DOT Cuts Ribbon on New Pedestrian Plaza in Prospect Heights

DOT Commissioner Rodriguez joins Council Member Crystal Hudson, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and community leaders for the ribbon cutting of the new expanded pedestrian plaza on Underhill Avenue. Image Credit: NYC DOT.

On January 21, 2023, the Department of Transportation announced the completion of a new pedestrian plaza on Underhill Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Agency and elected officials joined community partners in celebrating the ribbon cutting for the new plaza, which includes an extension of Lowry Triangle into the roadway. 

Underhill Avenue is one of two major Open Streets in Prospect Heights that is receiving a street design to prioritize pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Open Streets are streets that have scheduled times with restricted vehicular traffic to enable more access for pedestrians and cyclists, established in 2020 as a response to the pandemic. These open spaces provide space for local community programming and activities. The new pedestrian plaza creates a permanent space for the community.

The new pedestrian plaza is the first step of a permanent redesign of Underhill Avenue, which will become a bike boulevard. A bike boulevard is a corridor designed to calm traffic for all users with design interventions. Including clear signage, pavement markings, changes in traffic patterns, extensions of curbs or medians, shortening of crossings, and the creation of more space for pedestrians and cyclists. Some of the design interventions for Underhill Avenue include medians for traffic calming on two-way traffic blocks, one-way vehicular traffic blocks with two-way cycling traffic and additional pedestrian space, and bike corrals, and shortened crossings. 

The second corridor that will see future changes is Vanderbilt Avenue from Plaza Street to Atlantic Avenue. These changes will include the creation of neighborhood loading zones for delivery trucks, new bike corrals, pedestrian islands, and bicycle turning lanes. To read more about the bike boulevard and other changes, click here

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez stated, “I am proud to build on the success of our flourishing Open Streets program by cutting the ribbon on Underhill Plaza, a great example of how we’re developing our program spaces with new and permanent redesigns that create safer and more vibrant community spaces. This new plaza is the first step in transforming Underhill Avenue into a new bike boulevard that calms traffic by prioritizing cyclists and pedestrians—all without the need of moveable barriers. I thank Mayor Adams, our dedicated staff, and our trusted local partners for their hard work in making this vision a reality.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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