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Media Watch

Despite Awful Track Record, Plaza NIMBYs Always Good for a Quote

The nightmare continues: Some day soon, people might be having fun here.

In case you missed it, the Brooklyn Paper ran a by-the-numbers NIMBY react piece on a public plaza that has been proposed for Broadway near Bedford Avenue.

Though DOT has installed dozens of successful, community-backed plazas across the city, reporter Danielle Furfaro leads her story with typical narrow-minded complaints and baseless predictions. Furfaro says the plaza will take parking in an area where "every space is prime real estate," implying that the space in question belongs to motorists and no one else. An employee of an area business -- one of the two critics cited in the piece -- even claims that the plaza will cause crashes.

Thing is, Furfaro or her editors lay bare the fallacy of their own narrative with this paragraph:

The city has reclaimed street space for a handful of pedestrian plazas in Brooklyn in the past couple of years, including Albee Square in downtown, Fowler Square in Fort Greene and Pearl Street in DUMBO. Some of those plazas, such as Fowler Square, brought the ire of drivers who complained that the pedestrian area would make driving a nightmare. Now, people who frequent the west end of Broadway are making the same predictions.

The article doesn't challenge those predictions, or report whether the other plazas have, heaven forfend, made "driving a nightmare." The Brooklyn Paper is only interested in repeating the tired storyline.

To her credit, Furfaro at least hit up Juan Martinez at Transportation Alternatives for a bit of reality-based perspective. Still, how many successful plazas do the Brooklyn Paper and other media outlets have to see before they stop leading every story with NIMBY bellyaching?

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