New York City - Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection and a neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is located at the junction of Broadway (now converted into a pedestrian plaza) and Seventh Avenue, and stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is sometimes referred to as "The Crossroads of the World", "The Center of the Universe", and the heart of "The Great White Way". In addition to being one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. Times Square is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, drawing over 39 million visitors annually. Approximately 330,000 people pass through Times Square daily, many of whom are either tourists or people working in the area.
Formerly Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building (now called One Times Square). That building is the site of the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve, which began on December 31, 1907, and continues today, attracting over a million visitors to Times Square every New Year's Eve.
The northern triangle of Times Square is Duffy Square, which was dedicated in 1937 to Chaplain Francis P. Duffy of New York City's "Fighting 69th" Infantry Regiment. A memorial to Duffy is located there, along with a statue of George M. Cohan and the TKTS discount theatre tickets booth. The stepped red roof of the TKTS booth also provides seating for various events. The statue of Duffy and Duffy Square were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001
When Manhattan Island was first settled by the Dutch, three small streams united near what is now 10th Avenue and 40th street. These three streams formed the "Great Kill" (Dutch: Grote Kill). From there the Great Kill wound through the low-lying Reed Valley, known for fish and waterfowl and emptied into a deep bay in the Hudson River at the present 42nd Street. The name was retained in a tiny hamlet, Great Kill, that became a center for carriage-making, as the upland to the south and east became known as Longacre.
Before and after the American Revolution, the area belonged to John Morin Scott, a general of the New York militia, in which he served under George Washington. Scott's manor house was at what is currently 43rd Street, surrounded by countryside used for farming and breeding horses. In the first half of the 19th century, it became one of the prized possessions of John Jacob Astor, who made a second fortune selling off lots to hotels and other real estate concerns as the city rapidly spread uptown.
By 1872, the area had become the center of New York's carriage industry. The area not having previously been named, the city authorities called it Longacre Square after Long Acre in London, where the carriage trade in that city was centered and which was also a home to stables. William Henry Vanderbilt owned and ran the American Horse Exchange there until the turn of the 20th century.
As more profitable commerce and industrialization of lower Manhattan pushed homes, theaters, and prostitution northward from the Tenderloin District, Long Acre Square became nicknamed the Thieves Lair for its rollicking reputation as a low entertainment district. The first theater on the square, the Olympia, was built by cigar manufacturer and impresario Oscar Hammerstein I. "By the early 1890s this once sparsely settled stretch of Broadway was ablaze with electric light and thronged by crowds of middle- and upper-class theatre, restaurant and cafe patrons.
Number of visitors
Times Square is the most visited place globally with 360,000 pedestrian visitors a day, amounting to over 131 million a year. As of 2013, it has a greater attendance than do each of the Disney theme parks worldwide, with 128,794,000 visitors between March 2012 and February 2013, versus 126,479,000 for Walt Disney World attractions in 2012.
Even excluding residents from the visitor count, Times Square is the world's second most visited tourist attraction, behind the Las Vegas Strip. The high level of traffic has resulted in $4.8 billion in annual retail, entertainment and hotel sales, with 22 cents out of every dollar spent by visitors in New York City being spent within Times Square
Times Square – 42nd Street / Port Authority Bus Terminal is a large New York City Subway station complex located under Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, at the intersection of 42nd Street, Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. It is the busiest complex in the system, serving 63,617,614 passengers in 2013.
The complex allows free transfers between the IRT 42nd Street Shuttle, the BMT Broadway Line, the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line and the IRT Flushing Line, with a long transfer to the IND Eighth Avenue Line one block west at 42nd Street – Port Authority Bus Terminal. The complex is served by the:
1, 2, 3, 7, A, E, N, and Q trains at all times
C and R trains, and the 42nd Street Shuttle at all times except late nights.
When it first opened in October 1904, Times Square was a local station on New York City's first subway. Three shuttle tracks have served it since 1918; the southbound express track was removed and replaced by a temporary wooden platform for access to the original northbound express track.
On both sides platforms are located (at the old local platforms) and where the southbound express track was; all three platforms connect on the west (railroad north) side. This walkway crosses the northbound local track on a bridge that can be lifted for the only access to that track, via a merge into the northbound IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line local track along the original subway alignment (north of the current Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line station). This track merge is only used for overnight swaps and special railfan excursion trains. The other three tracks once curved parallel to this.
Two of the three tracks end at bumper blocks at the west end of the platforms. Between the northbound local and the other tracks anywhere along the shuttle there is no track connection.
Because of the curvature on the platforms, gap fillers are used to bridge the gap between train and platform; however, the gap fillers are not suitable for wheelchair passengers, making the shuttle platforms virtually inaccessible to wheelchair users. Such passengers who need service to Grand Central must use the IRT Flushing Line platforms. An underpass that used to connect the original side platforms lies between the downtown local track and the other three tracks of the BMT Broadway Line, which runs perpendicular to the shuttle.
Tracks 1 and 3 have gap fillers. Track 4 does not have gap fillers because of the convex curve of the platform. Track 4 can barely fit the three cars of the shuttle; it originally ended at a wall but now has a small extension for alighting passengers, so the last pair of doors of the train on the platform can only have one panel open for safety. Track 3 can accommodate trains with four cars as well as space for half a fifth.