Pedestrian Plaza

Usage: Limited

An area located fully within the public right-of-way that is designated by DOT for use by pedestrians. The space may contain benches, tables, or other facilities. Plazas are maintained and managed by local, not-for-profit partner organizations or other entities, such as Parks.

click to see the enlarged image
Special event at Corona Plaza: National Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Queens
Interim pedestrian plaza at 71st Avenue Plaza: 71st Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, Queens


  • Promotes social interaction and builds neighborhood identity
  • Encourages pedestrian activity and associated health benefits
  • Catalyzes local economic development
  • Serves as a venue for a diverse range of community, cultural, and/or commercial events
  • Enhances safety by removing conflicts, narrowing wide roadways and/or normalizing intersections



  • The road segment’s relevance to the traffic network
  • Open-space needs
  • Income eligibility: neighborhoods designated by HUD as Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligible receive greater consideration
  • Surrounding land uses and site appropriateness
  • Organizational and maintenance capacity of community partner
  • Advertising is generally prohibited in plazas
  • Generally requires a maintenance agreement
  • May require pedestrian security measures
  • Attention should be given to accommodation of and navigation by people with vision and cognitive disabilities
  • Conduct outreach to people with disabilities and stakeholders working with these population groups early in the planning and implementation process. Provide notification of street geometry changes after implementation


  • Under-utilized, DOT-owned road segments
  • Locations with high crash rates
  • Neighborhoods that support repurposing streets for plazas
  • Neighborhoods with active organizations that can serve as Pedestrian Plaza Partners to maintain and manage plazas
  • Areas with appropriate adjacent land uses, sufficient population density, proximity to transit, historic sites, significant view corridors


  • Each permanent plaza is designed to reflect the character and context of its neighborhood. DOT and the Pedestrian Plaza Partner conduct a public process to develop an appropriate design that is responsive to the needs of the community
  • A consultant design team bases its plans on feedback from the public process
  • Sites smaller than 2,000 square feet are not encouraged
  • Plazas may include movable and/or formal and informal fixed seating, trees and plants (see Tree Beds and Plaza Plantings in the Landscape chapter), lighting, paving, information and wayfinding signage, sub-concessions, temporary and permanent public art, bike parking, and drinking-water fountains
  • Permanent or temporary art can be included in plaza design. For more information, see DOT Art Program in the Programming chapter
  • Plaza designs should support year-round events and programs. See Plaza Event (Civic) in the Programming chapter
  • Provide clear paths with minimum clutter, and tactile and visual cues to accommodate people with disabilities
  • Provide furniture that accommodates people with ambulatory disabilities; for example, space for knee clearance for people using mobility devices
  • Utility boxes should be screened from public view
  • Incorporate trees and other green cover. See Tree Beds and Plaza Plantings in the Landscape chapter
  • Utilize stormwater source controls wherever feasible