In announcing his decision to make permanent a pilot program that transformed seven blocks of Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square into pedestrian oases, Mayor Bloomberg emphasized one favorable data set, culled from G.P.S. info from more than 1 million taxi trips, showing an overall seven percent increase in vehicle speeds. But another study, conducted by drivers the DOT hired to travel straight on a selection of streets, told quite a different story.

The DOT's data [pdf], drawn from 5,723 time runs, indicates vehicle travel times in West Midtown improved by 4.9 percent for vehicles traveling north and 0.1 percent for vehicles traveling south, compared to last spring. The DOT had hoped for a gain of up to 17 percent for drivers on 7th Avenue, but traffic moved just 4 percent faster. And test runs east and west conflicted wildly with the G.P.S. taxi data: Travel times for vehicles traveling east were 12.7 percent longer, while travel times for vehicles traveling west were 12.6 percent longer, compared to last spring.

In contrast, the taxi G.P.S. data showed travel speeds increasing on east and west trips by 5 percent and 9 percent, respectively. And those are the results you should focus on, in Mayor Bloomberg's humble opinion! But obviously not everyone's buying it. "I find it disturbing that nobody outside of the mayor’s office got to take a look at the data or the report before the decision was made,” said State Senator Liz Krueger, who represents the Times Square area, in an interview with the Times. "It leaves one with the suspicion that they didn’t want the public to have time to take a serious look."

The city comptroller and public advocate Bill de Blasio said they would take a careful look at the studies. "Too often we have seen this administration decide for the people, instead of engaging them in the process of making our city better," de Blasio wrote in an e-mail. "I believe that while this project has some benefits, we cannot make such a fundamental change to Times Square without first giving the community a greater say in the process."

But the city did survey local businesses and employees, finding them largely in favor of the change. And injuries to motorists and passengers in the project area are down 63 percent, while pedestrian injuries are down 35 percent. As Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins pointed out in yesterday's press conference, "I just want to say that the overwhelming majority of people who come to Times Square are not driving,”