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Plazas Planned For 40th and 46th Streets, under the 7 Train

Future Location of 40th Street Plaza

April 10, By Christian Murray

The areas located under the 40th Street and 46th Street subway stations—once known for pigeons, dirty newspaper stands and food vendors– are in for a makeover.

Sunnyside Shines, through a program with the Department of Transportation, will be converting these areas into plazas—through the NYC Plaza Program.

The program provides the BID with the ability to design a new space under the two stations in consultation with the community.

The designs can incorporate features such as planters, bike racks, benches and moveable tables and chairs.  The plazas are also likely to be transformed into public gathering spaces.

A public meeting is scheduled for April 30 (see details below) so the public can put forward ideas on both locations.

The DOT, which will fund the design and construction of the plazas, will provide the BID and community with a professional team of designers to formalize the plans.

The program follows the BID’s application to be part of the program last year.

“We are thrilled to bring this innovative program to Sunnyside,” said Sunnyside Shines executive director Rachel Thieme. “We look forward to making these spaces more vibrant.”

Sunnyside’s application included 13 letters of support from community stakeholders—such as elected officials, business owners, property owners, residents and community organizations.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who was an advocate for the program, said: “I am proud that we were able to successfully secure not one but two public plazas for Sunnyside.”

Construction is expected to begin this summer. Sunnyside Shines will be in charge of maintaining the plazas.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said Sunnyside’s inclusion in the plaza program endorses the fact that the neighborhood has become a destination.

Community Outreach meeting:

Date: Wednesday, April 30

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Sunnyside Community Services Center (43-13 39th Street, Sunnyside)

email the author: [email protected]

37 Comments

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JB

I have the same suspicions as other posters – is this the real reason food vendors were forced out after many years of occupying those locations, rather than health or safety concerns as claimed? This is a terrible idea, who is going to sit/relax in the middle of Queens Blvd as people rush to and from their commute? This space will never be used as Sunnyside Shines has planned. Bring back the food vendors who were providing a real service to commuters looking for a quick meal. Sunnyside Shines ( http://www.sunnysideshines.org/about ) is misguided.

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JustPaula

I walk under the 7 train on Roosevelt Avenue that I am practically immune to the sound of it. However, if they are thinking that this will turn Sunnyside into more of a destination, they are nuts:

“Welcome to Sunnyside! Why don’t you pull up a chair in this dark space under our busy train line. Grab a bite to eat – oops, sorry, we kicked out the food vendor – and inhale the fumes and enjoy the noise of the four lanes of traffic on each side of you! Be sure to pick up one of the used newspapers on the ground to cover your head though – that pigeon sh*t can ruin your lovely experience in this plaza. P.S. – Leave the kids at home, though. A little spot wedged inside a parking lot in the middle of the boulevard of death isn’t a great place for the little ones!”

I agree with another poster. The best thing they can do over there is improve access to the train for the elderly and disabled, or even moms with strollers or people with shopping carts. It is pretty disgraceful that there is no elevator at either of these busy stops.

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simon donikian

The idea is good but as someone else had said , we need trees.
how you going to enjoy a plaza when the air is bad. Then are other basics things that comes next. simon d.

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future is now

If it matters, I agree with posters above:
1)We need the parking spaces more than a plaza.
2)This isn’t Times Square or Herald Square; not many people want to hang out under 7 train’s noise and pollution from traffic on Queens Boulevard.
3)Those who do want to hang out are not really adding to the economic vitality of the neighborhood. What is the point?
4)The art at 40th station seems out of place, underutilized, and dangerous because it is not level with the pavement and causes people to trip.

I like that there are fresh ideas coming but there seems to be a disconnect, given the limited space here. More than anything, we need the parking, don’t we? Is there evidence to support removing parking to put in these plazas?

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saigontt

Why don’t they keep the space open and convenient for commuters. Keep the food carts so that commuters can quickly pick up breakfast on the run which is more sensible. Instead, they now want to put chairs, tables, bike racks? What other obstacles can they add to clutter the area for the commuters?? How much space does Sunnyside shine thinks is there. I agree with some of the other comments to use the money to put in an elevator or something for the disabled or seniors who can’t go up and down the stairs. Why do they want more people to try and create a space for people to just hang around? The art idea was a bust. I have seen people trip on the rubber mats and its really a law suit waiting to happen.

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Anonymous

hey what about putting elevators or escaladers so our sick old and disabled can use the 7 train how said its 2014 Sunnyside and the MTA shame on you

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Semper Paratus Man

I am not in favor losing parking spots. i meant agree with Zero andLucky Lu clean it & forget it. SunnySide post get names all who signed

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Sunnysider

Great idea Sunnyside shines . Looking forward to seeing how it looks. Prob with Sunnyside and most other neigherhoods is the greedy landlords. I know this is not possible but there should be a cap put on how much landlords can charge per sq foot. As for the pawn shops!!!??? Nobody in them but they can still stay open??? Pretty unusual as the small business’s who actually DO business can barely pay their rent. Something wrong with that picture don’t u think???

