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Work Begins on Bizarro Meatpacking Plaza

While patiently waiting for intel on whether they're ever going to turn the giant cobblestone plaza just south of Pastis into a Parisian-styled pedestrian plaza, we're unexpectedly confronted with the news that the Meatpacking District has a totally different pedestrian plaza suddenly under construction. Streetsblog breaks the news that the wide swath of Ninth Avenue just north of 14th Street is being remade into a public space that looks exactly as awkward as that new Dumbo plaza. Er, WTF? Seriously, is there a single sane human being who would choose to recline between twin lanes of moving traffic, for the privilege of a clear view down to Vento and Soho House?

The arguably bigger news: the likelihood of improved traffic flow in cars heading south, as the northbound traffic lanes on Ninth Avenue will be eliminated. And, according to a project PDF from the Dept. of Transit, the plaza design is temporary while a final look is selected. Second Avenue Sagas blogger Ben Kabak has pictures from the intersection taken in the rain yesterday. Everything sparkles!

· Construciton of Piazza de Meat-Packing is Underway [Streetsblog]
· 9th Avenue Plaza Interim Plaza Project [DOT via Streetsblog, PDF]
· Ninth Avenue Traffic Flow [benyankee/Flickr]
· In MePa, Visions of a Parisian Future [Curbed]