Straus Square Pedestrian Plaza Takes Shape with New ‘Skate Proof’ Street Surfacing
Another baby step toward “calming” Straus Square.
For the last several nights, a contractor crew has been preparing the tiny sliver of Canal Street between Rutgers and East Broadway for a new pedestrian plaza. Specifically, the granular rumble-strip coating and its adhesive were installed late last night, a surface meant to deter skateboarders from claiming the spot. This graveyard shift capped nearly a month of changes that also included the temporary removal of the heavily used Citi Bike dock from the block and the painting of new pavement striping that alerts motorists not to enter.
(It’s unclear at the moment whether the dock will be re-installed onsite or at another nearby location.)
As previously reported, local demand merited a portion of the $6.4 million in funding Seward Park received from the “Park’s Without Borders” program. The ultimate goal is to connect the green space to Straus Square. In effect, annexing the traffic triangle and incorporating it as part of a unified park.
Subsequent steps for the pedestrian plaza include relocating the taxi stand to the East Broadway side of the traffic triangle, the placement of seating, umbrellas, and planters, plus the potential relocation of the Citi Bike station nearby. By next summer, the Parks Department will also install a “cycling amenity” for the community – a shed and bike repair shop functioning under the banner of Bike New York’s “Recycle-a-Bicycle” program.
The Parks Department and the Seward Park Conservancy will be maintenance partners responsible for the area, with plans to host “programming” here.