New public space is on the way! This past Tuesday at CB 2's Transportation Committee meeting, the NYC DOT presented proposed street geometries for pedestrian and safety improvements to the four blocks of Myrtle Avenue between Hall Street and Emerson Place. The plan calls for widening the sidewalk and median between Hall and Grand, essentially turning the service road into more of a driveway, and creating a landscaped pedestrian plaza between Grand and Emerson. Click for a larger image. These ideas were originally developed through a number of community workshops we hosted over the last three years with Pratt Institute's urban planning program and the organization Project for Public Spaces. DOT really liked the concepts and has taken them to the next step, having their engineers and street designers do a more in depth study to come up with the plans shown. The transportation committee voted 8 to 0 in favor of the proposed changes.
We have already raised about $3.5 million toward implementing these improvements: $2 million was raised in cooperation with City Planning from Federal CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality) funds; $1 million in capital funds from Council Member Tish James; and $500,000 in capital funds from BP Marty Markowitz. We hope to raise the final amount if Myrtle Avenue is selected as a winning proposal for the NYC Plaza Program.
For a look at DOT's presentation, click here. (1.5 MB in PDF format)
And to see some of the background on our work on this site, its challenges, and our conceptual concepts, go to our Placemaking and Public Space Enhancements page.