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New York Named One of the Most Pedestrian-Friendly Cities

Andrew Seger, WFUV

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Astor Place Plaza seems almost out of place in downtown Manhattan. Trees and art sculptures line the streets, and people walk around at a leisurely pace. Dog walkers, college students, and businessmen and women are all enjoying the shared space.

Perhaps that is why Walk Friendly Communities chose it as the backdrop to name New York City a platinum-level destination for pedestrians. The organization recognizes cities each year for their progress in improving pedestrian safety and opportunities for walking. New York was the only city in the country to receive the platinum ranking this year, the highest level of recognition. Dan Gelinne with Walk Friendly Communities said that is thanks to new laws, upgrades in engineering and an expansion of pedestrian plazas. He said New York can serve as a model for other cities. 

"Cities are really inspired by other cities, and a lot of them don't want to be the first ones to try something," Geline said. "New York City has shown a commitment to being first, to try something new, and to push the envelope."

Gelinne said Mayor De Blasio's commitment to eliminating all traffic fatalities also played a big role in the decision. In the past, Seattle is the only other city to have received the platinum award.

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