The city has pedestrian plaza fever: Now that Times Square and Herald Square have traded in cars for cafe tables (a plan in store for 34th Street, too), Union Square may be getting its own pedestrian mall. According to the NY Times, "Almost all traffic would be banned from the block of Broadway north of Union Square, between 17th and 18th Streets," and "East 17th Street, meanwhile, would become one-way, with only westbound traffic allowed in a single lane."
This would mean that cars traveling down Broadway would be forced to make a left turn at 18th Street. The Times says, "A single lane on Broadway between 17th and 18th Streets would be kept open for cars seeking to loop around from East 18th Street. A parking lane would also be included on the block." Pedestrian plazas would then be created on the stretch of Broadway between 17th and 8th Streets and on East 17th between Broadway and Park Avenue South. The DOT may also ban cars from Union Square West, but delivery trucks and cars would be allowed to reach the restaurants.
City officials, who are expected to unveil the plan tomorrow, hope to have the plazas set by Labor Day.