After two years, the city is getting ready to make those Times Square plazas permanent. Which means first they've got to get their plans past the local community board. Which explains why last night architects from Snohetta Design appeared before Community Board 5's Transportation Committee to show off their $27 million preliminary plan last night and the future for the Great White Way looks...dark and glistening.

The major change coming to the pedestrian plazas will be to get rid of the existing curbs and sidewalks to create a continuous pedestrian space. But rather than pave the plazas with your standard concrete, the designers are going for something a little more noirish. DNAinfo reports that "Under the proposed design, the ground surface of the plazas would be made from two tones of dark concrete pavers, arranged in an alternating brick pattern to differentiate it from a regular street. Some sections would also feature embedded stainless steel 'pucks' about the size of nickels, intended to add some pizazz by reflecting light off the marquees around them."

"There’s that film noir quality that some people have about Times Square...and the grittiness of the street is a part of it," architect Craig Dykers explained. “It’s not taking its cues from pretty little things in Europe or something. It’s kind of like the heart of New York City. It’s a heavy, muscular thing."

It isn't all about the dark and glistening ground though. The plan also calls for the installation of a lot of benches of different heights and sizes (no seating bowls, though) as well as a reorganized bike lane that will go from Broadway to Seventh Avenue at 47th Street and then back to Broadway at 42nd.

Assuming the plans are approved by the Board and accepted by the city's Department of Design and Construction, the goal is to start construction on the new plazas by next fall with a completion date in 2014 (they want to make sure the construction is as non-invasive as possible). All in all, the new look looks pretty good to us with one notable exception—no slip 'n' slide?