What was once “Murder Avenue” will soon be more deserving of the moniker, “Mellow Avenue.”
Several blocks of the formerly crime-ridden byway in Clinton Hill are being re-imagined as a pedestrian-friendly plaza — a far cry from its current use as a service road that makes a trip to the nearby grocery store or post office a harrowing experience.
The service road section, between Hall and Grand streets, has been pegged for the most substantial reconfiguration by the city, while neighboring blocks from Grand to Emerson streets will also form part of the pedestrian plaza.
“We’re trying to make Myrtle Avenue more pedestrian friendly,” said Sarah Farwell of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District. “We hope the plaza becomes a great neighborhood spot where people can eat lunch, walk with loved ones, and enjoy nice weather — just a space for people in the neighborhood to live.”
The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District has highlighted 10 proposals ranging from the pragmatic to the psychedelic. One features a new stylish covered area that would make waiting for the bus more pleasant. Another plaza concept features an interesting ramp configuration that would give people a nice view of … Myrtle Avenue.
But the most avant-garde proposal is a strange series of bubble formations by Christopher Peli that would offer some seriously funky shelter for pedestrians.
Any of the proposals would certainly be an upgrade to Myrtle Avenue, whose service road makes navigating the narrow sidewalk, especially with a grocery cart, a challenge.
“People definitely complain about how the service road feels dangerous,” Farwell said. “There are cars always double-parked there.”
None of the wacky proposals will become the new look of Myrtle Avenue — it’s a design brainstorming session, after all. But the artists’ plans do provide usable ideas for the Myrtle Avenue BID and the Department of Transportation.
“Community feedback based on the reaction … will inform the end design, too,” said Farwell.
The proposals are on display this Saturday, Feb. 13, from noon to 5 pm at 352 Myrtle Ave. (between Adelphi Street and Carlton Avenue). For info, visit www.myrtleavenue.org
©2010 Community News Group
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