10 July, 2009

"Flatbush Refreshed"

Recently, W Architecture completed the design of several improvements to Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue. The project, for the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, was recently featured inThe Architect's Newspaper. From the article:

The plan focuses primarily on the five triangular traffic islands between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue, created where the surrounding orthogonal street grid intersects the diagonally-oriented Flatbush.

“Because of all the subways that run underneath it, Flatbush can’t be a tree-lined street,” Barbara Wilks, founder of W Architecture, told AN. The traffic islands, however, offer sufficient depth for a variety of new landscape elements, she said. “The triangles become an opportunity to add greenery—punctuations as you walk, drive, or bike along.”

But the makeover is about more than plantings. The master plan calls for distinct designs for each triangle that would respond to their unique surroundings. These designs will be filled out with seating, bicycle parking, and other amenities. The plan also proposes to narrow certain side streets that feed onto Flatbush to truncate crossing distances for pedestrians and slow vehicular traffic.

The image above contrasts the exisiting conditions at 8th Avenue and Flatbush, with the re-designed and pedestrian friendly triagles.

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