From DNA Info:
Broadway’s new pedestrian plazas are being overrun by homeless people flocking there to sleep, driving some fearful residents to avoid the street.
“It gets filled with homeless people, the whole entire length,” said Scott Bowen, 48, an accountant who’s lived in the neighborhood for nearly 20 years and said the situation between 34th and 42nd streets has grown so bad he now avoids Broadway altogether at night.
“I no longer feel secure walking this route after dark,” he wrote in a letter to Midtown’s Community Board 5, urging them for help.
Broadway’s pedestrian plazas were intended to serve as peaceful oases along bustling Midtown streets, giving locals and tourists a place to sit down, people watch and relax.
But instead they’ve served as an oasis for the city’s growing homeless population, creating an eerie nighttime tableau of people sprawled on benches between pink flowers and giant potted plants.
On multiple visits to the plazas in the middle of the night this week, DNAinfo spotted dozens of men and women camped out, slumped in chairs, leaning against tables and sprawled out along the ground.
City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan was surprised by the growing number of homeless people using the plazas to sleep.