Meat Market Plaza is Open for Business

The interim redesign of Ninth Avenue and 14th Street is done. Tables, chairs, planters and some of those giant granite blocks from DOT’s Bridges Division have been set out as multipurpose bollard-bench-tables atop a gravelly, earth-tone pavement surface. 

What was very recently one of the longest and most hectic pedestrian crossings in Manhattan, and no treat for drivers, cyclists or nearby businesses, is suddenly a place where you can sit down and enjoy a Fat Witch brownie from the Chelsea Market after a busy morning of couture shopping at Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. And soon you’ll be able to get there via New York City’s on-street, parking-protected "cycle track." As Danish urban designer Jan Gehl says, "How nice is it to wake up every morning and know that your city is a little bit better than it was the day before."

If DOT’s new plazas on Willoughby and Pearl Streets in Brooklyn are any indication, the demand for this type of public space is huge and it’s going to be a hit with lunchtime and evening crowds regardless of the proximity to busy traffic. Word has it the granite blocks and tables on the south side of 14th Street were already seeing heavy use on Tuesday evening at around 11:00 pm. Meat Market Plaza seems to be particularly popular with the smokers, banished, as they are, from the city’s indoor spaces. Get ready to clean some cigarette butts out of the planters.

We’d love to get more photos of people using the new plaza spaces. If you’re in the area, snap ’em and send ’em to tips@streetsblog.org.

Before:

After:

meatpacking_after.JPG

Related:

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

NYC Gets Its First-Ever Physically-Separated Bike Path

|
The Department of Transportation revealed plans for New York City’s first-ever physically-separated bike lane, or "cycle track," at a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting last night. The new bike path will run southbound on Ninth Avenue from W. 23rd to W. 16th Street in Manhattan. Unlike the typical Class II on-street bike lane in which […]

Fifth Ave BID, CB6 District Manager Take Aim at Park Slope Bike Lane

|
Fifth Avenue in Park Slope on a weekday morning. What’s wrong with this picture? Photo: Ben Fried. Just about every New York City neighborhood has to deal with the consequences of dirt cheap on-street parking. When you practically give away spaces at rock-bottom prices, it guarantees double parking and endless cruising for spots by bargain […]

DOT Will Close Remaining Gaps in First Avenue Protected Bike Lane

|
Soon there will be a continuous northbound protected bike lane along the length of First Avenue, from Houston Street to the Harlem River. On Monday, the Manhattan Community Board 6 transportation committee voted for DOT’s plan to plug the critical gaps in physical protection near the United Nations and the approach to the Queensboro Bridge [PDF]. From 55th […]

The Streetsies

|
All in all it was a great year for New York City’s Livable Streets Movement. Here are the winners of our 2007 awards. See you in January… Best Livable Streets Project: The Ninth Avenue bike lane, Chelsea. Best New Public Space: DUMBO’s Pearl Street Pocket Park. Honorable mention: Chelsea’s Meat Market Plaza. Best Pedestrian Project: […]

DOT Extends Sixth Avenue Protected Bike Lane Plan to 8th Street

|
DOT is extending its plan for a protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue six blocks and will include some concrete pedestrian islands in the project. Previously, the plan called for a protected bike lane between 14th Street and 33rd Street with painted pedestrian islands at intersections. The revised plan extends south to 8th Street and will […]