Well, looky here: Despite the knee-jerk opposition from local property owners, the DOT is marching forward with big changes to Broadway and Union Square north. As you may recall, the city is turning a block of Broadway north of Union Square into another pedestrian plaza, which would extend along East 17th Street to the eastern corner of the park, at Park Avenue South. Pedestrian Plazas: Everywhere and Forever.

Here at Gothamist we welcome this bold transformation, particularly because that intersection where Broadway meets 17th Street is exceedingly hairy for pedestrians and cyclists. Andrew Fine at A Fine Blog, who saw workers implementing the DOT's plan [pdf] yesterday, also welcomes the change, writing:

Traffic east on 17th from Union Square West to Park Avenue has been eliminated and is currently being replaced by planters, a bike lane, and more of that tar/beige gravel that is becoming so popular along Broadway. Now, many have mixed emotions about all the pedestrian-ification (yeah, I know that's not a real word) of Broadway, but this particular move makes plenty of sense. I am not sure how many if any pedestrians have been killed crossing that corner, but I have seen more than my share of close calls (95 injuries have been reported on Broadway between 23rd and 17th between 2004 and 2008).

Fine also notices that the new north plaza at Union Square is getting "21 new and healthy Japanese Pagoda trees." And don't forget that someday there will be a controversial restaurant in the park to match the controversial pedestrian plaza!