Jackson Heights’ Diversity Plaza will soon be sporting new benches, improved lighting and location maps thanks to $500,000 in funding from City Councilman Daniel Dromm’s (D-Sunnyside) discretionary fund.
The stretch of 37th Road between 73rd and 74th streets was closed off to traffic in 2011 and has been in a temporary design phase ever since.
After initial objections from local business owners, it has become known as a town square. In June, Community Board 3 held the city’s first open-air community board meeting there.
“Diversity Plaza has become an integral part of the community,” Dromm said. “Despite its rocky start, this truly is the ‘little plaza that could.’ I’m pleased to be able to help bring it to the next level.”
The next level would be a permanent phase and a proposed allocation of $2 million from the city Department of Transportation that has been earmarked for public bathrooms, improved street surfaces and other amenities. The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed changes at a meeting later in the fall.
Meanwhile, CB 3, Dromm’s office and the DOT had 13 benches installed along Northern Boulevard from 80th to 90th streets.
“The new seating, through the CityBench program, replaced eyesores with benches the community of Jackson Heights can be proud of,” said Dromm.
The new metal benches replace decrepit wooden ones that were installed in the 1980s.
The CityBench program has replaced 700 benches around the city in two years, according to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan who said, “CityBench is a pedestrian-friendly, community-driven program which is helping make Jackson Heights and neighborhoods throughout Queens more livable and walkable.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.
©2013 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.