We stopped by the one day Astoria pop-up pedestrian plaza on Saturday and saw lots of people enjoying the temporary plaza.
As you can see, there were tables and chairs out for people to use. We saw people sitting there chatting with each other, reading a book, or simply people-watching. You could even play croquet on the astroturf.
Big planters were in place for extra strong buffering between the plaza and the street, plus they added a little greenery to the area.
Over at an info booth there was a survey visitors could fill out so that DOT could gauge people’s interest in the plaza itself and learn if neighbors had any concerns about parking or traffic issues that might arise by the establishment of the plaza. One woman we encountered was deeply concerned about the loss of parking spaces in particular (a maximum of three spaces would be lost); others we heard talking about the plaza were totally in love with the idea of the space becoming permanent. Many in the neighborhood would like to see this historically dangerous intersection become safer. Others wonder how the plaza might affect property values in the area.
The next step in this process will be a vote by the members of Community Board 1 on Tuesday, September 11 at 7pm. CB 1 meetings take place at the Astoria World Manor at 25-22 Astoria Blvd (GMAP). Neighbors are welcome to attend these meetings. If DOT gets the green light to go forward with establishing a permanent plaza at Newtown and 30th Aves, construction would start in the spring of 2013.