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Posts tagged "Queens Plaza"

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Queens’ Corona Plaza: A Community Place Rises

Something special is happening in Corona, Queens.

Last week, Streetfilms visited Corona Plaza -- the city's newest car-free space, next to the 103rd Street stop on the 7 train -- and found it already packed with families, children, and shoppers.

This plaza has been in the works for many years, and the local community has taken ownership of it immediately. Volunteers help in locking up the tables and chairs at night and assist in cleaning the space themselves.

The area previously had no public seating whatsoever, which is astonishing considering the dozens of restaurants nearby. Now it is a magnet for people, especially kids, who give the place a vibe that feels different than most other pedestrian plazas. To watch parents sit calmly while their kids play would have been unheard of before the street was reclaimed from traffic and parking.

Andy Wiley-Schwartz, an assistant commissioner at the NYC Department of Transportation, tells us about the future of this space and the thinking behind its current incarnation:

We're planning long term for what we call a capital reconstruction -- where we would build this plaza out completely with concrete and pavers and fixed seating with permanent plantings in the ground and really make it into a beautiful, permanent plaza.  But for the moment we can capture this space by putting things on the surface.  So we paved over the asphalt with epoxy gravel - loose gravel that is glued to the ground to make it look like a public space. We moved in planters to green and beautify the space. We have moveable seating that people can move in or out of the sun and also the umbrellas. And blocking off the space with granite blocks so that cars cannot drive in it. That way we can create this space for a few years while we are planning and constructing the capital portion.

StreetFilms
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Queens Plaza Protected Cycletrack is Open for Business

Using a bicycle in Queens just got more safe and efficient for riders that use the Queens Plaza area to access the Queensboro Bridge bike and pedestrian path.

Yesterday afternoon, Streetfilms got tips from fans saying the physically protected bike & pedestrian median was finally open. By the time we got there, scores of folks were already taking advantage - many with big, hearty smiles when they saw the path was welcoming their first ride on it.  We tried to give you the full experience from as many angles as possible during this nearly half-mile journey, another protected bike facility in New York City.

Amazingly, one of the most congested, noisy, chaotic and ugly spots in the city, now feels like an oasis of green and safety.  Dare we even say, pleasant!  And more importantly: it now allows cyclists to avoid multiple blocks of annoying navigation to and from Queens Boulevard.  It also gets rid of dangerous wrong way riding by cyclists by finally accomodating their desire to travel east.