Bedford Avenue to Go Car-Free Four Saturdays This Summer

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Brooklynites fretting that their borough would be excluded from this summer’s car-free fun can rest easy. For four consecutive Saturdays beginning on July 19, Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg will be closed to cars from Metropolitan Avenue to North Ninth Street from noon to 7 p.m.

"Williamsburg Walks" is spearheaded by Billburg.com in association with neighborhood merchants and residents, Transportation Alternatives and DOT (though it’s not officially part of the Summer Streets rollout). As organizers are taking pains to point out, the event is not a street fair — no scheduled events, no tents, no tube socks — but an opportunity for locals to enjoy public space free of auto traffic. Said coordinator Connie Colvin to the Brooklyn Paper:

“It’s really an experiment of letting the community take over the
streets … People can sit out in
the street and do whatever they’d like. We expect for it to be a
reflection of the area and the community — the artistic community, the
Polish community, the Latino community.”

Billburg has more info and an online forum, and completists may be interested in the event brochure [PDF].

We have word that a proposal to open Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights to pedestrians is still in the "what if" stage. And the Park Slope Civic Council is working on four car-free streets events, on 5th and 7th Avenues, though prospects for this summer are uncertain.

It looks like Emil Choski wasn’t crazy after all. While he didn’t do any of the real organizing or politicking, the publicity-generating freelance Choski began promoting the idea of a Car-Free Bedford in the spring of 2005.

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