New York City Department Of Transportation Developing Plans To Beautify Venerable Park Avenue
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Park Avenue could be getting a makeover soon.
And the famous boulevard could have a look which hasn't been seen in decades, CBS2's Christina Fan reported Tuesday.
On a beautiful spring day like Tuesday, Park Avenue is stunning to behold from a distance.
But try to go up close, and you'll find the medians downright inhospitable to pedestrians.
"I still to this day don't know if I'm allowed to be here or not, if I'm totally honest," Midtown resident Nick Sadler said.
There is nowhere to walk or sit on the malls -- a sharp contrast to what Park Avenue used to look like in the 1920s when the medians were nearly 40 feet wide with walking paths and benches.
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The city Department of Transportation is now looking at options to return the street back to its former state, including eliminating traffic lanes to widen the malls back to their design before cars took over.
"Everything old is new again. I think what we will see, hopefully, is something very reminiscent, but with a 21st century spin," said Fred Cerullo, president of the Grand Central Partnership.
Cerullo's organization represents businesses that support the transformation.
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But not everyone is on board, especially drivers.
"Without plans to reduce the number of cars in Manhattan, I think it's just going to make the traffic congestion much worse," said Arnold Phillips, who works in Midtown.
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The revamp has been made possible by a massive project underground.
The city and Metro-North Railroad are planning a massive rehabilitation and repair of the more than 100-year-old Grand Central Terminal Train Shed underneath Park Avenue.
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The work will rip up the avenue from 46th Street to 57th Street, allowing for a total redesign of the malls.
"Maybe some tables, so I can have lunch there, too," said Amanda Kureshepi, who works nearby.
"People want to be engaged, so I think artwork, lighting, beautification," Cerullo added.
Cerullo said she supports anything that will bring back more Park and less Avenue.
CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report
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