NEW YORK CITY-The Alliance for Downtown New York has issued a plan for transforming Water Street, a half-mile thoroughfare flanked by one-fifth of Lower Manhattan’s commercial real estate. It seeks to undo the unintended side effects of an early 1960s rezoning—a too-wide boulevard that discourages pedestrian traffic—and to realize the street’s potential.

“Change is already under way on Water Street, but what we want to do is catalyze it,” Elizabeth Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance, tells “We’re suggesting four big things. One, the street has to be re-scaled and made pedestrian-friendly.” At present, the street is four lanes wide; among other things, the alliance’s report, “Water Street: A New Approach,” recommends narrowing it to two vehicular lanes while adding a median throughout its length.

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