By Tony Aiello

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.

The jagged rocks were removed shortly after a CBS 2 report highlighting the dangers. (credit: CBS 2)

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.

Was This Design And Redesign A Waste Of Money?  Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Section…

Tony Aiello

Comments (9)
  1. Will Wittenberg says:

    it was part of the federal stimulus bill people – do the research b4 you start whining. and i’m not sure how many people in western queens drive – but something tells me the vast improvements for pedestrians will affect many more people than the slight delays experienced by motorists.

  2. Christina says:

    I believe the money for this project came from the Federal Government.

  3. Rhiannon says:

    What is the reason for the QP mess? Traffic rerouting is a horror; forget about even crossing Queens Boulevard or riding the Q-60 home (oh the joys of the E train). Also what’s up with the F***ly stupid bike lane? Me thinks that His exalted imperial majesticness Michael I is now “Spendberg I”. What a waste of our money.

  4. Flan says:

    Let’s lay off teachers, close firehouses and not hire cops. Then take away the pensions, and cry poverty. Remember the city is broke! But let’s spend 70 million on absurd lanscaping projects!!

  5. flea says:

    The worst thing i ever saw, was in 1978 at the Hamden Plaza in Hamden Ct. The knuckleheads partially buried 20 old cars in the middle of the parking lot and covered them in asphalt. Called it art. ( The Ghost Parking Lot Project 1978 ). It was the ugliest thing i ever saw. Even worse when it started deteriorating. In 2003 they finally cleaned it up. Somebody actually got paid for coming up with that garbage. What a travesty.

  6. Andrei says:

    Where is the money?

    Lets put the managers to jail until they return all the money to the city by working in the jail shop.

  7. Goblin says:

    $70 million for a bunch of ugly concrete in the ground? I wonder how long the union contractor on this project was milking the city for.

  8. emjayay says:

    How can a city agency refuse to talk about anything in their budget? Shouldn’t the various expenses here or with anything they do be public record?

  9. joe says:

    What do think? The city wastes money like a running faucet.
    Only $70 million?

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