The trial plaza at Madison Square
When we wrote about the trial pedestrian plaza on 17th Street
and Market Street that DPW expects to start this May, the story generated numerous doubts about how the city would create a successful public space out of a busy street abutting a gas station.
As commenter Josh said, "This truly is a ridiculous idea! Why would anyone want to "enjoy" a
small patch of cemented area that's filled with salvage yard leftovers
while inhaling unhealthy fumes from not only the cars on the busy
streets that surround the designated area but by the gas station?"
Though we can't make guarantees on a pilot project that hasn't been built, we thought we'd highlight some of New York City's temporary plazas and street treatments as best practice analogs, knowing our DPW and MTA are also looking to the Big Crabapple for inspiration.
DPW Director Ed Reiskin explained to Streetsblog by email that his goal is to keep expenses low. "As for
cost, it should be minimal, since materials cost should be close to zero," he said.
"There will be some labor cost to us and MTA to put up signs, transport and
place materials, and install any pavement treatments and cuts."
In New York, even the "salvage yard leftovers" have become very nice public amenities.