Sharing City Space: A Temporary Playstreet
Via Going Solar Transport Newsletter
Photo of Playstreet © Dudleystewart via flickr
The idea is simple: 78th Street, between Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue, is closed to traffic on Sundays in Summer to allow for games, free play, performances, markets, and other activities to take place in the car-free street. 78th Street is right next to Travers Park, our small neighborhood park. With thousands of residents around it, Travers Park is very crowded on weekends, and often there is not enough space for everyone to enjoy the park. The Play Street makes it possible for the park to spill into the street, allowing people to stroll, play, attend events and relax in the space, while reducing crowding in the park.
The Play Street is also a space for the Greenmarket on 34th Avenue to expand, adding more vendors, and making it more comfortable for shoppers. Jackson Heights has one of the highest densities of children per acre of green space and is the city district with the second-to-last amount of green space in the entire city. We need more park space, and the Play Street is a small practical step in our search to expand and improve neighborhood parks.
A coalition of neighborhood groups initiated and developed this project with the support of NYC Department of Transportation. These groups are: JH Green, Friends of Travers Park and The Western Jackson Heights Alliance.
Each year since the launch in 2008, the Jackson Heights Green Alliance has been able to gain permission for the Playstreet to continue. Looking at their website, it looks like the event is running more often and for longer periods. Check out their website for photos, presentations and the original proposals for council.