Eyes on the Street: Huge Grand Army Plaza Ped Islands Under Construction

Photo: Ben Fried

Construction has started on NYC DOT’s project to greatly expand the pedestrian zones at the north end of Grand Army Plaza. The result of a years-long community-based planning process led by the Grand Army Plaza Coalition, these pedestrian improvements will reclaim a lot of asphalt and give people a much more direct walking route to the central public space at the heart of GAP. Construction of the pedestrian islands is slated to run through July, with new bike and pedestrian features on the south side of GAP scheduled for August [PDF]. Another feature in the original DOT plan for GAP — a two-way protected bike path on Plaza Street — has been postponed indefinitely.

The piece under construction right now is the “eastern wing” of the four-part pedestrian expansion:

Image: NYCDOT
  • I ride through here every day. I can’t wait till this is finished! WOOT!!!

  • Anonymous

    It should be a vast improvement but I mourn the absence of the two-way protected bike path on Plaza Street. It was an elegant solution for bicyclist to legally get to and from all points around Grand Army Plaza.

  • Car Owner

    The so-called Seniors for Safety up on Prospect Park West must be very excited about this substantial pedestrian safety improvement…

    …oh, wait. Sorry. For a second I forgot that Seniors for Safety don’t really care about seniors’ safety. They just want to get rid of the bike lane on Prospect Park West.

    BTW… I wonder if Seniors for Safety are out and about, helping to make sure that old folks in the neighborhood have sufficient air conditioning or access to the city’s cooling centers….

    …oh, wait. Sorry. For a second I forgot that Seniors for Safety don’t really care about seniors’ safety. They just want to get rid of the bike lane on Prospect Park West.

    Hey, I wonder if Seniors for Safety are getting involved in the big fight over Medicare because, you know, that’s a critical issue for seniors…

  • J

    This is really exciting stuff! This will do a ton to make GAP more of a place to be, rather than exclusively a place to blast through in a car. I think the protected bike lanes would have completed the package, but the idea can still go forward in the future. Shall we create a GAP protected lanes petition?

  • I still don’t understand from these diagrams, how will you now get to the park from Vanderbilt if you’re on a bike?

  • kevd

    You ride around GAP.
    Or you walk though the middle thing with the arch, and then cross the cross walk into the park

  • kevd

    as someone who never felt uncomfortable riding around between Flatbush and the Park twice a day on GAP, I’m looking forward to this.  Slowing some vehicle speeds will help me out a lot.

  • kevd

    as someone who never felt uncomfortable riding around between Flatbush and the Park twice a day on GAP, I’m looking forward to this.  Slowing some vehicle speeds will help me out a lot.

  • kevd

    as someone who never felt uncomfortable riding around between Flatbush and the Park twice a day on GAP, I’m looking forward to this.  Slowing some vehicle speeds will help me out a lot.

  • Anonymous

    I believe you are expected to take the existing class II bike lane on Plaza Street counter-clockwise, the long way around.

  • Anonymous

    Getting from the park to Vanderbilt by riding around plaza street always seemed reasonable to me, but I never figured out how to go the other way  without running a gauntlet of insane traffic by the Union St. intersection.  This looks like an major improvement in that area.

  • Right now I bike all the way around the long way, and hope I don’t get a red light crossing PPW. It looks like this way you can just go down Vanderbilt and cross at the ped crossings (?)

  • So nothing really changes for bikers assuming you don’t walk the bike through the arch? i.e. still a nightmare?

  • So nothing really changes for bikers assuming you don’t walk the bike through the arch? i.e. still a nightmare?

  • So nothing really changes for bikers assuming you don’t walk the bike through the arch? i.e. still a nightmare?

  • Ty

    Whitney… “Still a nightmare?”  Seriously?  How about dismount your bike and walk the 15 ft.  The middle of the GAP isn’t designed for biking around — it’s for visiting. 

  • I’m with Whitney. Totally. Getting to the PPW lane is a nightmare. And it takes forever. And I don’t even know how you can actually get into the park without risking being creamed by some car going about a hundred miles an hour.

    Why should cyclists be forced to dismount and walk just to not be killed when there’s miles of asphalt. There’s more than enough space for all of us.

  • I’m with Whitney. Totally. Getting to the PPW lane is a nightmare. And it takes forever. And I don’t even know how you can actually get into the park without risking being creamed by some car going about a hundred miles an hour.

    Why should cyclists be forced to dismount and walk just to not be killed when there’s miles of asphalt. There’s more than enough space for all of us.

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