project leader
Grace F
4th Avenue and 9th Street
Brooklyn (Park Slope/Gowanus)
latest update rss
Progress Updates!

the project

We will host a "pop-up" event to reignite neighborhood imagination about rider amenities and street-level improvements at the 4th Ave/9th St Station transit hub. In a one-day action in November, we’ll set up a fantasy shadow station, using props - temporary lighting, wayfinding signage, discussion boards, big visuals, and pretend “street furniture” - to play with and capture improvement ideas.

Over 13,000 people use this transit hub daily. Despite a delay-burdened subway restoration focused on safety and repairing a lovely arch over 4th Avenue, the street level station area is dark, dirty, drab, boarded-up and uninviting. Signage is poor to non-existent. Vague plans to rent commercial space are stalled - people scurry away from the shadows of the station. The transit entry point to Park Slope and Gowanus should not be dreary and confusing.

This civic action is a first step to inspire the MTA and other city agencies to improve this transit hub. With your support and ideas, we can show local politicians and city agencies that there is broad community support to “do better” at 4th Ave/9th St.

FOFA (Forth on Fourth Avenue, a committee of the Park Slope Civic Council), Park Slope Neighbors, Arts Gowanus, Fifth Avenue Committee and a growing list of community groups are partners in this project. We need more partners - we need you! Please help by making a donation of any size and joining our growing list of supporters to “Fix this Public Space -- 4th Ave/ 9th St!”

For more information about the work of Forth on Fourth Ave (FOFA), check out

the steps

Build interest in the project through publicized prop-making workshops with community partners. For one day in November, participants install prop components, posters, way-finding signs and paper discussion boards to create temporary “fantasy station” at the 4th Ave 9th Street location. Encourage distribution of ideas from event via local media, social media, and list serves. Work with local agencies and elected representatives to schedule subsequent date(s) for public forum on station status and dialogue about ways to implement and support ideas for improvement. (Ideally we will have a date for a public forum that we can advertise on the day of action.)

why we're doing it

The 4th Ave/9th St transit hub is a spot where several subway lines, two bus lines, and a bike lane converge across a busy traffic intersection in Park Slope/Gowanus in Brooklyn. Thousands of pedestrians, including transit commuters, cross this roadway and it is a DOT-designated Vision Zero priority area for “Safe Pedestrian Access to Transit.” As the residential and business population of South Slope and Gowanus area grow, there is even more need to support transportation options that that go beyond a focus on personal vehicles. We believe that better street-level design of the subway station, partnered with planned work by NYC DOT, can improve safety and make the area more pedestrian and commuter friendly.

The critical issue of lack of handicapped access at the station is not directly addressed by this project scope because of the scale of capital monies needed to resolve it. However, we believe that as attention is paid to station enhancements, that problem needs to remain in the forefront of community discussions.









Good morning on Match Day! THANK YOU to all our early supporters that have brought us so close to our goal! A stretch goal is being added so we can do more! If you can't give for any reason this morning, please check back later TODAY! Final deadline for all funding is TONIGHT at 11:59pm. We need volunteers too!


Updated 10.22.14  
Portable LED Lights (8 units, plus batteries) $250.00
Printing for Large Scale Images/Public Art Mock-ups $300.00
Wayfinding Signage $300.00
Art Supplies $75.00
Discussion Boards & Writing Materials $125.00
Promotional Material $150.00
Artist/Designer Technical Assistance $300.00
Presentation Materials for Civic Forum $120.00
Space Rental Fee Civic Forum $100.00
Refreshments Civic Forum $80.00
Canvas for Mock-Up Art $400.00
Materials for DIY Mobile Carts $150.00
Banners & Additional Wayfinding $300.00
#FixThisPublicSpace Vests $75.00


SUBTOTAL = $2,725
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $136
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $41

RAISED = $3,226.00
less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $151.95
less 3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3% of total donated on ioby) $45.96

Revised Budget, 10/24/14


Project Budget  
Updated 10.24.14  
Portable LED Lights (8 units, plus batteries) $250.00
Printing for Large Scale Images/Public Art Mock-ups $300.00
Wayfinding Signage $400.00
Art Supplies $75.00
Discussion Boards & Writing Materials $125.00
Promotional Material $170.00
Artist/Designer Technical Assistance $300.00
Presentation Materials for Civic Forum $120.00
Space Rental Fee Civic Forum $100.00
Refreshments Civic Forum $100.00
Canvas for Mock-Up Art $400.00
Materials for DIY Mobile Carts $150.00
Banners & Permanent Promo materials $400.00
#FixThisPublicSpace Vests $103.09
FEES (8% of total + $35) $232.91
Total raised: $3, 226 to be  disbursed $2993.09 less fees $2,993.09



Progress Updates!

