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Minding the GAP (Grand Army Plaza)

NYC DOT has begun groundbreaking on drastic safety improvements to Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza area - long a dangerous and confusing place for pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate around to reach Prospect Park or to the beautiful Bailey Fountain at its core.

The new plans call for a multiple green pedestrian islands, a separated bike connector, new crosswalks, and pedestrian signals.

Much of the pressure came from the Grand Army Plaza Coalition (GAPCo) a mix of residents and community organizations which formed last year in attempt to find solutions to the plaza's traffic conundrums. You can see related StreetFilms on their work here and here.

<blockquote class="speaker_1_text"> <cite class="speaker_1" >Janette Sadik-Khan:</cite> Grand Army Plaza is the home of the beautifully restored Bailey Fountain and Memorial Arch, and also sits at the confluence of four major traffic arteries, which you can hear behind me today. For far too long, Grand Army Plaza has lacked adequate pedestrian crossing opportunities and bike connections, and as a result, people have had to cross this plaza in very unpredictable ways.</p><p>We're here today to announce that this is about to change. We are building three large, landscape pedestrian islands, with five crosswalks, 10 pedestrian signals, and a protected bike path, creating safe, easy-to-use, and predictable crossings for this neighborhood.</p><p>This project will convert 11,000 square feet of asphalt and street markings into space for pedestrians and cyclists, and it's part of Mayor Bloomberg's plan to examine and reexamine how we are using our public space, our sidewalks, and our parks.</p><p>At Grand Army Plaza, the new raised pedestrian islands will slow down and better organize the traffic. We're also looking to make similar safety enhancements on the northern side of the plaza as well.</p><p>This project also better connects our neighborhoods, and whether it's biking or walking, I've directed my staff at New York City DOT to make existing routes tie together better. </blockquote> <blockquote class="speaker_2_text"> <cite class="speaker_2" >Marty Markowitz:</cite> Grand Army Plaza, as you know, is known as Brooklyn's Arc de Triomphe, our Piccadilly Square, our Piazza Navona. But over the years, as you know, it's become increasingly difficult and dangerous for Brooklynites and visitors to reach and enjoy. That is why we're so thrilled with these plans to create landscape pedestrian islands, a dedicated bike lane, additional crosswalks, and pedestrian signals, which will help return this hub to the welcoming, European-style plaza it was designed to be. </blockquote> <blockquote class="speaker_3_text"> <cite class="speaker_3" >Janette:</cite> All of this is being done with the goal of making New York City a safer and more pleasant place to live. I'm excited to be a part of it, and I'd like to thank the members of my staff that have helped direct this project. </blockquote> <br/><br/>
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  • http://panix.com/~steveo steveo

    Nicely done video. Great job of conveying the difficulty of walking around GAP the way is currently is.

    Great to see our visionary new DOT Commish.

    I can't wait to try out the the new crosswalks!