I’m happy to see that New York City is issuing a guidebook for street construction that suggests such pedestrian-friendly features as pedestrian bulb-outs (curb extensions that make pedestrians more visible to cars when crossing) and street trees. These kinds of best practices should be standard in all cities.
Somewhat galling is the Times’ description of the current system as
the utilitarian 1970s-style streetscape that dominates the city
A street that’s unsafe and unpleasant for pedestrians isn’t a “utilitarian” street, especially not in New York, where the majority of all trips are taken on foot while the majority of most streets is given over to cars.