Queens Boulevard

We’re getting together on 1/13 to present research on hot topics for Queens Boulevard. Come and comment on the research, and help determine the final format we put it into. We’ll be meeting at OpenPlans, please RSVP.

Open Cities

The Open Cities team are getting together on Saturday 1/8 - contact Jerome for more details. And check out the blog if you haven’t already.


Help a new blogging project understand NYC’s Chinatowns. Come to a workshop on Dec 11 to get involved with data analysis, research and interpretation. Details below.

Open City: Blogging Urban Change is a new, interdisciplinary community project. Five commissioned writers are working with community organizations and neighborhood folks in Manhattan’s Chinatown/Lower East Side, Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn to collect oral histories and interviews, offer commentary about gentrification, neighborhood change, and produce new creative work around these themes.

How can planners help? The Open City project has a long list of potential ways to look at the three Chinatowns, including mapping, current and historic zoning and land use, demographics and population change, and more. Got skills in data collection, visualization, zoning comprehension, census data, local economic development analysis, etc? Want to contribute those skills for a workshop or over several sessions? Get involved!

Jerome Chou invited Planning Corps to take part. He’s one of the project’s fellows and also the Director of Program at the Design Trust for Public Space. You can contact him at opencityjc (at) gmail.com.

Workshop details:
Saturday, December 11, 11 AM - 1 PM
Hester Street Collaborative
113 Hester Street


Hi everyone —

A quick Planning Corps update about our Queens Boulevard work. We’ve got a nice set of tasks ahead to support TA’s Queens volunteers in their conversations with elected officials and agencies. We need volunteers to research and gather evidence in small groups now, and meet up on January 13th to review everything. Read on for details.

Read More


We’ll finalize the elements for the Queens Boulevard campaign this coming Thursday, October 28, at 6:30 at H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture.

In addition to the many ideas for street re-designs, we have, thanks to you, base maps, land use, population analysis, and traffic data, and now we have a physical model. At this session, we’ll discuss all the pieces we need and assign them. On November 8 will be the presentation to the Committee, where we’ll get feedback before working on the finished products. All are welcome at the presentation as well.

Thursday, October 28, 6:30 PM
Planning Corps working session on Queens Blvd
H3 Architects (Thanks to Eric Galipo for hosting!)
902 Broadway, 19th Floor

Monday, November 8, 7 PM
T.A. Queens Volunteer Committee meeting - presentation
Greater Astoria Historical Society
35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor


2010.10.08 // 1286577305 // @planningcorps

A quick update —

We got together on 9/29 for a productive discussion about street trees - tagging, mapping and the challenges of both — with Liz Barry and the TreeKit team. Look out for notes soon.

For Queens Boulevard, a model building team was formed - model parts will allow all sorts of cool explorations of street layouts later in the fall. Stay tuned for a longer Queens Blvd update.


Following our Saturday workshop in August, we’re getting together with TreeKit again. This week, we’re talking tree tagging - how to engage passers-by with the social life of the urban forest, which may or may not involve physically associating some kind of unique ID with each tree / treebed.

Join us in the OpenPlans penthouse at 148 Lafayette Street, Wednesday 9/29 from 6:30pm. RSVP appreciated, beer and snacks provided


Planning Corps had a great August. Thanks to everyone who came out for both sessions, gave time and expertise to support projects.

For our work in support of Transportation Alternatives’ ongoing Queens Boulevard project, we spent a happy evening sketching street sections. Suggestions ranged from practical to far out, with many creative and interesting ideas along the way. Thanks to Eric Galipo and Mike Lydon for running the workshop and design guidance, and H3 Architects for hosting. The Queens Boulevard work will continue through the fall.

Working with TreeKIT, we walked a block in Prospect Heights and tested out a toolkit for mapping street trees. On a brilliantly sunny Saturday, we located and measured a tiny part of the urban forest - learning to distinguish our Honey Locusts from Japanese Pagoda trees… Thanks to Liz Barry of TreeKIT and the Prospect Heights Community Farm.

If you came to either session, please send us your thoughts, photos, tweets and blog posts!

The next workshops aren’t far away — f you’re interested in getting more involved with organizing planning corps, get in touch via planningcorps@gmail.com.  See you in September!


Join Planning Corps in the sunshine on Saturday 8/28 for a workshop on street tree data collection. We’ll be working with TreeKit to evaluate their community tree mapping toolkit in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

Meet at 1pm at the Prospect Heights Community Farm, on the south side of St. Marks Ave between Vanderbilt and Underhill, or call 617 417 8396 to find us. We’ll spend a couple of hours out measuring trees, then we’ll compare notes.

RSVP appreciated.


Planning Corps session #6 worked on street sections for Queens Boulevard.

We benefited from the constructive facilitation of Eric Galipo of Urbanitis and Mike Lydon of Street Plans - many thanks to both. Clean slate sections distributed, pens and pencils at the ready, we sketched out a range of creative ideas for re-organizing one intersection of Queens Boulevard. There were plenty of far-out ideas, but the discussion that ensued illuminated the shared, more serious, priorities for this corridor. The intersection was re-fashioned to elevate the pedestrian experience, bring more transit options, integrate a bi-directional expressway for cyclists, and still account for vehicle throughput.

After drawing we pinned up  and classified our many proposals into some common themes (“amenity in the middle”, “kinda like separated”, “travel in the middle”, “decking over street” and “unique typologies. Lively conversation about how to accommodate the variety of users and contextualize amenities for the diverse communities in Queens carried us to the end of the evening.

Next step: make a physical model to use in workshops with TA’s Queens Boulevard committee and beyond! A big thanks to H3 for hosting the session tonight.


The August 26 session will be a brainstorm for a re-designed cross-section of Queens Boulevard. This is the first of two Planning Corps meetings in August, stay tuned for details of the street trees workshop on 8/28.

Join us on 8/26 if you’re interested in complete streets, have drawing, street design and transportation skills,  ideas about better street layouts — or want to learn more about any of these topics.

We expect it to run 3 hours. We’ll provide snacks and beer! 6:30 pm, H3 offices, 902 Broadway. RSVP.

The session pulls together all the previous work on Queens Boulevard. Drawing will be encouraged, and to that end, we posted some files to the Google group: a section of existing condition, a section of the entire right of way, and a base map. You can bring pre-drafted cross-sections or just bring yourself to the session on August 26 where we’ll be drafting ideas. All ideas - big and small - will be pinned up and we’ll have a discussion about them. This isn’t about your drawing skills, what’s most important are the ideas.

After August’s session, the plan is:

  • September: build model pieces that will demonstrate how the re-designed street will work
  • October present the ideas, using the model pieces, to the TA Queens Committee.
  • November: complete final product for the committee to use as it
    visits the electeds and local community groups. 

If you’re thinking about sections, here are some standard widths.

  • Widths: Sidewalk - 5 ft minimum
  • Bike lane - 5 ft minimum, 6 ft. adjacent to parallel parking
  • Bike lane w/ painted buffer - 5 ft minimum, buffer 2’ minimum, 3’ or greater preferred
  • Medians for pedestrian refuges - 6 ft minimum
  • Shoulder (if necessary) - 3 ft minimum
  • Parking lane - 7 ft minimum, 8 ft. next to bicycle lane
  • Bus lane - 12 ft.
  • Access road - 10 ft, preferred (to calm speeds)
  • Travel lanes - 10 ft minimum, 12 ft. standard for the street type.
  • Tree pit - 24’ sq. ft is standard (4’ x 6’ , or 5’ x 5’)

Major thanks to Eric Galipo and Mike Lydon for their prep work and ideas in shaping this session. Hope to see you there!