vision42 is a citizens' initiative to re-imagine and upgrade surface transit in Midtown Manhattan, with a low-floor light rail line running river-to-river along 42nd Street within a landscaped pedestrian boulevard. vision42 could be a prototype for a whole network of landscaped, pedestrian/light rail streets throughout the city.  It is sponsored by the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, a New York-based not-for-profit corporation. Learn More

Sign the Petition to the Mayor!


View the illustrated booklet about vision42 (PDF)

Additional Images in Virtual Walking Tour


Frequently Asked Questions: Read More

The Purpose : What is vison42? Read More

Images/Maps: What the street might look like. Read More

Technical Studies: Feasability studies on converting 42nd Street into a pedestrian promenade. Read More

Proposers + Supporters: Who is behind the vision42 project? Read More

INTERNATIONAL URBAN DESIGN COMPETITION for VISION42: For full description go to An exhibition of the four finalists took place November 17, 2014 through January 5, 2015 at 4 Times Square, on 42nd St. between 6th Ave. and Broadway. View winners here:

See photos from the exhibition here:


The previous mayor proposed a massive upzoning of East Midtown in the area of Grand Central Terminal, to take effect after July 2017. However, the community made clear that more pedestrian space and better crosstown surface transit are needed in East Midtown even without the proposed massive rezoning.

We submitted the attached statement at the September 27, 2012 Department of City Planning scoping meeting.

The vision42 proposal for an auto-free light rail boulevard on 42nd Street should merit consideration within the scope of the environmental analysis required to advance this rezoning.

If you agree, this would be an excellent time to send your comments to candidates for upcoming elections for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, and City Council members. For more information, please plan to attend the next vision42 working group meeting.


Read the technical studies on economic benefits vs. costs, as well as traffic implications of vision42. The latest study favorably compares the benefits of vision42 with those that would be realized by building a station at 10th Avenue on the #7 subway extension.


The crosstown 42nd Street bus takes 43 minutes river-to-river, even on a low-traffic day, and waits for the bus can be as long as 20 minutes. Read the article here. In contrast, the vision42 light rail is projected to travel river-to-river in 21 minutes, or less than half the time, and the light rail would run on headways of 3.5 minutes at peak hours, 4 minutes at off-peak.


The vision42 billboard played in Times Square during the month of October 2009. View it here.

Click here for information about the next vision42 working group meeting.

Trams in France
View some 20 existing light rail lines in France, and click on the title pages for Strasbourg, Nice and Bordeaux to open up their photo galleries -- these show how an LRT line on 42nd Street line might look.

Click here: North American Light Rail Information and News Site


In Spring 2009, one of  the vision42 Advisory Committee members, Rocco Landesman, was selected by President Barack Obama to head the National Endowment for the Arts.  We congratulate him on this great honor; however, he has unfortunately had to resign from all of his other board memberships, including vision42. 

To view the newest members of the vision42 Advisory Committee, click here.

A series of three meetings of the vision42 working group featured talks by representatives of three different light rail manufacturers.  Bill Conis of Seimens Transportation made a presentation on in March 2009, Joe Kenas from Bombardier spoke in April 2009, and Dave Ward and Derek Hurst from Alstom spoke in May 2009. All three presented their companies' latest light rail developments, including models that are capable of operating without overhead wires. If you are interested in participating in future meetings and wish to receive agendas, please send your name to


See the latest New York Times article on vision42: "Vision of 42nd Street Without Cars".


A 50-page illustrated booklet about vision42, highlighting key findings of the technical studies, was published in January 2009 and distributed to a wide range of constituancies.


The New Jersey Light Rail Study Tour on September 13th 2008 had some 60 attendess, and was a great success. It provided an opportunity for New Yorkers — community leaders, elected officials and advocates for sustainable transportation — to experience this popular mode of transit — which has gained enormous ridership all over the country. Transit for the group by ferry over the Hudson was courtesy of New York Waterway, and a special VIP light rail car was arranged by the operators of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail line. It was suggested by several attendees that we plan a repeat of the tour in the future.


We were greatly saddened to learn in May 2008 of the death of vision42 Advisory Committee member Dick Netzer. Dick was a distinguished economist, who spent much of his career at New York University and became dean of its Graduate School of Public Administration. He served on the first board of the Municipal Assistance Corporation from 1975 to 1995, providing continuity and perspective in a time of deep financial crisis for the city. He was a highly valued advisor to Mayors John V. Lindsay and Abraham D. Beame, as well as to Governors Hugh L. Carey and Mario M. Cuomo. His advice on vision42 was greatly appreciated, and he will be sorely missed.


Read the letter to the editor that was published in The New York Times.


A financing study for vision42 by economic consultant Urbanomics, Inc. was completed in February 2008. It explores and recommends the most feasible means to capture the value created by the light rail and pedestrian street — without competing with other ongoing transit projects for scarce public funds.


An update of the cost estimate was completed by Halcrow, Inc. in July 2007, and is available here.  Figures previously posted on the website and in the vision42 presentation were based on 2004 costs; the updated estimate shows figures for 2007 and projects costs for 2009.


A Community Informational Forum, with presentation and discussion, was held on October 24, 2006, at the auditorium of the SUNY College of Optometry, 33 West 42nd Street. The results of a second round of technical studies were released — The economic study projects gains of over $1 billion annually, when travel time savings, increased business, and the resultant increases in tax revenues are combined.  The traffic study further refines the previous traffic study and addresses provisions for the needed curb space on the avenues for truck deliveries to 42nd Street.  The construction phasing study shows how the work can be performed within a two-year time span, with only a six-month construction period per block, and with a minimum of disruption to businesses and pedestrians.


vision42 Technical Studies: A fund raising effort was helped by significant grants in 2004, 2005 and 2007 from a major foundation, specifically earmarked for technical studies of vision42 to address key issues.
:: Read More About the Studies
:: Read the Economic Impact and Financing Studies
:: Read the Traffic Studies
:: Read the Cost and Construction Phasing Studies

:: View the names of our Advisory Committee members, as well as Elected Officials in Support of vision42.


vision42 needs your help to make this happen. How can you help? You can start with the following sections:
Contact Your Elected Officials
Donate to vision42
Attend an Event
Sign the Petition to the Mayor