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Queens Chronicle

Pedestrian plaza may soon be in Glendale

Community Board 5 Transportation Committee votes for green space

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Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:14 am, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

Glendale residents may soon have a new green space to enjoy.

The Community Board 5 Transportation Committee voted in favor of placing a pedestrian plaza on Myrtle Avenue near the 71st Avenue intersection on Aug. 28.

“We voted in favor of proceeding with the preliminary plans,” Ted Renz, who sits on the committee, said. “We still have other avenues to go through but this was a good first step.”

The proposed location is home to the Glendale Veteran Triangle where a Veterans Day memorial is held each year.

“There are very few locations in this area that would be able to have a plaza but I think the area mentioned could be a good place to have one,” said CB 5 member Bob Holden, who is also president of the Juniper Park Civic Association. “It’s a very short block that cuts across there and as long as you study the area and make sure a pedestrian mall won’t impede traffic, I’m for it.”

According to Renz, the Department of Transportation began studying the area and put a time-lapse camera in place to monitor traffic and pedestrian flow. The camera stayed up for a week and was taken down on Wednesday.

“We’re looking to make this a permanent plaza and we’re working with the DOT and DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] to make this a place of leisure where we can hold events for the community,” Renz said.

Holden said he was glad the committee was working with city agencies to guarantee the safety of the community.

“A pedestrian mall would have to be placed in a commercial area and it seems like they have been doing their research,” he said. “We don’t have many places that this would work so if any space had to be a candidate for some sort of plaza, this would be the space to do it.”

The plaza will feature removable seating and the DEP is looking to insert a green space and bioswale — a curbside garden that reduces storm water runoff.

Renz said the greenery will hopefully offset the heavily commercialized surrounding area to bring a little tranquility to the neighborhood.

“If everything goes according to plan, we hope to have yoga classes in the plaza, maybe invite bands to play live music,” Renz added. “We want it to be a place for ongoing events.”

Now that the Transportation Committee has voted in favor of the plaza, it will recommend that the entire board vote in favor as well at the general meeting on Sept. 18 at Christ the King High School at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village at 7:30 p.m.

“So far we haven’t gotten any opposition on the project,” Renz said. “ No one came to the committee meeting to oppose it nor did they come to any past meetings where we discussed the plaza. But then again, maybe at the board meeting there will be people there who have something to say against it, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

The plaza is still in its early design stages and should the board approve its placement, it will not be completed for at least a year and a half.

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