NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Last month, CBS 2 exposed a pedestrian landscape design, featuring jagged concrete in Queens Plaza, that many considered to be dangerous.
Now, a concrete change is winning applause from pedestrians, but raising questions about how the city is spending money.
“I thought the doggone people was crazy, whoever’s responsible,” Jackie Shalotte told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello. “We came here to this place, and I almost fell.”
Shalotte was one of many residents complaining about the controversial landscape design, featuring recycled concrete with lots of jagged edges. One cluster of concrete was right at the edge of a curb cut designed to help the handicapped.
“They’re boulders and they’re sticking up and they’re sharp,” one woman remarked about the design last month. “I saw the sharp edges and they’re a turnoff. I think they’re dangerous.”
Three and a half weeks after the CBS 2 report aired, the concrete has been ripped out along with another patch of jagged concrete that divided the sidewalk. Workers are now replacing it with cobblestone pavers.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which in charge of the project, said that the concrete was removed to make way for a bike lane.
However, with concrete installed in late 2010 being removed in mid 2011, new questions are being raised about whether the redesign is a cost effective way to do business.
“Yeah, I guess not the best planning on their part, I suppose,” one woman remarked.
“It was a waste of money, of our taxpayers’ money,” another resident said.
EDC refuses to answer questions about why the concrete was installed, only to be ripped out. They also won’t reveal how much the design change cost. It’s a small part of a $70 million dollar redesign of Queens Plaza.
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