The development of the design included a hydrologist to establish the potential flood elevations for a 100-year storm and fluid dynamic specialists to model the subway environment and test the impact of closing or reducing vent opening sizes. A survey of the street and sidewalk documented the current streetscape, and pedestrian counts established areas of greater and lesser crowding to establish minimum criteria for raising or closing a grate. This team worked in an iterative process to optimize pedestrian movement on the sidewalk above while maintaining the required ventilation to the platform below. The final design solves the immediate problem of flooding at the ventilation grates, creates a highly visible streetscape element and raises public awareness of the broader problem. The project has attracted the interest of area residents, many of whom have lived with the flooding problem for years, and has drawn positive media attention from sources not usually concerned with infrastructure and urban design.