The reviews are in on the new car-free Broadway's impact on the first day of business since traffic was diverted from the main stem between 47th and 42nd Streets and between 35th and 33rd Streets. Unsurprisingly, the Post has been breathlessly scaremongering in an attempt to milk the populist fear of change for all it's worth, with columnist Andrea Peyser leading the charge in an article headlined "Real NYers 'Malled' by Incredibly Dumb Idea":

Turning the Crossroads of the World from the vibrant, frenetic, center of the universe into a butt-littered suburban parking lot is an idea so ferociously dumb, it harks of other catastrophic decisions... Our mayor, who tried, and failed, to shove congestion pricing down our collective throat, has thrown the mother of all hissy fits. It's payback time. And New Yorkers—those who actually live here—must pay. As I wandered through Times Square, I was struck by how few people actually sat on the flimsy furniture that littered the streets like a going-out-of-business sale.

About those chairs: the tabloid finds that the Times Square Alliance purchased them from Pintchik Hardware in Brooklyn at a steep discount from the $15 retail price. (You know the Post must have been disappointed they weren't bought for thousands of dollars from some weaselly French retailer.) The temporary furniture will be replaced when the new pedestrian plazas are complete in August, but the article makes sure to cherry-pick derisive comments from local wits like hotel manager Nelson Hairry, who beheld the sedentary scene and wondered, "What is this, a lazy day? This encourages people to be lazy."

In yet a third take-down on the pedestrian plaza, the Post is surprised to find that rush hour traffic flowed smoothly down Seventh Avenue, with green lights lasting 20 percent longer. But at what cost!? Pat Bahnken, the president of Local 2507, which represents 3,000 EMTs and fire inspectors, is worried first responders won't be able to get to emergencies in Times Square anymore. (FDNY officials, however, have "requested access to the area in question and that is being provided to us.") And sagacious soda delivery man Jay White, who had to park his truck in one location in Herald Square and make several deliveries, is given the final word: "This is the worst thing Bloomberg has ever done. It's just too complicated."

On the other end of the spectrum, Streetsblog and William Neuman at the Times are both loving the new car-free zone, with the former blog declaring that "the symbolic value of this project is huge. New York City has banished motor vehicles from the Crossroads of the World." And Yesim Bilgic, 36, a Swedish novelist who occupied one of hundreds of lawn chairs set out in the center of Broadway, tells the Times, "This is like a sanctuary. It is chaos and you have your oasis in the middle of it. I love it." Typical lazy Swede!