Image source: zachvs on Flickr
There’s been a lot of talk about pedestrian plazas in Queens these days (Astoria, Corona), and now it’s time to bring Ridgewood into the mix. The neighborhood’s 71st Avenue Triangle was part of Round 4 of the NYC Plaza Program, along with Corona Plaza. For the DOT and community visioning process, four sites were selected out of eight submitted, and the Ridgewood triangle made it.
The pedestrian plaza would be at the intersection of 71st Avenue at Stephen Street and Myrtle Avenue in the southeastern part of Ridgewood (GMAP), which lies in the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District. Here’s what DOT says about this plaza:
Myrtle Avenue, a major connector between Brooklyn and Queens, is the principal commercial corridor of Greater Ridgewood, serviced by the Q55 bus. The Myrtle Avenue Queens BID operates along one mile of this corridor, supporting over 300 retail and service establishments. The 71st Avenue Triangle will reclaim the underutilized slip road between Stephen Street and Myrtle Avenue to improve safety, maintain operations for adjacent businesses, and provide 3,000 square feet of enhanced public open space for residents and shoppers. The Myrtle Avenue Queens BID plans to expand the activities currently held at the triangle during the Fall Street Festival and Christmas Photos to possibly include farmers & craft markets, music, children’s events, temporary art installations, and other holiday events.
The Queens Courier reports that a temporary plaza will be constructed first, and on Tuesday, 9/4, local residents met with DOT, officials from the local BID, Local Development Corp (the officially designated economic development agency for Ridgewood), and CB 5 to discuss plans for the temporary plaza. Public art forums and street fairs were a couple of the ideas presented. The Ridgewood BID would be in charge of maintaining the space, too.
With this plaza in place, some hope that it will encourage people to come to the area, walk around and shop – a way to revitalize the retail aspect of this part of Ridgewood, which has been ailing.