A lot of progress has been made the the 4th Ave/9th St station in recent months! If you are not on the Forth on Fourth Avenue (FOFA) email list and want to receive updates on this project and other work we having been doing, please reply to Grace ( and she will add you to the list.

Today, we are writing to make you aware of the Participatory Budgeting project  "Art in the 4th Ave Subway Stationthat relates directly to improving the station. If you live in Brad Lander's district, please consider voting for this project! Voting is open now until Sunday April 19th. More details are below.
Best, Grace and SJ
 "Art in the 4th Ave Subway Station" is of special interest due to FOFA's work at the 4th Ave/9th St location. (We have attached a flyer about this specific project). What we find particularly significant about the project is that, in Participatory Budgeting,  the agency that would receive funding has to agree to the project - and we think this may be the first times the MTA has agreed to accept a community driven art installation in a station (something for which we are quite happy to take at least partial credit!). This step toward recognition by the MTA that local communities have a stake in how local stations look is one that we think has both political implications as well as an esthetic benefit.
No matter which projects you chose to support, we do urge you to go out and vote. You can see videos about all of the projects at the website  and we hope you will take a look. 
Voting Dates and Places:

Tuesday, April 14, 8 am – 7 pm Wednesday, April 15, 8 am – 7 pm Thursday, April 16, 8 am – 7 pm

Brad Lander's District Office 456 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor between 9th and 10th Sts

Thursday, April 16, 2:30 – 7:30 pm 

Borough Park Library1265 43rd St at 13th Ave

Saturday April 18, 10 am – 6 pm

Carroll Gardens Library 396 Clinton St at Union St

PS 282180 6th Ave between Berkeley & Lincoln Pls

Windsor Terrace Library 160 East 5th St at Ft. Hamilton Pkwy

Sunday April 19, 10 am – 6 pm

Carroll Park HouseSmith St between President and Carroll Sts

Park Slope Armory 361 15th St between 7th and 8th Aves

PS 230 Upper School 1 Albemarle Rd at McDonald Ave


Press Release: Tomorrow is the big day!

Tomorrow Friday November 21st is the day! Please join us to celebrate brining community attention to this transit hub and help make sure our voices are heard by the MTA. Note new location: 4th Ave and 4th St. Community comments will be at 2:30pm.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 19, 2014



Park Slope/Gowanus:  On November 21, eight local community groups will display mock canvas store fronts, way finding signs, cardboard props, examples of public art, and interactive media focused on improving the street level appearance of the 4th Avenue/9th Street transit hub.  Created at workshops sponsored by Park Slope Civic Council’s “Fourth on Fourth Avenue” Committee (FOFA), and partnering community organizations (Arts Gowanus, Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, the Fifth Avenue Committee, Make Brooklyn Safer, the Old Stone House & Washington Park, Park Slope Neighbors, and Transportation Alternatives) the materials help illustrate ways the MTA could respond to a growing public demand to “Fix This Public Space” 

Noting that the transit hub daily serves over 13,000 commuters, FixThisPublicSpace project coordinator Grace Freedman observes, “Simply put, we deserve better. The station is a gateway to the vibrant Gowanus and Park Slope neighborhoods. It’s time to open a constructive community conversation with the MTA and elected officials about livable street amenities that could improve the station without big ticket capital expenses. And we need a time-line for planned work. ”

The event will take place between 2 pm and 7 pm on November 21 at 4th Avenue and 4th Street (outside the JJ Byrne Park).  A press conference, with community comments, will take place from 2:30 to 3:30 pm and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (who has secured past funding for station improvements) is scheduled to attend.

