Ladies and gents, the day has come?the huge Astor Place redesign has finally started. Signs are up near 5th Street explaining the plan, and while no heavy lifting has started, workers are prepping the area. First introduced in 2008, the plan was sidelined when the economy tanked, but it resurfaced in 2011 when the Department of Transportation revealed the latest designs by WXY Architecture. The four-part plan will enlarge and revamp the plazas around the Alamo and the uptown 6 subway stop, as well as widen the sidewalks near Cooper Square and freshen up Cooper Park. The biggest change will ease the jumbled intersection of Cooper Square, Fourth Avenue, the Bowery, and 5th Street with creation of the 8,000-square-foot Village Plaza. Every section will see new trees and more plantings, new seating, and new lighting, and construction will last for two years. Exciting times!