New Public Spaces Are Supposed to Be for All. The Reality Is More Complicated. – The New York Times

(NY TIMES) Winnie HuNovember 13, 2018 —

Office workers sip coffee beside men sleeping in chairs pulled together. Tourists park their shopping bags where people shoot up heroin, or drink until they pass out. Panhandlers go table to table seeking handouts. Piles of trash, used needles and worse (human feces) have drawn complaints.

This is a scene from the heart of Manhattan, where a painstaking effort to ban cars and carve a public plaza out of one of New York City’s most famous streets — with birch trees, cafe-style tables and original artwork — have collided with stark socioeconomic realities.

An opioid epidemic has left some addicted and desperate. Others with mental illnesses are not getting the help they need. And of the more than 60,000 homeless people in New York, at least 3,000 live on the streets.

The plaza along Broadway, a few blocks south of Times Square, has become a haven for people struggling with all of those issues.

Source: NY Times