What do you think should be at a pedestrian plaza at Myrtle/Wyckoff avenues?
That is what the Department of Transportation (DOT) wanted to know from the people who would be using the plaza the most, commuters, during a Vision Zero public workshop held at I.S. 77 in Ridgewood on Tuesday, March 29.
The plaza will permanently close the one-block portion of Wyckoff Avenue between Gates and Myrtle avenues to vehicular traffic in order to curb dangerous driver and pedestrian activity at the intersection, which has been identified as a Vision Zero priority area.
This will allow for not only safer driving and walking conditions at the intersection, but it will create an area where members of the community can gather and enjoy some time outside.
“The plaza is brilliant in every way, as long as they do not affect the routes of the buses, which they won’t; it’s perfect,” said Samuel Santaella, a commuter who frequents the intersection. “Wi-Fi at the plaza is my number one request. Some seats and benches will help too, and it will make it so much easier to get from the M train station house to the Q55 bus.”
Community members also suggested bringing a farmers market to the plaza, as well as different forms of entertainment and some even wanted to see a mural on the side of the M/L train station house to brighten up the area.
Others wanted to see more safety measures implemented at the plaza, such as increased signage and permanent curb bump outs, which the DOT will install, as well as a crosswalk from Myrtle to Wyckoff Avenue and more lighting at the plaza and under the M train.
“This intersection, as with many along Myrtle, is crazy,” said Michael Sanderson, a resident of Bushwick who was struck by a car and suffered a severe injury at an intersection on Myrtle Avenue. “This intersection desperately needs to be changed before more people are killed. The plaza is going to be amazing, but I didn’t hear the urgency to save lives.”
The DOT originally pitched the idea of a pedestrian plaza at the busy intersection to the Community Board 5 (CB 5) Transportation and Public Transit meeting last month.
“I think you have a lot of active participants here. I didn’t hear anyone say that they were totally against this,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of CB 5. “People are working cooperatively together to see if this pedestrian plaza can work and what could be a part of it.”
DOT will host a one-day plaza at Wyckoff Avenue on Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a test run to see how pedestrians and drivers take to the eventual changes.