Clinton Hill

Pedestrian plaza opens on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill

June 22, 2018 By Paul Frangipane Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Community members, local politicians and those behind the plaza project cut a ribbon to mark its official opening. Eagle photos by Paul Frangipane
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With the first day of summer, the Myrtle Avenue Plaza in Clinton Hill officially opened on Thursday, turning a section of a dangerous traffic street into tree-lined pedestrian area.

Between Hall Street and Emerson Place on Myrtle Avenue, the $7 million project funded by DOT turned two blocks of a service road that community members deemed unsafe into a wide pedestrian space. The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership hosted an all-day event with live music to mark the plaza’s opening and launch a summer full of free weekly events in the plaza called Move on Myrtle.

“Welcome to the Myrtle Avenue Plaza,” Meredith Phillips Almeida, executive director of the partnership, said to the crowd. “We are going to program this plaza with so many community events, making it a vibrant community place.”

The project was selected by DOT in 2008 as part of its Plaza Program that works with organizations to create neighborhood plazas around the city. Its proposal came partly from local residents cautioning unsafe traffic conditions with two bus stops stationed on a median between the service road and two lanes of traffic.

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“Community members identified the need for pedestrian space improvements here,” Almeida said. “That median was not safe to stand on for a bus stop.”

The 25,000-square-foot area is now filled with various benches, tables and trees on the northern edge of Pratt Institute. And adding a unique flare to the space is artist Matthew Geller’s installation, “I Ought To,” which displays a towering creation of a colorful manhole cover that residents can sit underneath.

Free live music, yoga, fitness and kids events will take place in the plaza until Sept. 21. After the summer, events are planned for Halloween and the holidays.

Almeida says she hopes the plaza can be a place for people of all ages to enjoy in the neighborhood.

“We have not had in Clinton Hill on Myrtle, a space where we can have events like this and now we do, and we want everyone to use it.”

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