Haven Plaza FAQs

What is Haven Plaza?

  • Haven Plaza will be a part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYCDOT) Plaza Program and will serve as public interim pedestrian plaza located on Haven Avenue between 169th Street and Fort Washington Avenue.
  • As part of this project, parking spaces located on Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s (CUIMC) property as well as on Haven Avenue will be turned into landscaped green space available to all members of the community.

Who will be able to use Haven Plaza?

All members of the public will be able to use Haven Plaza to relax, socialize, and enjoy the outdoors.

What is an interim plaza?

  • Under the plaza program, an interim plaza uses flexible elements that can be removed and modified, if needed, without modifying the street bed. Sample interim plaza elements may include painted roadways as well as moveable planters and furniture.
  • While the interim plaza is in place, CUIMC and NYCDOT to work with the local community to assess the plaza’s success.

Who will be responsible for maintaining the plaza?

CUIMC is responsible for managing all plaza maintenance—including costs related to construction, cleaning, trash and snow removal, and enhanced lighting.

Who will be responsible for patrolling Haven Plaza?

Columbia University’s Department of Public Safety provides exceptional services and is committed to implementing and providing the best security and public safety measures within Haven Plaza.

Who will be responsible for organizing the programming for Haven Plaza?

  • Under an agreement with NYCDOT, CUIMC will hire a full-time plaza coordinator to provide and help coordinate continuous plaza programming hosted by both internal partners as well as external community partners.
  • The coordinator will act as a liaison between community partners and organizations seeking to host programming in the plaza and the NYCDOT Street Activity Permit Office, which oversees all requests to book programs in participating plazas.

How will CUIMC use Haven Plaza to continue to support local community programming?

  • CUIMC will establish the “Joe Hintersteiner Arts & Wellness Award” as part of the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund to support local arts and wellness-related programming. Up to three awards will be given each funding cycle to groups seeking to enhance program offerings at Haven Plaza as well as at other community venues. 
  • Community partners and local groups may apply to the NYCDOT Street Activity Permit Office to use the plaza to conduct programming focused on children, arts and culture, or health and wellness.

How will Haven Plaza affect parking?

  • The 17 displaced alternate side parking spaces located on Haven Avenue between 169th Street and Fort Washington Avenue will be replaced with new and modified spaces to ensure a zero net loss of existing on-street parking.
  • CUIMC will offer 17 free parking spaces for up to 18 months to residents of the area surrounding Haven Avenue via a community lottery
  • CUIMC also will offer up to 100 parking spaces in one of its parking garages at a discounted rate of $150 plus tax per month. Access to the parking garage will be available weeknights (Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.) and all day on Saturday and Sunday. 

How will CUIMC and DOT monitor local traffic changes once Haven Plaza opens?

As part of the plaza program, CUIMC and DOT will implement traffic monitoring procedures and use collected traffic data to make modifications to traffic flow patterns as needed. 

Will Haven Plaza create jobs for local members of the community?

  • Yes. In addition to creating construction job opportunities, Haven Plaza will create up to 10 new full-time positions at CUIMC.
  • Columbia University has a goal of 35 percent minority-, women-, and locally-owned contractor participation.
  • CUIMC will share job-related information with Community Board 12 and other community partners.

How will Haven Plaza affect ADA accessibility?

The interim plaza will be ADA accessible. In addition, new curb cuts are proposed to increase ease of access.