Bronx County Courthouse Plaza Gets a Makeover


StreetFilms’ Clarence Eckerson took these shots yesterday at the Bronx County Courthouse on Grand Concourse, where an area plagued by illegally parked government employee vehicles has been replaced by a public plaza.

Here’s a "before" shot, courtesy of Transportation Alternatives.

Additional current pics after the jump.

  • Mark

    Love those bollards!

  • Courthouse ped crash

    Car crashes into man on manhattan courthouse steps

    could have used bigger bollards/ Aren’t there bollards at Foley Square

  • matt

    there are bollards all around there – except in front of the courthouse steps. he/she had to cross a pretty wide stretch of sidewalk to get to those steps, too.

  • ddartley

    Bollards should have been big enough to stop a moving car. They don’t look like they could.

  • Clarence

    Just to chime in: the bollards are definitely big enough to stop parking on the new plaza, which of course was probably the goal.

    Hard to tell from my photos, but the curbs are actually pretty high. And that is something I have noticed recently in a few places in the city where new construction is going on. So that combined with the bollards might help stop a moderately moving car.

  • Brad Aaron

    That WNBC story is missing a line:

    “The driver was not charged.”

    Or maybe we should just take that as a given.

  • ddartley

    No doubt, the bollards are good, in spite of my criticism.

    But about comment number 2, the Foley Square crash–follow the link and look at those pictures. How fast must the guy have been going to cover so much ground?

    People who speed on city streets are fucking murderers, okay, and they need to have their heads smashed in. Going on two years of reading and commenting here, and I finally can’t contain an f-bomb, and speeders, appropriately, are what make me snap. I’m sorry, even if they don’t hit anyone, they are criminals of the worst sort. Until NYC, NYS, other states, the U.S., whoever–takes some EASY, OBVIOUS steps to rein in speeding, thousands of people are going to die needlessly.

    Yeah, I know the injuries in that story are called “non life-threatening.” Irrelevant.

  • mike

    Nice! but it looks like the bollards aren’t spaced far enough apart to prevent cars from driving up onto that plaza. Looks like there’s plenty of room for a Court Clerk to park his/her SUV on the sidewalk because they “need” to.

  • Clarence

    I agree, how the heck did that driver get so far up the steps!

    Odd: I thought I remembered that area having concrete dividers between the bike lane and the sidewalk as extra security. Either I am crazy, or they just were removed recently.

  • jmc

    At the very least someone who drives off the road should have their license reviewed. It’s strange to me that people don’t have to go to any sort of license review when they crash their car. I am not saying that everyone who gets in a crash should automatically lose their license, but couldn’t there at least be a review to make sure the driver is still competent?

  • We need better uses than huge planters and shrubs to inspire new uses for areas dominated by cars and parking, especially civic spaces. That design does not look all that more friendly or useful than a parking lot. None of the ledges or bollards are sittable. The area is clearly designed to prevent human use and gathering.

    We have worked with dozens of courthouses and civic centers around the country towards a very different outcome, while still addressing security issues.

  • Sam Goodman

    Hey People,

    The plaza is not yet completed. Plans call for additional plantings and benches-all designed to offer people an inviting place to gather-the square in the middle is specifically designed to accommodate summertime concerts, etc. Visit the location around July and check it out when its acutally complete.

  • I agree Ethan – big planters is exactly what gets in the way of having a large market space for farmers or large plaza activities. Think of great public spaces and the great thing is that they are flexible in their use as opposed to just shrubbery

  • Can’t say for sure from looking at the pictures, but I’d guess that a car could squeeze between two of those bollards. Glad to hear there will be additional improvements to accomodate pedestrians–I’ll look for them at the next TdBronx. As for cars climbing steps, apparently it’s not that hard:

  • Clarence

    From what I saw there, for a car to get up on the sidewalk it would have to be pretty lucky, it would probably have to pick an angle almost directly perpendicular to the sidewalk, somehow squeeze between the bollards, and then have enough momentum to climb the curb which seems a little higher then the majority of NYC curbs.

    All in all, I think you will not see any cars parking illegally there anymore.

  • Cars on sidewalk

    Be nice to get those pics of cars crashed on sidewalks, steps, medians, houses, pizzerias (popular target)into one place on-line. Be a nice portfolio to show around when arguing for bollards, protected medians and protected bike lanes.

  • vnm

    Back to the Bronx: This new plaza looks great! I live a block away from there and let me say this: I am psyched.

  • Ian Turner

    FWIW, the guy who drove up the courthouse steps had already had his license suspended:

    From the article, “The driver was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment in addition to driving with a suspended license, police said.”

  • thats a good place too skate


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