The Downtown Alliance’s Public Space Upgrades

The Downtown Alliance has always centered its work on keeping the neighborhood clean and safe. Continuing this effort during the pandemic now includes public-health measures. The following initiatives are three examples of the smart solutions our Operations and Economic Development teams have enacted to meet the challenges of the COVID era. 

Public Space Signage
In June, the Alliance posted signage at six district destinations (Bowling Green, Whitehall Plaza, Coenties Slip Plaza and Park, Mannahatta Park, Albany Plaza, Broad Street by Exchange Place) to remind users to abide by social distancing and face covering while sharing public spaces. 

Hand-Sanitizing Stations
In June, to make commuters feel safer and to promote proper hygiene as the district reopens, the Alliance initially installed 10 hand sanitizing stations near transportation sites throughout the district. (There was a special focus on subway entrances.) Over the course of August and September, the Alliance replaced the 10 standalone stations with 20 hands-free units attached to Big Belly trash cans.

Enhanced Cleaning
In addition to the hands-free sanitizing stations, the Operations department imposed a power-washing program that included public benches at Coenties Slip Park and Mannahatta Park as well as sidewalks throughout the district The teams also cleaned and sanitized the tables and chairs at Water/Whitehall Plaza, Coenties Slip Plaza, the Broad Street bump out, Albany Plaza and Gouverneur Lane.

Operations was also responsible for cleaning and maintaining the designated locations for the Department of Transportation’s Open Streets: Restaurants program. 

POPS Signage Program
In late August, the Alliance created a POPS signage program to help promote local eateries by leveraging available open spaces. We designed a series of signs placed in four Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) along Water Street.

The signage advertised local restaurants to encourage customers to patronize nearby food establishments. Each sign highlighted five to 10 businesses, showing images of their food, location and phone numbers. Each restaurant was given an easy-to-use QR code that directs potential customers to their online ordering platform. 

The Alliance has also set out tables and chairs at 55 Water Street and 4 New York Plaza to provide additional seating options where people can rest or enjoy takeaway from nearby eateries.