Accessibility: Opening Up The City [Part II]
Accessibility means different things depending on where you are: what one borough may have plenty of, another may lack completely. Here are a few trends that we noticed in how residents of three different boroughs thought about access.
- QUEENS: It gets leafier as you get further out, but Queens residents still want more access to green space. Malba Gardener wants to see Francis Lewis Park, located under the towering Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, renovated, while Christinia in Maspeth thinks that the former site of St. Saviour’s Church would make a great new park. Brendan from Astoria wishes that Flushing Meadows-Corona Park were better integrated into the surrounding neighborhoods, and Mike from Douglaston wants to see a better connection between the LIRR and the so-close-yet-so-far-away Alley Pond Park. Back in Astoria, Sarah wants Astoria Boulevard to become a greener and more inclusive corridor.
- MANHATTAN: Residents of the most densely-populated borough want to use the few underused spaces left on the island to create a bit more breathing room. We saw several requests for increased access to rooftops around the city; whether for gardening or socialization, people see all of that flat, off-limits space as a big waste. Meanwhile, sidewalk congestion has created a desire for whole new levels of pedestrian activity: William from Sugar Hill suggested underground thruway corridors to speed the revitalization of Harlem, while Maureen thought it would be great if a second-story pedestrian walkway could connect busy retail thoroughfares in Midtown. Back on street level, Lydia wants more artists to be given access to use vacant storefronts, and Ryan wants the area around Penn Station to be less jam-packed. Up in Washington Heights, someone suggested turning the fenced-in terrace at Bennett Park into a more social public space—a sentiment echoed by Steven, who found fenced-in public spaces on the Upper East Side off-putting.
- BROOKLYN: Residents of Brooklyn want more access to…the rest of Brooklyn. Requests for better intra-borough transportation were frequent: Ned from Sheepshead Bay thinks a train along Kings Highway and Linden Boulevard would be a welcome addition, while another Brooklynite is hoping for an express train, painted like a clown, to speed people to Coney Island in the summer. Bikes were popular, with a request for a bike-share pilot in Red Hook, another for an increase in the number of bike racks at subway stations, and an interesting proposal for the implementation of a system of “rugged, versatile electronic bikes/e-carts.” Alexandra of Cobble Hill, meanwhile, had a more simple request: light installations to make walking under expressways more inviting.
Have a great design solution for one of the ideas listed above? Click here to register for the By the City / For the City design competition today! Entries are due by midnight (EST) on Sunday, July 31st, 2011. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!