PETITION TO PREVENT THE PERMANENT ONE MILE CLOSURE OF BERRY STREET AND PROPOSED BEDFORD AVE

Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Senator Brian Kavanagh, Senator Julia Salazar, DOT

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In response to COVID-19, a temporary initiative known as Open Streets was introduced by the city in spring 2020. The initiative closed off various streets throughout New York City to make more socially distant outdoor spaces available to the public. Given the unprecedented public health crisis facing the city, North Brooklyn Open Streets bypassed traditional protocols and was subsequently approved. Now, DOT is looking to make North Brooklyn Open Streets a permanent fixture in the community. This includes a mile-long stretch of Berry Street that is currently part of the program, as well as potentially adding Bedford Avenue to the program. Both street closures would span from Broadway to McCarren Park.

Despite DOT claims that they have conducted thorough community outreach, supposedly contacting every resident and business owner directly affected by these street closures, we have seen in countless circumstances that this is not the case. The DOT has touted biased surveys taken from small and self-selected samples, made no effort beyond their social media page to notify the public of meetings, and made unsubstantiated claims that the street closures have increased foot traffic for businesses, all to create the illusion that the community unanimously favors North Brooklyn Open Streets.

Concerns about the permanency of North Brooklyn Open Streets, including safety, disruption, overflow of traffic to adjacent streets, and reduced quality of life for residents due to increased noise/street parties, have been disregarded by the DOT. Even the concern that the barricades would prevent emergency response vehicles from reaching those in need as quickly as possible was dismissed. When this was brought up during a workshop, a DOT representative suggested that emergency vehicles could simply plow through the barricades to reach their destination quicker. Yet, momentum for approving the proposed changes remains unfazed.

North Brooklyn Open Streets does not accurately reflect the desires of the community as a whole. The lack of transparency and consideration for commercial businesses and those who rely on vehicle transportation is alarming for residents and business owners alike. This petition is designed to stop the closing of Berry Street from becoming a permanent fixture in the community, or at least halt the process until a more inclusive, transparent, and accurate means to find a solution that reflects the needs of the entire community is followed.  

Please leave a comment reflecting your concerns, particularly if you live or work on or adjacent to an “open street”. You can also email us at berrystreetneighbors@gmail.com to get involved.



Petition by
Berry Street Neighbors
Brooklyn, New York

To: Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Senator Brian Kavanagh, Senator Julia Salazar, DOT
From: [Your Name]

North Brooklyn Open Streets does not accurately reflect the desires of the community as a whole. The lack of transparency and consideration for commercial businesses and those who rely on vehicle transportation is alarming for residents and business owners alike. This petition is designed to stop the closing of Berry Street from becoming a permanent fixture in the community, or at least halt the process until a more inclusive, transparent, and accurate means to find a solution that reflects the needs of the entire community is followed.