Flatbush Avenue would become a walkable, livable, shoppable boulevard — no, really! — under a new plan being put forward by a local business group that is frustrated by the dour, traffic-choked strip between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue.
The North Flatbush Business Improvement District will soon solicit bids on its architect’s plan for turning the concrete jungle from an uninviting and unsafe highway to “a people-friendly destination,” said BID Executive Director Sharon Davidson, who presented the plan to local merchants at the group’s annual meeting on Wednesday night at Ocean’s 8 pool hall.
The problem with Flatbush, Brooklyn’s oldest thoroughfare, is that its diagonal configuration cuts across seven streets between Atlantic Avenue and Grand Army Plaza, creating tiny “triangle parks” that are little more than cement pits.
“We haven’t had a facelift since the 1970s,” Davidson said. “We should be more of a destination than a conduit to Downtown Brooklyn.”
Using a grant from the city, Davidson’s group hired W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, a Manhattan-based firm that wants to turn the triangles into seating areas and to calm traffic on side streets by installing plants.
It’s unclear how much the work itself will cost, but Davidson said Borough President Markowitz has pledged $200,000, bringing the group’s cash-on-hand up to $600,000, thanks to prior grants.