When Design Gets in the Way
New York City's High Line is, indisputably, a hit. Nearly as popular, but much less celebrated by design cognescenti, is an urban intervention about two miles north. At the beginning of the summer, New York Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan
closed two sections of Broadway
to traffic, including five blocks at Times Square, creating new pedestrian malls overnight. Then, Tim Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance
, realizing that people might want to sit somewhere, bought 376 rubber folding chairs for $10.74 apiece. Instantly — without the High Line's international design competition, logo, $170 million budget, and five years of painstaking deliberation — millions of people have a new way of enjoying the city.