Buried in the debate about the East Midtown Rezoning plan is a proposal for a District Improvement Fund that could potentially turn Vanderbilt Avenue into an active pedestrian plaza. The proposal calls Vanderbilt Avenue in its current state “bleak and underutilized.” The new plan would convert into a “distinguished pedestrian gateway” while still allowing for cross-town traffic and vehicle access to Grand Central Terminal and the buildings nearby. According to the Department of City Planning, turning Vanderbilt Avenue into a pedestrian plaza is not part of the rezoning [but] Vanderbilt Avenue was identified early on as a possibility for pedestrian improvements in the area that could be funded by a District Improvement Fund.”
Here’s a before and after look with renderings from the Department of City Planning:
Read more about the East Midtown Rezoning plan and why it might be better than you think.
[Update: The original version of this article mistakenly suggested that Vanderbilt Avenue pedestrianization is part of the East Midtown Rezoning. It is mentioned within the Midtown Rezoning proposal as a possible public realm improvement that could be funded via a District Improvement Fund].