Broadway (Area US-271), as the name implies, is a wide avenue in New York City. While New York has several other Broadways, in the context of the city it usually refers to the Manhattan street. It is the oldest north-south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to the first New Amsterdam settlement. The name Broadway is an English translation of the Dutch name, Breede weg. A stretch of Broadway is famous as the pinnacle of the American theater industry.
Broadway was originally the Wickquasgeck Trail, carved into the brush land of Manhattan by its Native American inhabitants. This trail originally snaked through swamps and rocks along the length of Manhattan Island. Upon the arrival of the Dutch, the trail soon became the main road through the island from New Amsterdam at the southern tip. The Dutch explorer and entrepreneur David de Vries gives the first mention of it in his journal for the year 1642 ("the Wickquasgeck Road over which the Indians passed daily"). The Dutch named the road "Heerestraat". In the 18th century, Broadway ended at the town commons north of Wall Street, where Eastern Post Road continued through the East Side and Bloomingdale Road the west side of the island. In the late 19th century the widened and paved part of Bloomingdale Road north of Columbus Circle was called "The Boulevard" but at the end of the century the whole old road (the Bloomingdale Road and what was previously called Broadway) was renamed Broadway.
Broadway runs the length of Manhattan Island, from Bowling Green at the south, to Inwood at the northern tip of the island. South of Columbus Circle, it is a one-way southbound street; through traffic is blocked at Times Square, where it is prevented from crossing Seventh Avenue directly. From the northern shore of Manhattan, it crosses Spuyten Duyvil Creek via the Broadway Bridge and continues through Marble Hill (a discontinuous portion of the borough of Manhattan) and the Bronx into Westchester County. US 9 continues to be known as Broadway through its junction with NY 117.
Great White Way
Great White Way is a nickname for a section of Broadway in the Midtown section of the New York City borough of Manhattan, specifically the portion that encompasses the Theatre District, between 42nd and 53rd Streets. Nearly a mile of Broadway was illuminated in 1880 by Brush arc lamps, making it among the first electrically lighted streets in the United States.
The headline "Found on the Great White Way" appeared in the February 3, 1902, edition of the New York Evening Telegram. The journalistic sobriquet was inspired by the millions of lights on theater marquees and billboard advertisements that illuminate the area, especially around Times Square.
Modern traffic Flow
Broadway was once a two-way street for its entire length. The present status, in which it runs one-way southbound south of Columbus Circle (59th Street), came about in several stages. First, on June 6, 1954, Seventh Avenue became southbound and Eighth Avenue became northbound south of Broadway. None of Broadway became one-way, but the increased southbound traffic between Columbus Circle (Eighth Avenue) and Times Square (Seventh Avenue) caused the city to restripe that section of Broadway for four southbound and two northbound lanes. Broadway became one-way from Columbus Circle south to Herald Square (34th Street) on March 10, 1957, in conjunction with Sixth Avenue becoming one-way from Herald Square north to 59th Street and Seventh Avenue becoming one-way from 59th Street south to Times Square (where it crosses Broadway).
On June 3, 1962, Broadway became one-way south of Canal Street, with Trinity Place and Church Street carrying northbound traffic. Another change was made on November 10, 1963, when Broadway became one-way southbound from Herald Square to Madison Square (23rd Street) and Union Square (14th Street) to Canal Street, and two routes - Sixth Avenue south of Herald Square and Centre Street, Lafayette Street, and Fourth Avenue south of Union Square - became one-way northbound. Finally, at the same time as Madison Avenue became one-way northbound and Fifth Avenue became one-way southbound, Broadway was made one-way southbound between Madison Square (where Fifth Avenue crosses) and Union Square on January 14, 1966, completing its conversion south of Columbus Circle.
In August 2008 two traffic lanes from 42nd to 35th Streets were taken out of service and converted to public plazas.
Rob's Apartment is located in Broadway and it is the first major area to be attacked by the The Monster when the Statue of Liberty is thrown into the street by the creature and the Woolworth Building is destroyed.