Petrosino Square to Expand Into Lafayette Street

Alan Gerson extolls the value of using underutilized traffic lanes for park space, with Friends of Petrosino Square founder Georgette Fleischer, Parks Borough Commissioner Bill Castro and CB 2 Chair Brad Hoylman 

Manhattan Community Board 2 member Ian Dutton reports that this morning city officials held a groundbreaking for the renovation of Petrosino Square. As part of the project, the square, which lies on Lafayette Street between Kenmare and Spring, will be expanded, as one of Lafayette’s two southbound travel lanes will be turned into park space. Writes Dutton:

Interestingly, the loudest round of applause from the crowd of local residents, many elderly Italian citizens, appeared to come during [Council Member] Alan Gerson’s remarks regarding freeing up useless road space on Lafayette St. for community use. "Today is an historic day as we transfer a lane of pavement to more space for an expanded park — space for the people who appreciate the neighborhood and space for public art."

Though long-time Little Italy residents might not appreciate the impact of crowd- and traffic-attracting street festivals, the value of
proper use of public space hasn’t been completely lost on this audience.

Photo: Ian Dutton

  • Dan

    More Like this please. As with so many projects, the real test of the City’s comitment to livable streets is not just fixing up what exists but having the presence of mind and the strength of will to take space from cars and return it to pedestrians. With that in mind, has anyone seen the Union Square north plans that Curbed had the other day. Gross.

  • i ride my bike past that underutilized square nearly every day… very impressive that the city is willing to remove the entire lane adjacent to it. the park was always

  • guess my comment above never finished saving….

    i ride my bike past that underutilized square nearly every day… very impressive that the city is willing to

  • third time’s a charm?

    i ride my bike past that underutilized square nearly every day… very impressive that the city is willing to remove the entire lane adjacent to it. the park was always too small to be useful for any events. but a bike swap in williamsburg now an entire lane for a park… i like the direction this is going.

  • What a great precedent! I can think of a couple of other squares that could use this treatment.

  • Someone Orother

    The west side of Petrosino used to be a parking free-for-all. Maybe it still is. The signs would go up and mysteriously disappear withing 24 hours, then cars, belonging either to ‘first responders’ or associates of Peter Zaccaro (whose office was across Lafayette) would east up all the spots. In ’98 I parked there for, oh, two months straight, IIRC.

  • brian

    This park seams to have great history. Does anyone know where I would be able to find historic pictures of the park?

  • Kathleen Connolly

    I would like to get involved with Friends of Petrosino Park. I know Georgette Fleischer directs the organization but I can’t find any contact information. Advice anyone?



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