Missing Details Prevent CB Vote for Bay Ridge Summer Streets, for Now

Neighbors gather on Fulton Street to watch a fashion show at a Summer Streets event last year. Photo: NYC DOT

The traffic and transportation committee of Brooklyn CB 10 endorsed the concept of a weekend street closure along Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue Wednesday night, but due to a large number of unknowns, they held off on voting for the actual proposal. The elected officials supporting the Bay Ridge Summer Streets plan — State Senator Marty Golden and City Council Member Vincent Gentile — are now working to find answers to the community board’s questions in time for the full board to vote on the plan.

The decision came after a lengthy discussion of the merits of bringing Weekend Walks, DOT’s program to turn city streets into car-free community gathering places on summer weekends, to Bay Ridge. “They generally supported the concept, but they felt that there were a number of issues that were not complete,” said district manager Josephine Beckmann. “It’s new to us, so we have a lot of questions.”

The board’s unanswered questions included where a Third Avenue bus would be rerouted, how to provide programming for the closed street, such as fitness events or local art exhibits, and what time the street would have to be closed for events to start taking place by 6:00 p.m.

Some of the confusion was due to the fact that no representatives from the city were on hand to answer the more technical questions. Golden has pushed hard for the Summer Streets plan on economic development grounds, but isn’t the person to explain the nitty-gritty of implementation.

“Hopefully all of these answers can be provided,” said Beckmann. If a more concrete plan is in place by CB 10’s full board meeting on June 20, she said, the board could reconsider then.

  • Brooklyn Dad

    Pathetic!

    Why doesn’t the Community Board and the local elected officials simply recommend a re-routing idea for the bus, suggest opening and closing hours, put together a committee to work on programming for the street and take some responsibility and control of their neighborhood rather than pushing all decision-making and responsibility to the City and DOT?

    Are there no leaders in this community?

  • Eric McClure

    Are there no leaders in this community?

    Brooklyn Dad, that was a rhetorical question, yes?

  • I don’t understand what the big deal here is. It’s not like this is some sort of freaky pilot program no one’s ever tried in the city. Just do it once this summer and, if it doesn’t work, don’t do it again.

    Thank you NBBLers, for making everyone terrified of pissing off whiny car drivers.

  • Clawbreaker

    Why so judgemental, Eric McClure and BK Dad? Why should the CB be responsible for the programming of these pedestrian streets? Do you even know how a community board works? Obviously not. These people work for free for several hours a week, long into the evenings after their jobs. They already sit on multiple committees. They don’t sit around planning events. The elected officials who proposed this and support this (Really just Golden and tacitly Gentile) should make sure there’s programming. There is no BID on 3rd Ave, just a merchant’s association. Merchant Assocations don’t have the same resurces of BIDs to handle programming. What kind of activities are people going to expect on these closed streets? Drunks from the local bars wandering around? Would Park Slopers go for that? Who cleans up all the garbage that is guaranteed to get strewn all over the street? The board has ligitimate questions that Golden and Gentile could not answer. Golden and Gentile haven’t even submitted a formal application to close these streets for these nights. Don’t be so close minded and Suzanne, what does this have to do with PPW? 

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