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Sunnysideposthatesme14

And yet another idiotic idea with people completely out of touch with this neighborhood. Desperately trying to turn it into something it’s not. You want to turn this spot under a train into a penthouse for the homeless..you do know sunnyside has a homeless problem right? also, how can you relax with cars zipping by thinking they’re in a highway? And finally…to end my rant…Do these people even take the trains here? If they did they would know the amount of traffic is INSANE… there’s no room to stand or sit, its enough that stupid “art” made it annoying to get around under the 7 in 40th.

Sunnyside was fine the way it was , putting a veneer of beauty to hide the real issues just to raise property values…thats what is going on here. Anybody saying different is a liar .

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Really?!

Now I’ll have somewhere to sit while I’m trying to figure out what these guys are smoking at community board 2?

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Grumpy

Spend that money on fixing the sidewalks all along a Greenpoint Ave instead. They are crumbling especially outside Lenny’s pizza. That corner is always flooded which freezes in the winter. It needs to be leveled and drained properly

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Lucky Lu

This is a terrible idea. The soon to be “plazas” are located smack in the middle of the two sides of Queens Blvd., from which is spewed an enormous amount of car exhaust. Who in their right mind would want to sit there?? That “park” on Queens Blvd near Roosevelt is a disgusting spot full of grime from the cars that pass by. Somebody from the Health Dept. should measure the amount of air pollutants contaminating the area in that park and under the subway stations before they do something to encourage people to spend even more time in those places than they have to! I am shocked that these civic minded organizations would come up with such a horrible idea.

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jimmyz got some new moves!!

thats an old pic… so imagine green miniature golf astro turf with halal cart rolled on top of it and squirtz doing power squats on the artwork/excercise equipment. At least give me some balls and a putter and I can give the astro turf some wear.

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Anayomous

Jimmy Van Bremar, Counsilman, and Sunnyside Shines seem to have a good idea for establishing a plaza to attract people to this falling Queens neighborhood. But, I question if it should be located under the #7 train ( tremendous noise), plus it will reduce parking space which is already hard to find. Why don’t we bring back Sunnyside, Queens as a great place to live, without loosing our move theatre, banks and affordable resturants? Ask the landlords of this area, ask greedy developers.

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Sunnyman

Good idea. More inviting hopefully. Need to make sure the riff-raff doesnt set up camp at these locations though.

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Jen

If they do that, there is not enough space as it is for parking. So is alternatie parking is going to be suspended?…we need more parking spots.

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Anonymous

I wouldn’t mind for two proposed plazas to be in the neighborhood. Throughout the years living in Sunnyside, Queens, I say this idea is a very good one. Thank you Sunnyside Shines!

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Semper Paratus Man

Im with Zero the Hero. Sunny Shines and the D.O.T and people who don’t live here doing whatt the want & then when all decided they say it will have community say.

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EA

Krissi-that picture on the bottom is not a rendering. It’s the real thing. No?
Now if only the traffic would not be as heavy as it is now. But that is wishfull thinking on my part.

Reply
RBNPLNNR

@Zero the Hero DOT would never allow revenue parking spaces to be converted into a plaza. And can you imagine the outcry from the drivers over losing the 36 parking spots?

@Ari Fink I agree that the business there should keep their work in their store and off the sidewalk, but you’re wrong if you think the BID has any say-so outside of their district. You can find the BID boundaries here: http://www.sunnysideshines.org/sites/default/files/district_map.jpg

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Krissi

I love the idea of “beautifying” these spaces and making them more useful to the neighborhood…. but I always find that the renderings are far prettier than what is actually put here.

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Ari Fink

Sunnyside Shines!!!…How about doing something about the elevator repair shop at 48-15 43rd ave?..They have spare parts thrown all over the sidewalk and actually go as far ad to do welding right there on the street..This place is dangerous and a total nuisance in a residential area..Does someone have to trip and fall before this situation is rectified?

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Native

Nobody but business owners and public liars wanted the place to become a destination. It was just fine as a hometown for the people who live here. What Judases you all are.

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Plain Asday

So this is why they destroyed the business of two food vendors. What didn’t they just say so in the first place instead of lying through their teeth about health hazards, etc. Good way to destroy whatever iota of trust the community had in the leader of the community board.

You are full of baloney, JC.

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Zero the Hero

I think the smartest thing they can do with the spaces are to clear them out to make an easier and safer space for the tens of thousands of commuters who use those stops everyday. I’ve yet to see one single person use the “art/gym” set up at 40th street station the entire time it has been set up but I have seen several people stumble over it while rushing to catch the train in the morning.

I think A better idea for Plaza space would be to turn one block of parking spaces under the plaza between 40 and 46 streets into the “plaza”.

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