Peabody award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
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 WNYC.org. 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.