DOT Approves a Permanent Putnam Triangle Plaza

The Fulton Area Business Alliance’s application to make the Putnam Triangle Plaza permanent has been accepted by the Department of Transportation. Phillip Kellogg at the alliance says, “that means a full design based on community input (more public design charrettes to come) and a complete capital construction build-out for the new public space. Details and timelines to come.” The DOT installed the plaza in the fall of 2011. With the recent grand opening of the permanent Willoughby Square Plaza, Community Board Two’s vote to make Fowler Square permanent, and this news, it looks like public plazas are here to stay.

4 Comment

  • Good stuff. This has been a nice addition to the neighborhood. Here’s to hoping that they do a bit more with it, but already its been a welcome improvement

  • Very glad to see this happen. At first I was opposed…

  • So glad you came around, Schellie!

  • Who’s the “schellie” below? Not I. I’m Schellie Hagan and I’ve never been on Brownstoner before today.
    A friend who visits this site alerted me to the month-old comment. I’m grateful he did because otherwise I wouldn’t know someone stole my name.
    If my name were “Shelly” or “Shelley” it wouldn’t be an issue, but how many “Schellie”s do you know and how many of them live near Putnam and talk about its fate? (How many “Vaidila”s work at DOT in the pedestrian plaza division?)
    Local opinion, of which my own is part, on Putnam pedestrian plaza has changed over
    time only by degree of informed opposition. In fact, the plaza’s extraneousness has been reinforced by DOT itself. Last year they thoughtfully installed temperature-bonded off-plaza bench seating for 30 on Putnam Triangle and sidewalk. The ten benches fully satisfy the neighborhood urge to relax outdoors and also are preferred over the iffy chairs on the plaza..
    The “plaza” itself is unenjoyed most of the time. For four winter months nothing happens on it. Usage the rest of the year is similarly climate-driven: Days too hot, too wet, too cold, too stormy, no one goes there. Besides, empty chairs can catch a sudden ride on the wind,
    at other moments suddenly collapse under a sitter.
    The B26, which for 75 years swept straight down Putnam Avenue onto Fulton Street, now struggles at Grand and/or Fulton because the bus is too big for the two tight turns;
    nor is it uncommon to find a westbound bus and eastbound car/s without room to move on Fulton. That’s something new: traffic jams caused by a pedestrian plaza.
    The plaza’s tempting emptiness attracts heaps of bulging garbage bags, junked furniture and appliances, Christmas trees in season, littering, loitering, drinking and fighting. A couple of weeks ago someone was shot there. Nature — including human nature — abhors a vacuum.
    FAB and DOT are looking to spend $6,000,000+ to make Putnam a permanent vacuum. We entreat our elected representatives to step in and redirect this outsized subsidy to rebuild and restore infrastructure in Staten Island, Coney Island, the Rockaways.
    Fancy plazas are for fancy people. All we want is what was taken. All we want is what we had. We want our street back.