City Seeks Times Square Plaza Designs – So Does WNYC

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some 200 designers have sent in graphics for the new pedestrian plazas at Times Square.

Those plazas have become the iPad of city planners – the cool new canvass on which to draw. They were born in controversy – “streets are for cars, not people,” nurse Mary O’Hara told me while I was reporting this story last December. But Mayor Bloomberg announced in February that based on data showing faster traffic speeds northbound (on Sixth and Eighth Avenues), not much impact southbound, and fewer pedestrian accidents, the plazas would become a permanent part of the city streetscape.

The City DOT (Department of Transportation) has been asking for designs for those plazas — basically, what art should be underfoot. A more permanent build-out — street furniture, infrastructure to stage events — is on the horizon.

While the city’s design competition is now closed, WNYC’s is just beginning.* We’d like to know what YOU think should define the pavement on the new Broadway Plazas … dollar signs, a glittery cup-o-soup billboard sending bursts of steam upwards, a really big musical keyboard like the one Tom Hanks played in “Big”? Let us know, and while the city is sifting through its designs, we’ll sift through yours.

We’ll feature the best ones here, and share them with all the fans of WNYC and By the way, the city’s announces its designs in May, and the winner gets to have his or her design installed.

*If you entered the city design contest, the city asks you refrain sending those designs to us.


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Comments [2]

Terry Shea from Scotch Plains, NJ

What's the deadline for submitting ideas?

Apr. 30 2010 09:56 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from

The capital of the world with the UN, the most live and lively entertainment venues from theaters to Radio City Music Hall, the fashion industry, the commerce center of the world, the Ivy Universities and the cutting edge elite, but not elitist medical facilities, ALL suggest that we MUST have plazas and meeting spaces to elicit the best interaction of the peoples, citizens and visitors and all who wish to contribute to our society. Open air stages where performers and speakers can entertain and promote "speaker box" issues should be at ALL large plaza malls. Restroom faciities should be 24/7 and restaurant accessibilities beyond mere snack bars should be strategically located. Vehicle traffic and bicyclists should be accommodated on the outside perimeters of the malls, with no conflict or danger to pedestrians.
Public transport, which is commendable for New York can and should be bettered, with lowered fares.
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Wagnerian heldentenor and opera composer: "Shakespeare" & "The Political Shakespeare" and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where actors are trained in thew Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers are coached in the Wagner opera roles. My website:, where one can download at the "Recorded Selections" venue 37 of the nearly 100 complete "Carnegie Hall LIVE" selections recorded at my 4 solo concerts in the main hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium.

Apr. 29 2010 07:21 PM

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