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Eric Adams

Adams Weighs McGuinness Redesigns, But Tells Parents He Can’t Commit to Original Plan

DOT will pitch its watered down McGuinness proposal to the mayor on Thursday, according to a local leader with knowledge of the planned meeting.

Greenpoint dad Chris Roberti confronts Mayor Adams at a press conference in Downtown Brooklyn on July 20. Photo: Kathy Park Price

Mayor Adams declined to commit to the city's original proposed redesign of Brooklyn’s McGuinness Boulevard at a meeting with Greenpoint parents Wednesday, according to the attendees — who urged Hizzoner not to sacrifice safety on the deadly roadway. 

The three parents who met with Adams have children who go to local Public School 110, the school where Matthew Jensen taught until he was killed by a driver on McGuinness in a hit-and-run in 2021, spurning the movement in the neighborhood for a safer street.

“We appreciate that the mayor took the time to hear from us and seems to truly believe that the street safety emergency on McGuinness Boulevard is real and valid,” the trio — Bronwyn Breitner, Chris Roberti, and Randy Locklair — said in a statement put out after the meeting. 

“He was genuine in his appreciation and recognition of all of the work done by the parents of P.S. 110 and so many of our neighbors. Unfortunately he could not give his commitment to the full and complete redesign that was promised to Greenpoint in May."

The northern Brooklynites pleaded for Adams to still go through with the original plans to implement its first road diet plan. The proposal would swap a traffic lane in each direction on the highway-like corridor in favor of parking-protected bike lanes and shorter pedestrian crossings. Adams previously signed off on the redesign, but reversed course after opposition from powerful local businesses and one of his most senior advisors. 

City officials privately revealed a "compromise" proposal on Monday that would scale back the redesign on the blocks of McGuinness north of Greenpoint Avenue, allowing for two moving lanes to remain each way for cars and trucks during the daytime hours on 30 percent of the 1.1-mile long corridor. DOT reps told people for and against the redesign that the change was made to serve the adjacent industrial zone.

The agency will pitch its new, revised proposal to the mayor on Thursday, according to a local leader with knowledge of the plans.

The project's fate has been in question since the mayor told DOT to go back to the drawing board in response to opposition from Tony and Gina Argento, two well-connected campaign donors who run the Greenpoint company Broadway Stages. One of Adams’s most trusted advisors, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, also opposed the plan, Streetsblog previously reported

Three people have died in crashes on McGuinness Boulevard over the past decade, while hundreds more have been injured. Advocates called out Broadway Stages for single-handedly derailing a project that was supposed to start being installed by now.

“The weaknesses in the compromise plan and the costs that our neighbors will bear in its implementation are the responsibility of Broadway Stages. Without their interference the City of New York would be moving ahead with a full redesign based on the facts,” the parents said in their statement.

“The public case has been made by both sides and it is now up to our Mayor to do the hardest thing, to decide and to lead.”

One local pol — whose support for the redesign Adams previously dismissed — slammed the administration's about-face, and urged officials to get started on the revamp "immediately."

"A compromise plan is a compromise on safety, and I hope the mayor’s office will ultimately come to see that we need to put the safety of our neighbors above everything," said Council Member Lincoln Restler (D-Brooklyn).

"A crash a week on the one-mile stretch of McGuinness Boulevard is disgraceful, shameful, and embarrassing for our city and we have to immediately make changes."

A spokesman for the mayor’s office declined to comment, citing the conversation as “private.”

Broadway Stages leaned on the idea of "compromise" in a statement provided to Streetsblog.

"We are a business made up of people who live and work in this neighborhood and understand all aspects of the issues we face. Broadway Stages understands that compromise is necessary when there are many different sets of needs and wants," a rep for the company, Juda Engelmayer, said. "We look forward to collaborating with the entire community to support the future of Greenpoint."

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