Published on April 9th, 2010 | by Dave Dempsey3
Earth Day 1970 in Mid-Town Manhattan: No Auto Traffic
Pedestrians pack Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue during a two-hour closure to vehicle traffic on April 22, 1970, the first ‘official’ Earth Day in the United States.
The 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day this April 22 recalls what several environmental historians called the most impressive observance in the United States, in New York City. Perhaps this feature of the day in the city of traffic gridlock made the greatest impact in the national consciousness: for two hours, Fifth Avenue was closed to motorized vehicles between 14th Street and 59th Street, bringing midtown Manhattan to a near-standstill. Treehugger named New York City today the best city in the nation for pedestrians.