A quarter century after the idea originated, the plan for a Ridgewood pedestrian plaza finally came to fruition.
The plaza, situated on 71st Avenue between Myrtle Avenue and Stephen Street, was closed to traffic during the first week of October. Chairs and tables were expected to be delivered to the street as The Courier Sun was going to press.
Granite blocks and planters line the plaza in the center of the Myrtle Avenue retail corridor. A pedestrian triangle with benches already existed as a barrier between Myrtle and 71st avenues.
When Venditti Square and Ridgewood Memorial Triangle were built 25 years ago, the 71st Avenue Triangle was to be constructed as well, but city cutbacks caused the plan to be scrapped.
The design was reset in motion when a proposal was submitted in 2011 to the city’s plaza program.
“After 25 years, we’re finally coming full circle and creating what was supposed to have been built back in the 80s,” said Ted Renz, executive director of the Ridgewood Local Development Corporation and the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District.
After the plan was approved, the DOT offered to construct the temporary plaza instead of the community waiting a couple of years for the permanent space to be designed. The temporary plaza allows the space to be utilized while a permanent one is planned. Renz said workshops will be held in the coming months regarding the permanent plaza.
“I like the idea, I’m interested in how it will be used,” said Ridgewood resident Debra Fairs.
The triangle will be home to local events — such as pictures with Santa — as well as a spot people can congregate to sit and relax, Renz said.
The space will be maintained by the Ridgewood Local Development Corporation and the Myrtle Avenue BID.