Let's Celebrate Kensington

Let's Celebrate Kensington

Please join me for a ribbon-cutting for the new “Kensington Plaza” – this Sunday, June 3rd, at 12:30 pm at the intersection of Church Avenue and Beverley Road (in front of Walgreens). This new (albeit small!) public space will add to civic life in Kensington and I am excited to celebrate it with you and your neighbors on Sunday.

The idea for creating a small plaza on the recently-extended sidewalk came from Kensington residents who wanted to address the neighborhood’s lack of open space. In response, my office worked with community members and a number of City agencies on a plan to add a few trees, benches, and granite blocks – to turn this into a small space where people can sit for a few minutes, to enjoy an ice cream, coffee, or conversation.

In February, Kensington residents, local civic groups, and representatives from City agencies came together at PS 230 to talk about what the plaza would look like, and also to address concerns. I have continued to have conversations with community residents after the meeting and have worked hard with the appropriate City agencies to make Kensington Plaza the community space you want. I am happy to report that:

  • The NYC Parks Department has planted three additional trees at the plaza.
  • NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) will install four new benches and two new granite blocks by the end of this week.
  • In response to concerns about the intersection, DOT painted a high visibility crosswalk over Beverley Road.
  • A new volunteer “stewardship group” has formed to help keep the plaza clean. In addition to regularly picking up garbage, sweeping the space, and helping care for the trees, the group is interested in promoting small community activities at the plaza to encourage community use of the space.
  • The NYPD 66th Precinct has committed to focus on the plaza with attention from the neighborhood beat cop and other officers.
  • The Department of Sanitation has committed to work with nearby property owners so that they do not get unfairly fined.
  • The NYPD 66th Precinct has also begun removing graffiti in the area, starting with locations identified by neighbors near Beverley Road.

Working together, I am hopeful that Kensington Plaza will be a space that community members take pride in, a place where we can meet each other and socialize, and a unique feature that supports what makes Kensington – and New York City – a great place to live.

I would like to thank the West Kensington Action Group and the Albemarle Neighborhood Association for their support, and the NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Sanitation, and NYPD 66th Precinct for helping to make Kensington Plaza a reality.

And, most importantly, I would like to give special thanks to the Kensington Plaza Stewardship Group for contributing their time, energy, and enthusiasm. If you have questions or concerns, or you would like to become involved with the Stewardship Group, please contact my District Director, Catherine Zinnel, at 718-499-1090 or czinnel [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov.

I look forward to seeing you at Kensington Plaza on Sunday, and in the future.