The $3.4 million makeover of the intersection will realign the adjacent streets in an effort to calm traffic and make the intersection simpler to navigate as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative.
“The opening of the Myrtle-Cooper Plaza gives Queens more than 5,000-square-feet of new pedestrian space, along with Vision Zero improvements to make a complex intersection safer for everyone who uses it,” said Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Nicole Garcia.
Creating the space will also give the Glendale War Memorial a new home, next to a new flagpole. The monument, which honors the 21 Glendale residents killed in World War I, was previously located on a small traffic island near the intersection.
The area around the memorial will eventually include tables and chairs, benches, new trees, cobble paving stones and other decorative paving, a drinking fountain and new stone curbs with planters.
“For years the open space was confusing for motorists and pedestrians alike,” Assemblyman Mike Miller said. “Now that work has been completed, it is my hope that the intersection will be safer. The new mixed use space should encourage local residents to enjoy the scenery and remember those who served during the First World War.”
At the opposite end of the intersection, 71st Street between Myrtle and Cooper avenues was also converted into a smaller plaza with infrastructure upgrades and amenities.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured a performance from members of Lorenz Latin Dance Studio and a ceremonial raising of the flag by local veterans organizations.