Pedestrians took over on Saturday (11 July) as New York's smart Fifth Avenue was closed to traffic by order of Mayor John V.
Pedestrians took over on Saturday (11 July) as New York's smart Fifth Avenue was closed to traffic by order of Mayor John V. Lindsay. The avenue's major shopping area in downtown Manhattan presented a unique sight as people walked even in the middle of the street free of the everyday fear of being knocked over by a car or bus or engulfed by petrol fumes.
Mayor Lindsay banned traffic from Fifth Avenue as an experiment the aim of which was to make life in one of the worlds's noisiest and vehicle-strangled cities that much more civilised.
The only movement on the avenue aside from thousands of people was the occasional tourist train made up of little cars filled with sightseers.
While the majority of New Yorkers seem wholly in favour of the Mayor's idea, some doubts have been expressed by the owners of many of the large and fashionable shops which line Fifth Avenue. Many of the avenue's businessmen fear the traffic ban -- which also includes public transport -- will affect Saturday shopping.
In the past, Mayor Lindsay has banned traffic from the roads in Central Park on Sundays, leaving the area free for cyclists and strollers.
The Fifth Avenue experiment is planned for three more Saturdays unless it is found that among the sounds of the city seriously affected by the ban is that of cash registers.