Supporters of the controversial Ozone Park pedestrian plaza defended the space during a meeting about the plaza’s future, calling it an oasis in a neighborhood that is starved of public space.
But others said the plaza, located on Drew Street and 101st Avenue, is detrimental to business owners who feel that the loss of parking and the cut-off of two-way traffic is causing sales to drop.
“We wanted to create an open environment for the community,” said Darma Diaz, chief operating officer for the Bangladesh American Community Development and Youth Services Corporation (BACDYS), which is responsible for the upkeep of the plaza. “This plaza gives the opportunity for the community to have a place to go.”
She noted that public space is so minimal in the area that children have to use the nearby municipal meter lot, located at Elderts Lane and Glenmore Avenue in Brooklyn, for activities.
“This is the only place we have in our neighborhood where children could get together,” said one attendee of the Aug. 21 meeting at Queens Borough Hall. “We have never had a place for us to get together [until the plaza].”
But Khemraj Sadoo, owner of Super Clean Laundromat, located on the same street as the plaza, said there is viable space just two blocks down on Elderts Lane in Brooklyn and wants the plaza moved.
“We need the plaza moved,” Sadoo said. “Who will accept such a plaza in front of his face with such loss of business?”
I don't know, every time I see a photo of this plaza, it is empty. Maybe the community doesn't really need or want it. As for children getting together here...to do what?