Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sitting on Fourth?

CPEX signs herald your trip up Fourth at Prospect Avenue, (or maybe you see them from above, stuck in an expressway merge).  To your right, luxury condos coming (sometime soon), & to your left, a vacant lot available for the same kind of a deal.

Starting next year the medians on Fourth between 8th & 18th Streets, & 33rd & 52nd, will be raised & widened, with greenery planted & benches installed at some locations. What would probably make more sense would be to put more benches on the sidewalks round here, both on Fourth & Fifth Avenues.  These would make the avenue a little more welcoming to pedestrians, especially to older residents, but also to families with children, retail patrons & others.   Sidewalk benches would do more to encourage a livelier street life than seating on medians, & would be simple & cheap to install.  Plantings on the medians - why not?  Seating, on the medians, in the middle of a congested & frankly vital service route - not such a great idea.

This particular stretch has already got some "Greenery, " but it's hard to imagine even the most ardent urban planner would suggest a median or even a sidewalk seat here.  It would please only those with a hardcore yearning for traffic &amp high-rise vistas.  More Ballard's concrete dystopia than Bellow's glorious, teeming with life Broadway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I lived on 16th between 3rd & 4th for three or four years in the 'aughts. It was shabby. There was a flourishing drug trade being plied in the HFDC building next door, though the front-stoop lookouts were generally courteous. But it was often quiet, and got to feel like home before too long, and I was thrilled to be so close to Green-Wood, making at least one visit a week. Now I'm exiled in nearby NJ, and every time I go back to Brooklyn it gets harder to recognize. But I still miss it, and I still wish I could move back. It was home.