Some open street locations can become permanent plazas

Local News

Open space is essential in the city, and sidewalk and curbside dining have been a major part of the scene for a year. 

As the city looks to create a long-term plan in all boroughs, some places are already on track to become permanent by being classified as pedestrian plazas. 

In Inwood along Dyckman Street at Broadway, a proposal is being circulated and public opinion is being gathered. 

Yngrid Rodriguez has worked at Papasito for 13 years. 

“Actually, it’s amazing. It’s basically another restaurant out there,” she said. 

The city is considering the block of Dyckman Street at Broadway as a permanent pedestrian plaza. That’s because of the street design and vehicles can continue to flow around it. 

The New York City Department of Transportation has been getting public comment and presenting the plans to neighbors and the community board in Upper Manhattan. 

The presentation says there are 82 pedestrian plazas currently in development, construction or open. 

“If you stay anywhere long enough, it changes,” said longtime resident John Russo.

For the past decade, pedestrian plazas have been built across the city. They feature space for community activities and restaurants. 

Specific applications for the plaza program are made by a sponsoring group or organization in the neighborhood. 

Most of the places currently participating in the Open Streets Restaurants program will be allowed to stay in place through the end of 2022. 

Each location for that program will eventually be reviewed and restaurants will have to reapply for curbside and sidewalk dining. 

The city is currently working on new guidelines including plans for structures. There will be public hearings and city council debate this year. 

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