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A beautiful pedestrianized stretch of Front Street in the South Street Seaport A beautiful pedestrianized stretch of Front Street in the South Street Seaport
Updated 4/24/2020 with new developments and additional streets.

When New York first went on lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus, most of us reflexively wished for things to go back to normal. But the more time people spend away from their usual lives on the go, the more time they have to consider that maybe they don't want city life to go back to exactly the way it was, but to a better way instead. All over the city, and indeed the world, people are noticing clearer skies and better air quality now that cars have all but disappeared from the roads.
via Laura Shepard's Twitter (@LAShepard221)
The debate between pedestrians and drivers is a familiar one in New York, but it took on greater significance as this densely populated city scrambled to contain the crisis. It does not help matters that many of the city's sidewalks have been found to be too narrow for proper social distancing measures to take place. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and transit advocates urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to give pedestrians more room by closing streets to cars. The mayor dragged his feet on this, and New York’s program ended with a whimper after only 10 days, citing a lack of NYPD personnel to coordinate such a program.

Since then, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and a growing coalition of business improvement districts have embraced the idea of teaming up with the Department of Transportation to close streets to cars, so as to allow New Yorkers the chance to get around and recreate in a safe and responsible way during the crisis. On April 22, which happened to be Earth Day, the City Council introduced legislation that would open up to 75 miles of city streets to pedestrian.

“Everyone is itching to get back to their usual lives, but there are definitely a few pandemic-induced adjustments that would be nice to have stick around — namely, less driving.” - Joe Cutrufo, Transportation Alternatives

Staple Street in Tribeca Staple Street in Tribeca
There is no question that adjusting New York City's infrastructure to be more pedestrian-friendly would take some work, but it is not insurmountable. The cornerstone of Summer Streets and Car-Free Earth Day is carless streets, and the city has not shut down with Park Avenue and Broadway, respectively, closed to car traffic for those events. Indeed, 14th Street has already limited car traffic and is able to accommodate both a large number of pedestrians and a highly efficient busway. And in Queens, a short stretch of Shore Boulevard has been closed to cars and opened to pedestrians, with proper social distancing in practice and nary a cop in sight.
The following listings are located on streets that could safely and ideally be closed to allow proper social distancing measures to take place. The more room for pedestrians, public transportation, and emergency vehicles, the better in a time like this. And when it's over, New Yorkers may like the environmental, health, and social benefits of carless streets too much to give them up.

Christopher-Street-01 Christopher Street via Compass
165-Christopher-Street-01 All images of 165 Christopher Street via Compass
From the listing:
Bright sunlight streams in the living space from open eastern sky views. This nicely proportioned studio allows for the space you need for living/dining and sleeping areas. Newly restored hardwood floors, through wall A/C, and West Village townhouse views provide the perfect background to create a new home. See floor plan and full details here

Mercer Street Mercer Street in SoHo
40-Mercer-Street-01 All images of 40 Mercer Street via Elliman
From the listing:
Innovatively designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel, Apartment 3 exudes elegance with its expansive loft-like layout, soaring 11' ceilings, and refined finishes at every turn. The magnificent corner home is brightened by generous natural light from oversized windows on southern and eastern exposures, and showcases wonderful views of the city's dramatic downtown skyline. See floor plan and full details here.

199-Mott-Street-01 All images of 199 Mott Street via Conquest Advisors
From the listing:
The Penthouse at 199 Mott is a luxurious full-floor apartment with 4 exposures and views stretching from the Empire State Building to the Freedom Tower and a massive 30' x 50' private rooftop terrace that is excellent for entertaining. The keyed elevator entrance opens into nearly 50 feet of entertaining space and includes a windowed library or media room off the main living space. A virtual tour is available for this unit. See floor plan and full details here

52-Convent-Avenue-01 All images of 52 Convent Avenue via Halstead
From the listing:
Enter this gorgeous home expertly designed with space and movement in mind. The 350-square-foot living/dining space with an open concept layout gives a vibrant look and feel with a wall of windows facing out to a charming tree lined street. The contemporary design throughout the home reflects modern living at its best. See floor plan and full details here.

