPS records frommore than two million taxi trips and field travel time surveysconducted by the NYCDOT, the Bloomberg administration says.

Bloomberg added, "We found even better results in the area ofsafety, with dramatic reductions in accidents"—a 63% drop in motorvehicle accidents and a 35% decline in pedestrian injuries."Surveys indicate clear support among New Yorkers and localbusinesses for the project, and the increased foot traffic has beengood for business."

According to the NYCDOT evaluation, pedestrian traffic rose 11%through Times Square and 6% in Herald Square. Separately, the TimesSquare Alliance conducted a survey that found 76% support among NewYork City residents for making the plazas permanent, while 68% ofretail managers agreed. The BID's survey also found that 60% ofTimes Square workers, 60% of property owners and building managers,and 71% of local retail managers felt Times Square has beenimproved since the project was implemented. A Quinnipiac UniversityPoll from last summer found 58% support for the pilot project.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.