Grant Helps Extend NYC Plaza Program into Less Affluent Areas

By transforming excess street space in areas like Times Square and Herald Square into pedestrian paradises, New York City's plaza program has been a huge hit. But with maintenance costs borne by local businesses, less affluent areas have missed out.

Late last month Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan "announced an $800,000 grant from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which will seed a new Neighborhood Plaza Program intended to help communities that want pedestrian plazas to cope with the cost of maintaining them," reports Ted Mann. 

"The new program will help surmount one economic hurdle: for some communities that would happily host a plaza, assembling the annual budget for maintenance, through contributions from private shop-owners or local foundations, is tough to do."

“'At the beginning, to say to somebody, ‘You have to raise $60,000 to maintain this plaza,’ that’s quite a challenge,' said Sara Hobel, executive director of the Horticultural Society. Her group will work with the Association for Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, which plans to train maintenance workers to perform upkeep on the plazas, much as the society already does with workers on Rikers Island."

Full Story: Neighborhood Pedestrian Plazas to Become More Affordable

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