146-Pierrepont-Street-01 All images of The Pierrepont via The Bloomstone Group
From the listing:
With only a few apartments per floor, residents can anticipate exceptional privacy, and with high-quality finishes, fixtures, and appliances, they also enjoy the ultimate in comfort and elegance. Kitchens with large prep-islands are the ideal setting for creating memorable meals. Thoughtfully designed four-fixture master bathrooms with large walk-in showers and generous double vanities are perfect for at-home pampering. See floor plan and full details here.

Wall-Street-NYC Wall Street (CityRealty)
Portions of Broad and Wall Streets were closed off after September 11 to protect the stock exchange - how about lengthening the closure to save the lungs of workers and residents in the canyons of the Financial District as well?
75-Wall-Street-01 All images of 75 Wall Street via Platinum Properties
From the listing:
It’s finally here - awaken above the waters and city skyline in this home soaring through the skies at penthouse level. This majestic home features lofted ceilings, in-unit washer/dryer, wide plank cerused oak floor, and abundant overhead storage space. Bathroom is polished with Botticino semi-classic marble flooring. See floor plan and full details here.

South-Street-Seaport-04 Fulton Street in the Seaport District
A short Belgian-blocked section of Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport is already pedestrianized, so why not continue this to Fulton Center on Broadway?
119-Fulton-Street-01 All images of 119 Fulton Street via The Corcoran Group
From the listing:
Apartment 4B is a massive home measuring just under 1,000 square feet and with 10' beamed ceilings, located in the prewar section of this building! An open kitchen features top-of-the-line Viking and Bosch appliances, Carrara Marble countertops, Poggenpohl cabinetry, and a large island with breakfast counter overlooking your entertaining space, with views onto quiet Ann Street. Virtual tours are available for this unit. See floor plan and full details here.

Perhaps if pedestrian streets were more common in NYC, visiting the annual Feast of San Gennaro would be less of a hassle.
75-Kenmare-Street-01 All images of 75 Kenmare Street via Elliman
From the listing:
This bright and airy split corner residence features white oak floors throughout, expansive windows and a concealed laundry closet with washer and dryer. The well-appointed kitchen is outfitted with Gaggenau appliances, a marble island with a custom oak bar top, accented by a rear pewter topped counter, marble backsplash, matte-white cabinetry and an integrated oak paneled refrigerator. The en-suite five fixture master bath is an urban oasis. See floor plan and full details here.

SoHo Street Prince and Mercer streets in SoHo (CityRealty)
Prince Street
Just a beautiful street with some way-too-narrow and overcrowded sidewalks. Most of SoHo should have restrictions on cars for certain parts of the day/weekends.
102-Prince-Street-01 All images of 102 Prince Street via The Modlin Group
From the listing:
Located in the core of downtown, immersed in exceptional New York City hospitality and luxury retail – a private key-entry elevator invites you directly onto your loft condominium. Flooded with natural light with floor to ceiling sound-proof windows complimented with tasteful contrast of charming mahogany wood floors and walls dressed in white. This contemporary and spacious ensemble features a shared living and dining room with controllable audio and light throughout your loft. See floor plan and full details here.

Though many of its mom-and-pop retailers have been priced out, the high street remains one of the most charming of its kind in the city.
350-Bleecker-Street-01 All images of 350 Bleecker Street via Elliman
From the listing:
Empire State views from all rooms overlooking the picturesque West Village tree-lined streets. This elegantly renovated home has split bedrooms, separate windowed kitchen with Sub-Zero and stainless appliances which opens up to the living room. The home offers a separate dining and living space with a decorative fireplace. See floor plan and full details here.

Saint Marks Place
Aside from deliveries and picking up drunk college students (via taxi or ambulance), why are there cars here?
87-Saint-Marks-Place-01 All images of 87 Saint Marks Place via Compass
From the listing:
Only two flights up, this thoughtfully renovated home on iconic St. Mark's Place is ready for its next chapter. Quiet and bright with separate windowed kitchen and a wood burning fireplace. Two custom closets, built-ins and a complete renovation throughout. Well-maintained pre-war co-op that is pet- and people-friendly. See floor plan and full details here.

