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Friday’s Headlines: Celebrating Public Space Heroes Edition

Learn about this year's "Public Space Awards" winners. Plus other news.

12:00 AM EST on February 2, 2024

Photos: Open Plans|

It’s time to recognize great public spaces!

Whose streets? Your streets.

It's time once again for the annual "Public Space Awards" hosted by our friends at Open Plans. This year's gala is set for Thursday, Feb. 29 (leap day!), which means you should get your tickets right now to honor this year's winners and help raise money for more awesome projects next year.

And the winners are:

  • Most Innovative Model for Public Space Management: Corona Plaza
  • Neighborhood Champion Award: Flatbush Nostrand Junction BID
  • Citywide Transformation Award: Department of Transportation's Summer Streets (which expanded to all the boroughs last year!)
  • Most Inspiring Neighborhood Vision: North Brooklyn Safe Streets Organizers & North Brooklyn Parks Alliance

Just as important, click here to vote for the audience-selected fifth honoree, which this year is dedicated to public space activization. And the nominees are: Kuki Go for his tape (yes, tape) art; Misha Tyutyunik for his newly extended Kensington Plaza; and the Skate Everything School for holding skateboarding "classes" on open streets all over town.

It'll be a blast (and even some of your favorite Streetsblog staffers will be on hand).

In other news:

  • Eric Adams, Petty Man: The mayor didn't invite Council Member Shaun Abreu to yesterday's very announcement of an expansion in the trash containerization pilot — a program that Abreu has championed since the start. Abreu, of course, voted with the super-majority to override two Adams vetoes earlier this week. But when asked about why he disinvited his ally in garbage, the mayor just sniffed, "We decide who we’re bringing, who we aren’t.” (NYDN)
  • Meanwhile, we covered the crucial Sanitation Department expansion. So did the Daily News, the Times, amNY, Gothamist.
  • Gothamist put out a great report on where fare evasion tickets are handed out — and, guess what, it's not equitable!
  • We've been around this town long enough to know that the Port Authority's big announcement that it will finish a $10-billion renovation of its eponymous bus terminal in eight years is just balderdash. Still many outlets covered it credulously. (NYDN, NY Times, Gothamist)
  • We covered a hit-and-run killing in Queens with far more depth than other outlets (NYDN)
  • The governor was in town to ride the MTA's new open gangway train (which for now can only run on the local C line). (NYDN, NY Post, amNY, Gothamist)
  • And LIRR Today had a full report:
  • From the assignment desk: If the name of Wheeler Avenue doesn't send a chill down your spine, you're too young to remember the day — Feb. 4, 1999 — when four NYPD officers shot and killed unarmed Amadou Diallo with a fusillade of 41 shots from their service pistols. On Saturday, the victim's mom, longtime activist Kadiatou Diallo, will be joined by other victims of police brutality near the site of the killing, at 1177 Wheeler Ave., where there is a mural in honor of the victim. The crowd will gather at around 5 p.m. and move up the block for a moment of silence where Amadou Diallo was killed.
  • And, finally, the DOT wants to hear from you about what it should prioritize. It's nice to be asked, but the mission is clear: safe streets for all, more space for pedestrians, more equity in road redesigns. (NYC DOT)
  • Oh and one last bit of DOT news: We were happy to see that the agency had finally shortened the looooong blocks of Atlantic Avenue between Nevins and Smith streets with new mid-block crosswalks and lights (almost done with all three). It's great to see what this agency can do when City Hall doesn't get in the way. Here's a picture from Friend of Streetsblog Kelly Carroll:
Photo: Kelly Carroll

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