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Short answer no. However, North Michigan Ave. foot traffic can sometimes feel almost Manhattan-like. Midtown Manhattan during the week is the most densley populated place in the Country.

This isn't really a fair question though, since NYC is much more dense than Chicago. Most of Chicago isn't even as busy as the "not so busy" areas of NYC.
 

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Besides the Huge Gap in population density, part of the reason you don't see foot traffic in Chicago like you do in NYC is because of the public transportation. In Manhattan, it seems like there is a Subway Stop every other block, so people are always getting on and off the subway. Chicago is more auto-centric b/c the public transportation system isn't nearly as good, so in areas away from the EL, you see less and less foot traffic
 

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This video shows the Magnificent Mile (North Michigan Avenue) that everyone has been talking about. Specifically, it is at the intersection of Michigan Ave and Pearson Street. The Water Tower Place mall, historic Chicago Water Tower, Borders and Filene's Basement stores are all at this intersection. A Hershey's flagship store (I think) is also nearby.

Pedestrian traffic here is typical, though it does get heavier.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=PWEFhBV_eYg&feature=related
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This video shows the Magnificent Mile (North Michigan Avenue) that everyone has been talking about. Specifically, it is at the intersection of Michigan Ave and Pearson Street. The Water Tower Place mall, historic Chicago Water Tower, Borders and Filene's Basement stores are all at this intersection. A Hershey's flagship store (I think) is also nearby.

Pedestrian traffic here is typical, though it does get heavier.
Wow, THAT'S what I'm talking about. Though I'm suprised with all those people, it seems relatively quiet. Should I assume that when the stores in that area close, the people almost completely disappear?
 

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Wow, THAT'S what I'm talking about. Though I'm suprised with all those people, it seems relatively quiet. Should I assume that when the stores in that area close, the people almost completely disappear?
Its lighter sure, but that area also has a high concentration of hotels, bars and restaurants, so its still busy. If you want to see very heavy foot traffic at night, head one block west to Rush St.
 

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^ Its been a while since I've been in Chicago, but my sense is that Times Square is busier than N. Michigan Avenue. But I think that's "advantage Chicago." There IS such a thing as too busy, and I would say that is Times Square. Whenever I am in the general Times Square area, I do my best to avoid the busiest parts. Part of the problem may be tourists who move slowly, rather than simply too many people per se. But the other problem is design. Times Square sidewalks simply aren't large enough to accommodate the foot traffic. You have these absurd looking markers out in the street that appear to exist for the purpose of extending the sidewalk, at least temporarily, into the street. It seems like a big mess.

It becomes very unpleasant actually, even for people like me and my friends who love density and activity. For one thing, Times Square is not a Square at all, at least not in the European sense of the term. If it were actually a square -- a large contiguous space for pedestrians -- it could work. It sounds crazy, but I wish they could lower Broadway and 7th avenue, and put the real square into Times Square.

Times Square is hampered as a true 'destination', as there is no natural place to sit back and take it all in. Instead, the tourists have to occupy valuable sidewalk space as they take their pictures and absorb the scene. Snotty New Yorkers may snub their nose at the tourists blocking the sidewalk "lanes" but in fact, fundamentally its a design problem.

All of this is to say by way of comparison: walking down North Michigan Avenue is a hell of a lot more pleasant than walking in the Times Square area, partly due to the fact that the traffic is impressive, but not gridlocked.
 

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^^ I agree...the only time N. Michigan Ave get gridlock busy is during the holidays or during some summer festivities such as the Taste of Chicago.
I try to avoid that area during those times because I'm a fast walker and I know how slow those tourists move, all understood though.
 

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^
It becomes very unpleasant actually, even for people like me and my friends who love density and activity. For one thing, Times Square is not a Square at all, at least not in the European sense of the term. If it were actually a square -- a large contiguous space for pedestrians -- it could work. It sounds crazy, but I wish they could lower Broadway and 7th avenue, and put the real square into Times Square.

Times Square is hampered as a true 'destination', as there is no natural place to sit back and take it all in. Instead, the tourists have to occupy valuable sidewalk space as they take their pictures and absorb the scene. Snotty New Yorkers may snub their nose at the tourists blocking the sidewalk "lanes" but in fact, fundamentally its a design problem.

They are currently building a new TKTs booth at the northern end of Times Square that will basically be the Spanish Steps of New York and provide tourists with a proper place to "take it all in".

As to the main topic, Michigan Avenue's vibrancy is amazing, but New York has at least ten avenues like that, all parallel to each other, not to mention all the major cross-town streets.
 

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^ Its been a while since I've been in Chicago, but my sense is that Times Square is busier than N. Michigan Avenue. But I think that's "advantage Chicago." There IS such a thing as too busy, and I would say that is Times Square. Whenever I am in the general Times Square area, I do my best to avoid the busiest parts. Part of the problem may be tourists who move slowly, rather than simply too many people per se. But the other problem is design. Times Square sidewalks simply aren't large enough to accommodate the foot traffic. You have these absurd looking markers out in the street that appear to exist for the purpose of extending the sidewalk, at least temporarily, into the street. It seems like a big mess.

It becomes very unpleasant actually, even for people like me and my friends who love density and activity. For one thing, Times Square is not a Square at all, at least not in the European sense of the term. If it were actually a square -- a large contiguous space for pedestrians -- it could work. It sounds crazy, but I wish they could lower Broadway and 7th avenue, and put the real square into Times Square.

Times Square is hampered as a true 'destination', as there is no natural place to sit back and take it all in. Instead, the tourists have to occupy valuable sidewalk space as they take their pictures and absorb the scene. Snotty New Yorkers may snub their nose at the tourists blocking the sidewalk "lanes" but in fact, fundamentally its a design problem.

All of this is to say by way of comparison: walking down North Michigan Avenue is a hell of a lot more pleasant than walking in the Times Square area, partly due to the fact that the traffic is impressive, but not gridlocked.
This makes a lot of sense to me.

Truthfully, I don't like the traffic in Times Square at all -- be it night or day. Whenever I am in Manhattan, I avoid it like the plague. But then again, this is just me.

The hotels I usually use in Midtown are typically between/around 5th and 6th or Madison, and I usually gravitate more to the areas east of Broadway, where traffic can be dense, but stays managable.

Frankly, I don't mind at all the quieter streets on the upper East side, which I frequent for the galleries, and not for all the hussle and bustle. The energy of NYC can be appreciated in many more ways than just busy streets and subways.
 
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