DOT, community organizations open street-converted plaza in Kensington

A portion of Beverley Road will be closed off to vehicular traffic moving forward.
"We have to share the street," said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Our streets are needed and used for so much more."
The stretch between Church Avenue and East Second Street is the now-expanded Kensington Plaza, part of the latest Open Streets and plaza expansion that the DOT opened with neighborhood organizations. Officials at the grand opening say this particular project has been a nearly two-year experiment.
"You might have seen Bangladeshi Institute of Performing Arts here doing cultural programing," sail Council Member Shahana Hanif, whose district encompasses Kensington.  "What we had seen growing up in Kensington was a lack of open spaces."
Pedestrians can walk and admire what the plaza now has to offer, including a street-long mural painted by Brooklyn-based artist Misha Tyutyunik.
"In my opinion, public art should always be done with and for the public," Tyutyunik said.
Some people were seen already taking in what the new plaza has to offer, enjoying breakfast at one of the several tables and chairs placed in the plaza. While many were receptive to the new Kensington Plaza, some were not. One resident was infuriated with the amount of parking that would be taken away.
"In this city, everybody has the right to express their opinion," Rodriguez said. "Most New Yorkers support initiatives such as the Open Streets."
There are now over 200 Open Streets across the city, according to the DOT. Rodriguez said more are planned, though no time frame or where were mentioned.