Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan unveiled the Department of Transportation’s New York City Public Plaza Program last night at the Pratt Institute in Manhattan. Through the program, DOT aims to transform "underused streets into vibrant, social public spaces" throughout New York City. To create and run these new public plazas DOT is seeking to partner with local non-profit organizations.
The initiative is "the first community-based planning program that has capital funding attached to it," Sadik-Khan said. DOT has allocated $43.1 million in capital funds over three years (about $14 million per year) for planning, design and construction of the new public spaces. Additionally, Commissioner of Small Business Services Rob Walsh said that his agency has allocated $50,000 per year over three years to pay for the programming and maintenance of plazas in neighborhoods with no business improvement district (BID).
DOT is accepting applications from community groups through Tuesday, August 19. Applications can be downloaded here. There will be an information session on Wednesday, July 16th, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. at 40 Worth Street, Rm. 814.
Sadik-Khan is urging New Yorkers to be creative in coming up with public plaza partnership ideas. "Partners don’t just have to be BIDs," she said. Community development corporations, public hospitals and civic organizations would all be considered as long as they can show they have "some organization and maintenance capabilities." Sadik-Khan also noted that that low- to moderate-income neighborhoods that currently lack parks and open spaces will be given priority as a part of PlaNYC’s commitment to create a park or public space within a 10 minute walk of every New Yorker.