New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue is known for many things: world-class museums, luxury shopping, Gilded Age mansions, and famous real estate, along with other attractions, line the 6.2-mile passageway. Still, among its more appealing qualities, it’s often extremely congested and difficult to navigate—which is why New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams, wants to give the stretch of the street between 42nd and 59th Street a major makeover. Reimagined as a pedestrian-first public space, Adams announced on December 18 that the city would be expanding sidewalks, increasing green spaces, and providing safer spaces for cyclists and those on scooters.
“Fifth Avenue is an iconic corridor and an engine of our Midtown economy. But it is also an unmissable opportunity to show the city and the country how world-class public space can help create vibrant central business districts,” Mayor Adams said in a statement. “New York isn’t coming back, New York is back. But New Yorkers don’t sit on our hands—we will continue to bring everyone to the table, come up with innovative ideas together, and make our city safer, fairer, and more prosperous.”
The plan would mainly affect the portion of Fifth Avenue between Bryant Park and Central Park, a stretch most known for high-end shopping and luxury real estate, and comes on the heels of multiple “open street” Sundays, where the road was closed to cars to facilitate shopping and other pedestrian friendly activities during the holiday season. The initiative is part of Adams’ New New York action plan, which includes goals to reimagine 24/7 commercial districts in the city.