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Voice Your Thoughts on Proposed Jackson Avenue ‘Street Seat’ in Public Meeting This Month

Rockrose has applied to install a standard street seat, like the one seen here in Brownsville, along Jackson Avenue. (NYC DOT)

Feb. 10, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez

A public meeting will be held later this month on a developer’s joint plan with the city to install a small, seasonal seating area along a Jackson Avenue curb—a project that has received some pushback from Community Board 2.

The meeting, scheduled for Feb. 26 at PS 1 MoMA, will go over Rockrose’s proposal to install a “street seat” in front of 26-01 Jackson Ave., right off the intersection of 44th Drive and Jackson Avenue.

The street seat is part of a Department of Transportation initiative that replaces some curbside parking space at a given location with a box-like structure that provides seating for the public.

Street seats are typically installed in the spring for a 10-month period, and are outfitted with plantings and other accessories.

The proposed street seat location (not drawn to scale).

The street seat is also installed after an applying partner puts the request for the unit through. In this case, Rockrose, which has developed several luxury buildings in the Court Square area, is proposing to install the street seat in the parking lane adjacent to the Hayden, one of its developments.

Rockrose and DOT first presented on the street seat proposal during a Community Board 2 transportation meeting in November. Some board members, however, immediately rejected the structure’s proposed location, believing that Jackson Avenue is unsafe for such a project, and would impact pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

“Why would we seat people in the middle of the street on a truck route?” asked Denise Keehan-Smith, then chair of the transportation committee, at the meeting.

The DOT repeated in response that the street seat would be installed in a parking lane, not the middle of the roadway, and that street seats citywide have not seen any issues relating to safety and vehicular traffic.

The proposed street seat location would be behind the white line, and in the parking lane. (NYC ZoLa)

Traffic flow along Jackson Avenue, the agency added, would not be impacted at all precisely because of the street seat’s siting in a parking lane. About two parking spaces, however, will be taken up by the street seat, which is approximately 30 feet long and 6 feet wide.

Sheila Lewandowski, who became head of the same committee in January, said at the November meeting that the DOT did not provide enough information on pedestrian volumes and other metrics for her to support the project.

“You don’t want to talk about traffic, but we do,” Lewandowski said, suggesting that the agency consider other locations in the Court Square area for the street seat.

Rockrose and DOT said the street seat would liven up the Jackson Avenue block, home to several popular businesses like Book Culture and Toby’s Estate, and soon set to welcome Xi’an Famous Foods.

“The idea is to have some more activity here,” said Patricia Dunphy, senior vice president of Rockrose, at the November meeting. “We think it’s going to be just great…it’s just another space to be outdoors.”

Every street seat comes with standard operating hours, and prohibit alcohol, smoking and commercial activity inside. Rockrose would also be responsible for the maintenance and safety of the street seat.

The street seat, if approved, would likely be installed some time in March, and would be the first for Queens.

The public meeting will take place on Feb. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at PS 1 MoMA’s cinema space. The entrance is on 46-01 21st St.

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14 Comments

Ed Babcock

Just another timy step in the Mayoir’s plan to make the operation of private vehicles impossible inside NYC. Remember for traffic “calming” you should read vehicle obstruction. He will steal square footage anywhere he can and for any reason that he can think of.

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Ed Babcock

Just another tiny step in the Mayoir’s plan to make the operation of private vehicles impossible inside NYC. Remember for traffic “calming” you should read vehicle obstruction. He will steal square footage anywhere he can and for any reason that he can think of.

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Thomas

Silly place to put it. There’s seating right around the corner and over the road under all the trees by Citi. Why would people enjoy sitting on a busy road. Furthermore that area is very windy (just like around Citi). I think there are better spots this could be put. If Rockrose want to do this they could put one up on Crescent by Indie, MWells and Luzzo. There is no seating outside in that area and a lot less traffic

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Ed Babcock

Just another timy step in the Mayoir’s plan to make the operation of private vehicles impossible inside NYC. Remember for traffic “calming” you should read vehicle obstruction. He will steal square footage anywhere he can and for any reason that he can think of.

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Justsayin

I’m not opposed to the idea of a “streetseat”. This design idea has been deployed in several locations in NYC and other cities as well, but they are usually done in areas that don’t have nearby bench seating. I do think that the siting of this location is odd. This spot is at a crazy busy intersection where people are racing to make the light to get on the bridge or idling with car fumes. I can’t imagine anyone sitting there thinking “This is so great! I’m so glad this exists!” A real park would be better.

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Matt

Real estate developers should be creating public spaces in their own building and not taking away parking spots and putting seating at a congested intersection. There is a lot of seating, literally, around the corner. When I see a commitment from developers to add public space to their future projects in LIC, I’ll support this.

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LIC Direct

Not enough recreational green space, so place large potted plants with some faux flowers so the new tenants and neighbors can sit stare at their I-Phones and sip their café latte double mocha’s Arabian Tanzanian chia blend, slow roasted large decaffeinated coffee while Ista-facing and picturegramming oblivious of their surroundings . CB2 please, please approve this most important improvement to the community so we can see a car jump the curb and wipe out a couple of hipsters. This is not Spain or Italy — Rockrose should have craved out space a mini piazza from their site if the wanted a cool sitting area.

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Doreen

That’s a pretty congested area to sitting with all the traffic and fumes, however, without the distraction of the Bazooka Man it may be ok.

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