It's almost the end of the road for those cheap lawn chairs scattered throughout the Broadway pedestrian plazas. After incurring enormous vitriol from likes of NY Post columnist Andrea Peyser, who condemned "the flimsy furniture that littered the streets like a going-out-of-business sale," the Times Square Alliance is finally taking action to appease the haters. Some new signs have been placed around the car-free sections of Broadway to explain what the future holds:
Until the end of this year, Broadway in Times Square will be open to pedestrians as
part of the Department of Transportation's "Green Light for Midtown" initiative to
relieve pedestrian and vehicular congestion. The furniture you see is temporary and
will be replaced by more typical and durable outdoor furniture arriving in early August.
Between now and then, you'll see the City crews from the Department of Transportation
working to improve and prepare the street surface.
The signs go on to encourage everybody to call a hotline (212.452.5218) to "report any negative conditions." (We just phoned in to report excessive tabloid bitching.) Tim Tompkins, executive director of the Times Square Alliance, tells the Post that the new furniture should start appearing by the end of the month and will include tables, umbrellas, and the metal-slat seats similar to the ones in Bryant Park. Unfortunately for Peyser, half the lawn chairs are expected to remain. The retired chairs might be auctioned off as Times Square souvenirs, transformed into a giant sculpture, or simply thrown "headlong into a trash compactor," according to Tompkins.