The event has been made possible, in part, through a matching grant from ioby (In Our Back Yard) and the Transit Center. Originally scheduled as a pop-up installation at the station, the location was changed because of MTA notification that scaffolding removal was scheduled to take place on the day of the event.  The public is urged to stop by during the day and contribute ideas about transit hub improvements.

For more information, and photos/videos from past workshops, go to

Media contacts: Grace Freedman,  718 858 4847

                           SJ Avery 917 509 1613

                           (co-chairs, FOFA)




Sun Nov 9th & Sat Nov 15th: Prop-making Workshops

Sun Nov 9th & Sat Nov 15th: Prop-making Workshops

Join us for the 4th Ave/9th St Pop-Up Installation: Think Fun, Colorful, Engaging Civic Action

4th Ave/ 9th St Transit Hub, Brooklyn

Friday November 21st


Help us make it happen, share your ideas and help with the prep work:

Join in Prop-making and Strategy Workshops

Sunday Nov 9th, 12:30-4pm

Saturday Nov 15th, 12:30-4pm

(Fifth Ave Committee offices, 621 Degraw btw 3rd/4th Ave)

Be Part of the Day of Installation: 4th Ave/ 9th St Transit Hub

Friday November 21st

Friday morning: flyering to commuters

Friday afternoon to early evening: set up and manning of installation

(More details to follow)
For more information or to volunteer: contact


Thank you to our donors!

Day of "Pop-up" Civic Action: Friday November 21

Thank you for all the incredible support! We are fully funded and donations keep coming in! We are very excited to be moving forward with our "pop-up" installation and day of action. Over the last week, we have been making more connections to neighbors, community partners, artists and filmmakers who want to help us on the actual day of the event. You can help too! Save the date Friday November 21st and watch this page for more updates.

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered. We will be in touch shortly. You can also email us

New Partner!

So happy to be working with Transportation Alternatives as a partner in this project! We will talk briefly about the Fix 4th Ave and 9th St project at their next Brooklyn meeting on Thursday Oct 30th at the Brooklyn YWCA, 30 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, 7 - 8:30 pm.

We are so close to our funding goal, and we are definitely still looking for volunteers to make our event happen in November! You can hit the "Inquire about volunteering" button with or without a donation.

Still going strong

We continue to be amazed by support for our project! Thank you!  

FOFA and the Park Slope Civic Council really look forward to sparking a conversation with community members, our community partners, the MTA and local politicians on how to Fix the 4th Ave and 9th St Transit Hub. 

Park Slope Civc Council has been advocating for improvements at this site for a long time. We recently found this document from 2008 (!) with some professional renderings of what could have happened under the overpass. Please check it out!

These changes are unlikely at this stage but we feel that better lighting, way-finding and other street-level amenities can make the commuter experience safer and much more "tricked-out."

Thanks to ioby and Transit Center for including us in this "Trick out my Trip" Match!


Thanks to our donors!

We are thrilled to report that our project reached over 75% funding before the official Trick Out My Trip Match Day! Thank you to our early supporters! Your enthusiasm speaks volumes that the community wants to "Fix this Public Space." We had always hoped that this campaign would be the start of other civic actions to advocate for better transit experiences and improved pedestrian safety more broadly in our area. The tragic traffic fatality earlier this week near Times Plaza, where 4th Avenue, Flatbush and Atlantic Ave meet, makes that need urgently clear. 
Thanks to ioby and Transit Center, we are able to add a "stretch" goal for additional funding that will also be matched! We will use this funding to invest in props that are more re-usable for future "pop-up" actions. Canvas and vinyl banners for mock-up public art can be purchased in addition to the paper materials. More permanent site-specific wayfinding signs be purchased. We have also added "safety vests" to our budget that can identify community participants and declare we intend to #FixthisPublicSpace!
Please help us reach our stretch goal! Share this email and the page link with family, friends and neighbors. Absolute deadline is Thursday (TODAY) October 23rd at 11:59pm!

New Partner!

Make Brooklyn Safer has joined us as a community partner in this action. They made a great suggestion too: please donate $36 (or 4 x 9) for a better 4th Ave/9th St!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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