Next Week: Fourth Avenue Task Force Talks Transportation

Brooklyn's Fourth Avenue is all kinds of pedestrian-unfriendly, but a task force set up by Borough President Marty Markowitz is aiming to fix that.

Right now, Brooklyn’s Fourth Avenue is known for its speedway design and anti-urban architecture. But Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz hopes to turn the road into a grand “Brooklyn Boulevard” and in August, he established a task force charged with planning the street’s future. This Monday, the task force’s transportation and traffic committee will hold its first meeting, charting a course going forward.

Markowitz chief of staff (and potential successor) Carlo Scissura is the task force’s chair. In an interview with Patch last month, Scissura said that he wants to see the street made safer and livelier. Trees and public seating might be added to the sidewalks and plazas, while in the street, Scissura proposed removing left turn lanes and widening the medians.

The task force has support from four City Council members and three Congresspeople in addition to the borough president. Any changes it develops will probably have significant political backing — and possibly significant access to funds. Go and make your voice heard: This is a moment when people are listening.

The transportation and traffic committee meeting is the first opportunity to share ideas about how the street should function. It will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street) at 6:00 p.m., on Monday, November 14. The following night, the full task force will meet at 6:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 249 9th Street (at Fourth Avenue).

  • Also important is the Town Hall meeting on the topic the next day.
    Tuesday, November 15th at 6pm in the Meeting Room of St. Thomas Aquinas Church at 249 9th Street at 4th Avenue, Brooklyn.
    Personally, I’d love to see the scope of the 4th avenue changes include putting a bike/ped path on the Verrazano finally since it connects directly to the southern tip of 4th avenue.

  • Anonymous

    Good luck.  Public seating, sidewalks, and plazas go empty when there’s no retail.  There’s no retail when there’s Great Walls of Parking.

  • Danny G

    As much as I think Fourth Avenue doesn’t stand a chance so long as Fifth Avenue keeps on being awesome, the deli on the corner of Fourth and Bergen has good bagels and is staffed by good dudes.

    And unless you’re widening the median to some Ocean Parkway / Eastern Parkway type situation where you can walk or ride a bike in the shade between two rows of trees, Scissura (and all urban planners) should recognize there is a big difference between trees which you can enjoy the shade of, and trees which you can only look at from 40 feet away.

  • TO_Man

    These idiots should have done this BEFORE these pedestrian-unfriendly buildings went up a few years ago. It`s too late now. Those buildings will be there for decades. Unless you can retrofit them to fit some shallow retail spaces along the perimeter, there`s not a whole lot you can do.

  • TO_Man

    As much as I think Fourth Avenue doesn’t stand a chance so long as Fifth Avenue keeps on being awesome“
    5th Avenue is hundreds of feet away. There was no reason they couldn`t BOTH be awesome. There`s more than enough population density in the area to support multiple great retail streets.

  • Len Maniace

    Plans for a grand boulevard? I hope they aren’t using Queens Boulevard as a model.
    Hey Queens! Let’s do something about that 10-lane speedway that runs across much of the borough. For starters, how about planting a few thousand trees and many more perennials along the medians, especially the center one. Those few contorted twigs stuck in tiny holes in concrete don’t count as trees. Good luck, Brooklyn!Len Maniace,The Green Agenda for Jackson Heights

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