Ever tried to cross Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on foot? Right. Maybe you've noticed the cool fountain behind Brooklyn’s Arc de Triomphe? The Prospect Park Alliance spent $2 million to restore it, and now they’re joining up with the Grand Army Plaza Coalition to try to re-envision the Plaza and find ways to allow the people to cross the road without becoming one with a car. (The aerial photo above, from Google Maps, shows the extent of the challenge.)
The Plaza was designed in 1867 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as an entrance to Prospect Park rather than an insane traffic oval. Pedestrian death and Grand Army Plaza, however, go together like hand and glove. Starting in the 1920s, Grand Army Plaza had a Death-O-Meter that reported pedestrian fatalities on the Plaza and in Brooklyn.
The Grand Army Plaza Coalition held an event this morning to announce that it has tapped Jan Gehl, an “urban quality consultant” from Copenhagen to figure out how to redesign Grand Army Plaza so that you don’t meet your maker trying to look at that fountain. Meantime, how about bringing back the Death-O-Meter and adding some flavor to the Saturday morning GAP Greenmarket?
· Filling the GAP [GAP Reclamation Project]
· Grand Army Plaza Re-envisioned [Naparstek]
· Grand Army Plaza: Park or Thruway [Bklyn Papers]