Anyone who's ever driven into or through Manhattan knows what a nightmarish experience it can be, with gridlock congestion and a lack of available parking spaces. Jim Gehr wants to make it even tougher in the hope of drastically reducing traffic altogether by further reducing parking, shutting down the biggest intersection, and increasing green space.

Gehr is the urban planning consultant whose plans have already been famously (or infamously, depending on your perspective) imposed in London, as well as Copenhagen, and he's proposed similar policies for Stockholm, Oslo, Edinburgh, Cape Town, Zurich and Melbourne. His plans for Manhattan would include shutting down Times Square to almost all traffic, while eliminating parking on some avenues in favor of wider sidewalks to accommodate park benches and sidewalk cafes. The result would be a more pedestrian, cyclist and public transit-oriented Manhattan.

While some elements in the city are opposed to the idea, he appears to have the ear of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the municipal transportation department wants to hire him as a consultant, and several prominent civic and commercial organizations have his support, as well. If Gehr gets his way, Project Gotham Racing might be the closest we'll ever get to driving Manhattan's streets ever again.

[Source: NY Daily News via Kicking Tires]