Reconnecting Grand Army Plaza

One of the most ambitious New York City Streets Renaissance projects currently underway is the Grand Army Plaza Coalition’s initiative to re-conceive New York City’s biggest, most chaotic traffic rotary into one of the city’s finest public spaces.

A couple of weeks ago GAPco hosted a "Livable Streets" forum at the Brooklyn Public Library to present findings from a community workshop conducted in March. The big idea? Reconfigure traffic to allow the fountain and arch to connect directly to the front of Prospect Park, as depicted above. The Brooklyn Papers reported:

Grand Army Plaza could be transformed from an intimidating,
speeder-friendly highway in the center of Brooklyn to a calmer traffic
circle under a revolutionary plan that continues to gain speed of its
own.

At a meeting last week at the Brooklyn Public Library’s
Central branch, a citizens group presented its most fully drawn plan to
reconfigure the plaza and reconnect the landmark Soldiers’ and Sailors’
arch with the entrance to Prospect Park, creating a safe, car-free
walkway (see map).

Currently, the circle is a mess of misleading
crosswalks and dangerous traffic islands that separate park users from
the recently restored Bailey Fountain and Arc de Triomphe-inspired
Civil War monument in the center of Grand Army Plaza.

Thanks, in part, to GAPco’s work, captured in this StreetFilm, the Dept. of Transportation is
already forging ahead with short-term pedestrian and cyclist
improvements
around the dangerous Flatbush Ave. and Eastern Pkwy.
intersection.

Below is an aerial shot of the Plaza as it is currently designed. Note the six lanes of one-way traffic running along each side of the interior circle and the intimidating crossing between the Prospect Park and the Arch.

gapaerial.jpg

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