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Thread: NYC - planters used for new public spaces

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    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
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    NYC - planters used for new public spaces

    I just got back from a conference which showed large planters being used extensively in NYC to create new bicycling lanes/public spaces out of roads and intersections with excess auto capacity. Does anyone have personal experience using these planters for this purpose? It seems like a fast, low cost, highly flexible way to deal with all sorts of transportation issues. I'm particularly interested in cost and maintenance issues.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by southern_yank View post
    I just got back from a conference which showed large planters being used extensively in NYC to create new bicycling lanes/public spaces out of roads and intersections with excess auto capacity. Does anyone have personal experience using these planters for this purpose? It seems like a fast, low cost, highly flexible way to deal with all sorts of transportation issues. I'm particularly interested in cost and maintenance issues.
    I was in lower Manhattan over the weekend and noticed them in the area around Battery Park City. There's a bike path along the West Side Hwy. that is separated from vehicle traffic by a 5' or so landscaped area, but I didn't see planters being used exclusively anywhere. I bet it would actually be rather expansive, at least more so than putting up jersey barriers.

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    Dan Staley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I was in lower Manhattan over the weekend and noticed them in the area around Battery Park City. There's a bike path along the West Side Hwy. that is separated from vehicle traffic by a 5' or so landscaped area, but I didn't see planters being used exclusively anywhere. I bet it would actually be rather expansive, at least more so than putting up jersey barriers.
    I agree wrt retrofits. The micro environment in these is not conducive to woody plant growth, so you get annuals and that's human maintenance (and how do you water the things?).

    If you can plan these things in advance and plumb them, that's a huge savings right there.

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    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by southern_yank View post
    Does anyone have personal experience using these planters for this purpose? It seems like a fast, low cost, highly flexible way to deal with all sorts of transportation issues. I'm particularly interested in cost and maintenance issues.
    Contact representatives of the businesses and organizations that are working with NYC to put up and maintain the planters. These enterprises, including the media contacts, are at the end of Mayor Bloomberg's 09/05/08 press release:
    http://www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgo...&rc=1194&ndi=1
    Snippet (my bolding):
    For bicyclists, the new, high-visibility bicycle lanes on both Broadway and Fifth Avenue will bridge former gaps. Pedestrian areas are protected by 170 planters weighing 600 or 1,000 pounds and also 43 roughly-hewn granite blocks.

    Further uptown, along Broadway between Times Square and Herald Square, DOT recently completed another major pedestrian and plaza project, redesigning the geometry of Broadway from 42nd to 35th Streets and creating new plazas, a protected bike path running along the curbside, and abundant pedestrian space furnished with tables, chairs and benches, and protected by 173 planters.
    _______

    Also contact reps from the B.I.D.s in this 08/25/08 NYTimes article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/26/ny...6broadway.html
    Snippets (my bolding):
    Three business improvement districts, the Times Square Alliance, the Fashion Center B.I.D. and the 34th Street Partnership, have agreed to maintain the [Broadway] esplanade and pay for the plantings.
    “The [Broadway] plaza is protected by parked cars in some locations and in others by planters weighing 600 or 1,000 pounds and stationed in positions that prevent vehicles from passing in between,” said Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the department. “We have used planters as a pedestrian safeguard in this way at numerous locations throughout the city.”

    To create the [Broadway] esplanade, the city took away two of the four traffic lanes on Broadway from 42nd to 35th Streets. On the eastern portion of Broadway, it created the new pedestrian areas, which have a gravel coating glued to the pavement, and a bike lane that runs next to the sidewalk. And it bought the benches, tables, chairs and planters, which were set out last week. The project cost $700,000.

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    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
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    Thanks, Seana - that's extraordinarily helpful.

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    Cyburbian Plus Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by southern_yank View post
    Thanks, Seana - that's extraordinarily helpful.
    'Extraodinary' is a powerful word- are you at liberty to post about how it was so?

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