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'Temporary' NYC Plazas Are Here to Stay

For those that've wondered about the fate of New York's "occasionally controversial" Plaza Program projects after the administration that's championed them leaves office: Have no fear, says Janette Sadik-Khan, "This is set in stone."
January 20, 2013, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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This past week, local officials including DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz celebrated the opening of a permanent pedestrian plaza in Brooklyn known as Willoughby Plaza. The once temporary conversion that helped to inagurate the city's Plaza Program, is just one of 50 such "temporary plazas" and more will soon be "popping up all over town."

"Still," says Matt Chaban, "some politicians have vowed to reverse the mayor and his street reshapers once he leaves City Hall." After the ceremony, he spoke with Sadik-Khan about the legacy of these projects and the prognosis for more to graduate to "permanent" status in the future. 

“This is set in stone,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said, pointing out the window. “And all across town, the public is setting it in stone. If you look at the demand, at the applications that are in the door, there’s just no end in site to the number of communities that want more pedestrian space and more space to meet and sit down and create a more livable community.”

“It’s not only a safety project, it’s not only a livability project, it’s an economic development project,” Ms. Sadik-Khan added. “So it’s really a triple-bottom-line win for communities all across the city.”

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