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Public Plaza Proposed on Broadway near Bedford Avenue

By Meredith Hoffman | December 17, 2012 4:20pm

WILLIAMSBURG — Pedestrians may soon have their next neighborhood respite, with a public plaza slated near the Williamsburg Bridge. 

The city has proposed to turn Broadway at Bedford Avenue into an open space, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation said, noting his agency is now meeting with community members to discuss the plan.

"The agency received a request from the community for a plaza space at Broadway and Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg that has the support of numerous community groups and area businesses, the local council member and the borough president, among others," the spokesman said.

The details are still being discussed, he noted, but some local residents have already begun cheering the idea of the "George B. Post Plaza," named after the architect of the Williamsburg Savings Bank.

The president of the Williamsburg Arts and Historical Center, which neighbors the Broadway intersection, said the "fantastic" plaza would both help draw visitors to his center and benefit all property owners in the area.

"For us personally it moves the traffic away from our front door creating less noise from trucks moving by and less pollution so people can enjoy our center more," said Terrance Lindall. "And it's good for property value. Anybody who lives there will enjoy it visually and by experience."

The plaza, which would neighbor Peter Luger Steakhouse, could also become a place for small concerts and picnics, Lindall noted.

"There's a big space where traffic doesn’t run which is covered by diagonal white lines and it's just an unused space," he said of the land the plaza would occupy. "It's not going to be any loss ... and I don't think it will affect parking."

Wilfredo Florentino, the transportation committee chair for Williamsburg Community Board 1, also strongly backs the project.

"I'm in support of plans that responsibly increase the green and open space in an area sorely in need of more of it," he said. "I am eager to see the plans and with my committee and the board conscientiously consider the concerns of those in the immediate area."

The proposal will be discussed at a Town Hall meeting at the Williamsburg Arts and Historical Center at 6:30 p.m. Monday, and at the Community Board 1 transportation committee meeting, 435 Graham Avenue, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.