Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Clinton Hill

What Should Happen at Myrtle Avenue’s New Plaza? The Public Weighs In

A two-block pedestrian plaza is coming to Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, replacing an underused service road between Grand Avenue and Emerson Place. Last Friday, the local business improvement district unveiled eight potential ideas for the site (check out the BID's Flickr stream to see them all) and asked viewers for their feedback.

Myrtle_Avenue_Service_Road.jpgMyrtle Avenue today. The service road on the left is slated to become a pedestrian plaza. Image: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, via Flickr

NYCDOT selected the Myrtle Avenue site last year to receive funding in the first round of the agency's plaza program. The Myrtle Avenue plaza will reclaim a significant amount of street space for pedestrians, converting a lane of traffic and 38 on-street
parking spaces to public space (and metering another 52 spaces that were previously free).

DOT and the Department of Design and Construction will ultimately
select their own design team, local partners like the Myrtle Avenue BID were invited to
hold "visioning workshops" for their sites. Rather than selecting a final design for the project, Friday night's event was intended to generate ideas and gauge public interest in different uses, with
attendees writing their thoughts on clipboards and post-it notes.

The "New Wave" design featured an eye-catching centerpiece in its cantilevered
awning, ecologically-minded materials like permeable pavement, and a sunken amphitheater for performances -- ideas that seemed to align well with the elements that participants asked for.

New_Wave.jpgThe New Wave design, by Jonathan Joseph, Gregór Nemitz-Ziadie and Lee Norsworthy. Image: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, via Flickr.

Aaron Follett put forth one of multiple proposals emphasizing transportation connections, anchoring his design with a bus shelter and including high-design bike racks:

Aaron_Follett.pngAaron Follett's bus shelter. Image: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership via Flickr.

Christopher Peli offered perhaps the most fantastic vision of Myrtle Avenue. Calling his project "a movement against suburban planning techniques," he proposed a "dramatic overhead canopy" across the entire plaza which would light up section by section as pedestrians walked beneath:

Chris_Peli.pngChristopher Peli's design. Image: Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership via Flickr.

Michael Blaise Backer, the BID's director, said he saw three major themes emerge from the designs and the public feedback: public art, environmental sustainability, and spaces for unplanned performances. Those broader themes will now be communicated to DOT as guidelines for its design process. According to Backer, the city should announce an official design team for the plaza in about two months. 

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

New York City Roadway Dining at Risk of Dramatic Decline As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024

‘Suburban’ Queens Stalwarts Take Hard Line Against Housing — To Rest of City’s Detriment

“That's what they bought in the suburbs for, that's why they raised their family in the suburbs," said Council Member Joann Ariola, whose district contains 14 subway stations.

July 11, 2024

DOT Seeks New Camera Enforcement Contract to Better Catch Obscured License Plates

The city's current contractor has let hundreds of thousands of reckless drivers off the hook.

July 11, 2024
See all posts