Recap: Streetscape ‘Visioning Workshop’ for the Future of Orchard Street

Posted on: February 20th, 2014 at 6:09 am by and

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Lori Greenberg

Do you love or hate neckdowns, bike corrals and bollards? (Also, do you know what they are?)

Last night the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with local design firm Pilot Projects, presented a “visioning workshop” for the future of Orchard Street. Welcoming ideas from both residents and business owners, the event, hosted by the Tenement Museum, drew a large crowd that had a lot to say.

The event was led by Tim Laughlin, BID Executive Director, and Scott Francisco, founder and director of Pilot Projects. The duo took us through a brief Powerpoint presentation, which explained various streetscape elements such as benches, garbage bins, bike racks, flexible bollards and trees.

This image has been archived or removed.

Scott Francisco, Photo: Lori Greenberg

Francisco then led the audience through a brainstorming session called “Keep, Toss, Create.” The crowd yelled out what they wanted to, well, keep, toss and/or create, pertaining to Orchard Street. Some things (“Historic Charm of the Street – Keep” and “Rats – Toss”) were easily agreed upon. Other topics, like car parking, went into both the “Keep” and “Toss” categories. As to be expected, there were vociferous opinions about bicycles vs. cars.

People were very good at “Tossing,” which had the most entries, including phone booths and idling black cars. Under “Create,” the list included better drainage on streets, pedestrian foot traffic, more bike parking and portable nighttime seating.

Residents and business owners were then invited to take part in adding elements of their choice to a 16 foot model of Orchard Street. Participants wrote notes on sticky labels and used miniature models to add trees, street furniture and other details to each block.

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Lori Greenberg

Borough President Gale Brewer arrived midway through the session, observing that in her years of planning and community board meetings, she had never encountered a model that created such excitement and engagement.

The event, described by Laughlin as a first step, was co-sponsored by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, City Council member Margaret Chin and Community Board 3, and was in collaboration with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.

Recent Stories

Seward Park Cheerleading Squad Raises $30K for Nationals Competion

When the Seward Park High School cheerleading squad qualified for the nationals back in December, the school made history. The Lower East Side institution is reportedly the second public high school in Manhattan to ever qualify for the grand stage. However, the obstacle in their midst was budgetary. No cash for uniforms, travel, and lodging […]

City Readies Demolition of Delancey Foot Bridge to East River Park

With each new day, the destruction of East River Park intensifies. Little is now recognizable as dozens of trees were excised and the historic amphitheater demolished. All as part of the billion-dollar coastal resiliency project. Now, time has come for the pedestrian bridge linking Delancey Street to the park, above the FDR Drive. The city […]

Teenager Arrested in Connection with Essex Card Shop Fire on Avenue A

A teenager has been arrested in connection with the alarm fire that destroyed the Essex Card Shop at 47 Avenue A last week. EV Grieve first confirmed the news yesterday. Charges against the 13-year-old – whose name was withheld due to his age – include second-degree arson. Officials told the blog that that the arsonist […]

Woman Dies Month After Being Hit by School Bus in Chinatown

A pedestrian struck by a school bus in Chinatown last month has succumbed to her injuries. On December 16, at approximately 1:45pm, 67-year-old Ahhon Lau was struck in the intersection of Monroe and Catherine Streets. When officers arrived at the scene, Lau was found unconscious and unresponsive, with trauma about the body. EMS transported her […]

Brooklyn Fare Market Makes it Official at One Manhattan Square

Brooklyn Fare Kitchen & Market officially announced its Lower East Side entrance with banner advertising at One Manhattan Square. The vinyl skins are now in the windows along Cherry Street, advertising free delivery and fresh produce. As previously reported, the upscale grocer signed a lease to occupy 25,500 square-feet across two floors in the base […]