Under the proposal for a permanent redesign of Times Square, the ground surface of the pedestrian plazas would be made from two tones of dark concrete pavers, leveling the surfaces across the space from 42nd to 47th streets to create a continuous pedestrian thoroughfare, DNAinfo reported.
“We want to remove the ups and downs and make it simpler and flatter,” said Craig Dykers, an architect with Snohetta Design, who presented the plans to members of Midtown Community Board 5’s Transportation Committee. The project would be part of a $27 million preliminary plan by the city’s Department of Design and Construction. Snohetta is also behind the design of the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site.
In addition to the surface changes, the new design envisions numerous large benches of different heights and sizes to provide more seating for large groups, and make the space easier to navigate for both tourists sightseeing and office workers rushing to and from work. The plan will also involve restoring some of the aging infrastructure below Broadway, which hasn’t been rebuilt in more than 50 years and still has trolley tracks running beneath the asphalt, a Department of Transportation spokesperson said. Dyker said he hopes the plazas will feel both bigger and less cluttered once the transformation is complete, also allowing for an easier organization of events in the space.
The majority of the Community Board members were receptive to the plan. Officials from the DDC said they hope to start construction in the fall of 2012, and will make every effort to keep traffic flowing during the work,. with completion set for 2014.