Union Square
With the cars mostly gone, how about a pedestrian-friendly redesign a la Union Square?
222-West-14th-Street-01 All images of The Sequoia via Elliman
From the listing:
Relax and watch the sunset outside, while you see the emulation of colors change from day to night over downtown Manhattan. Thoughtfully created by an outstanding architect, this homes generous living room with access to the private balcony and separate dining, creates a wonderful living and entertaining space. The kitchen has top of the line appliances with granite and Caesarstone counter tops. Enjoy your entertaining with an open kitchen that connects you and your guests. This loft like space is what downtown living is all about! See floor plan and full details here.

Madison Square at Broadway and 23rd Street
The success of closed sections of Broadway at Times Square, Madison Square, and Union Square make this an obvious candidate.
230-West-56th-Street-01 All images of The Park Imperial via Elliman
From the listing:
Featuring quadruple exposures to the north, south, east, and west - this home perched atop the 65th floor of The Park Imperial is the quintessence of a Manhattan penthouse-style apartment, complete with gorgeous park, river, and city Views. The easy entry foyer leads one to the entertaining wing, which houses the dining room, 5-star chef's kitchen, laundry room, and half of the six bedrooms. The dining room is bathed in vistas of the park and city and basks in sunrises to the east. See floor plan and full details here.

Park Avenue and 50th Street in 1922Credit: Museum of the City of New York: w
Park Avenue used to live up to its name before swaths of its central median were taken away for car traffic. As the annual Summer Streets event in August shows, there's a desire to get some of that space back.
983-Park-Avenue-01 All images of 983 Park Avenue via The Corcoran Group
From the listing:
Move-in with no renovations to this new listing of a pre-war nine room apartment in a premier Upper East Side co-operative. Step off the semi-private landing and enter the gracious gallery, over 30 feet long and leading to a grand living room with a working wood burning fireplace. Off the gallery there is a library/media room with custom mahogany built-ins and a beautiful guest powder room. The master suite has abundant closet space with a wall of storage and media as well as a walk-in closet and additional storage. See floor plan and full details here.

Main Street (Wikipedia)
The closest NYC has to a car-free community. When planned out in the 1970s, its residential areas were not designed to support automobile traffic, though they've become somewhat commonplace despite the island having a free bus line, a subway station, and a very cool tram. The authority that oversees the management of the island has recently expanded car-free areas.
575-Main-Street-01 All images of The Island House via Compass
From the listing:
The duplex layout offers the space, privacy and comforts of a true home with the living area above and bedrooms below. There is not a room without an abundance of natural light flowing into it. The renovation offers the purchaser top of the line finishes such as hardwood floors and finishing and fixtures from Pottery Barn. The large open chef's kitchen comes fully equipped with stainless steel Viking appliances, custom cabinetry and a breakfast bar. Storage will not be a problem, you will find an abundance of custom closets thought out the home. See floor plan and full details here.

Given the number of visitors taking the risk of standing in the middle of the street to capture an iconic photo of the Manhattan Bridge, it's shameful this street hasn't been closed off to cars already.
DUMBO Main Street
1-Main-Street-01 All images of The Clocktower Building via Sotheby's
From the listing:
This wonderfully spacious loft is located in the most sought-after building in DUMBO and overlooks Brooklyn Bridge Park, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, East River, and the Manhattan skyline. The oversized windows, hardwood floors, and approximately 11' ceilings make this true loft living. The open chef's kitchen features stainless steel appliances, including Sub-Zero refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher, and Thermador range. See floor plan and full details here.

Willoughby Street
While a short western section of Willoughby Street has been opened up to pedestrians and diners (with the help of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership), why not open up more sections of the lightly-trafficked street in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bed-Stuy?
365-Bridge-Street-01 All images of Belltel Lofts via Elliman
From the listing:
This newly designed loft in Downtown Brooklyn's first skyscraper with 24-hour doorman and incredible amenities features high ceilings, private terrace, in-home laundry, huge windows, amazing light and a just completed impeccable open kitchen. Enter into a graceful entry gallery and find yourself wrapped in light from the corner exposures in the large living room. A large open kitchen featuring quartz counters, custom cabinets, stainless steel appliances, undermounted sink, Miele stove is the perfect place to showcase your culinary skills. See floor plan and full details here.
Offer us thoughts/suggestions and stay tuned for more pedestrian street candidates next week

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