How About a Sidewalk Fast Lane? Tourists Can Take the Slow Lane

By Ben Fractenberg on May 19, 2010 5:52pm | Updated on May 20, 2010 8:18am

Pedestrians walk past sidewalk art on Fifth Avenue and 22nd Street on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
Pedestrians walk past sidewalk art on Fifth Avenue and 22nd Street on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

FLATIRON — Ever get stuck behind an out-of-towner gazing up at the very same buildings you're trying to speed past on your way to work?

If a street graffiti artist's vision is realized, sidewalk traffic jams will be a thing of the past. The city's sidewalks would look more like highways, with a slow lane for tourists and a passing lane for New Yorkers.

A graffiti rendering of a prototype highway-sidewalk can be found on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 22nd Street. Most people walked by without noticing it on a recent day, but others stopped for a closer look.

“I know how to walk in the city,” said Hannah Taskovich, 19, who was visiting New York for the day from Long Island. “I hate people who stop in the middle of the sidewalk."

John Smith, a Murray Hill resident and lifelong New Yorker, said that while he thinks the artwork is funny, he wouldn’t want to annoy visitors to the city. But Smith, who was pushing his child in a stroller, added that he would be OK with a fast lane.

“If the tourists use it that would be alright,” Smith said.

A Parsons art student, Hannah Lee, 20, walked quickly by the sidewalk graffiti before turning around to read it again while chuckling.

“Tourists walk slower,” said Lee. “New Yorkers could use an expressway.”

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