In a meeting Wednesday evening, Brooklyn Community Board 2 endorsed plans to try out a new pedestrian plaza at Fort Greene’s Fowler Square. A short, lightly-trafficked block of South Elliott Place, between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue, will be reclaimed for pedestrians, allowing the existing square to be connected with the adjoining block. The vote was 28 to 4, according to District Manager Rob Perris.
The plaza had garnered support from the community board before, but a small group opposed it on the grounds that the street closure would inconvenience drivers too much by forcing them to go a block or two out of their way. One opponent, who also invested a lot of energy trying to undermine nearby Putnam Plaza, posted flyers calling the Fowler Squre plaza a land grab by the “greedy 1%.”
The community board, apparently, disagreed. Pedestrian space and pedestrian safety are resources everyone in the neighborhood benefits from.
The Fowler Square plaza will be built with temporary materials for now, and DOT plans to monitor its success after it is installed in May. The department will be measuring traffic in the area and pedestrian usage of the new space.
Time-lapse photography of the before and after conditions will provide animated evidence of how people move through the space with and without automobiles, said board member Mike Epstein.