Third gives the bird! Locals slam Golden’s plan for pedestrian mall

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Locals are slamming a Bay Ridge pol’s plan to turn a 10-block stretch of Third Avenue into a Manhattan-style pedestrian plaza nine times this summer — banning cars in favor of shoppers and pedestrians.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) wants to close the important artery between 82nd and 92nd Streets every Friday from 6 to 11 pm during July and August to create what he thinks would be a more inviting atmosphere for shoppers.

But workers of Foodtown between 91st and 92nd Streets have started a petition to stop Golden.

“How are we supposed to make deliveries and make money?” said John Colverg, the manger of the store. “We had to start a petition because this idea will block all the traffic.”

Colverg says he’s collected 946 signatures from residents and shopowners who think that closing the avenue will be bad for business.

“I’m not only a business owner, but a resident,” said Damien Christopher, the chef at Hom near 88th Street. “This plan will just cheapen the neighborho­od.”

A spokesman for Golden said the plan will “invite people to shop, dine and visit.”

“Sen. Golden is hoping that such an event will create an atmosphere on Friday nights during the summer so to invite people to shop, dine and visit,” said John Quaglione, a spokesman for Senator Golden.

Golden has the support of Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), who agrees the pedestrian mall could attract attention to the bustling avenue. But Gentile said he would defer to the “community.”

“Whether we implement a temporary Third Avenue pedestrian mall this summer is ultimately up to our community,” Gentile said. “The proposal has the potential to bring money and attention to our local economy, which would be a great thing for Bay Ridge.”

The “community” will get its say on the idea at the Community Board 10 Traffic and Transportation Committee hearing on June 8.

If the plan gets approved, Bay Ridge will join a number of neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn that have such “summer street” pedestrian plazas, including Fort Greene and Brooklyn Heights. But it’s not the first time that business owners have revolted against a streetscape scheme supposedly designed with them in mind.

In Williamsburg, Bedford Avenue business owners were so put off by “Williamsburg Walks” that its original six Saturday closures were cut to just one weekend last summer.

Community Board 10 Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting at St. Anselm’s Church [365 83rd Street between Third and Fourth Avenues in Bay Ridge, (718) 745-6827] on June 8 at 7 pm.

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Or from Yellow Hook says:
Politicians who like "European Style" plazas should go to Europe and stop rearranging the furniture here. Marty needs to see the number of vacant stores on Third Avenue and figure out that he will be making more vacant store with this idiot idea.

Stick with what you know Marty, cutting ribbons and patting yourself on the back for spending money that isn't yours and expecting the little people to be greatful to you for doing it.
June 2, 2011, 7:11 am
manhatposeur from manhathan says:
change is good. Hipster Euro-life to invade Guido land.
June 2, 2011, 7:27 am
thfs says:
who gets deliveries between 6p and 11p?
June 2, 2011, 7:32 am
Ahab from Bay Rij says:
I don't think it is possible to cheapen the neighborhood further. Golden's a goon but this is one good idea. Maybe rigites would prefer the whole world be freeways and parking lots but just because some people like places to walk around doesn't make them hipsters. By the way, when you use the term hipster you sound like an idiot from 1998.

And finally, rigites, enjoy (from

8401 3 AVENUE BROOKLYN 11209 - 37 points(!)
Violations were cited in the following area(s).
Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding.
3) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
4) Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.
5) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
6) Pesticide use not in accordance with label or applicable laws. Prohibited chemical used/stored. Open bait station used.
7) Proper sanitization not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
8) Single service item reused, improperly stored, dispensed; not used when required.
June 2, 2011, 8:01 am
adam from bedstuy says:
please, fridays during summers the nabe will be dead and why not coaks those still around huddled in front of their tvs and acs to come out friday night???
June 2, 2011, 8:32 am
VLM from Bay Ridge says:
How dare a politician want to do something that actually encourages window shopping, economic activity and a vibrant streetlife? What we need are more cars contributing noise and pollution as they skip spending time in the neighborhood! Hooray, more cars.
June 2, 2011, 9:29 am
Bill from Bay Ridge says:
Wow. I am impressed that Marty would put forth such a great idea. Closing 3rd Avenue on Friday nights will encourage neighborhood people to get out and walk and a browse the stores and create an excellent atmosphere without the congestion and smell from automobiles (and I say that as a car owner).
June 2, 2011, 10:14 am
D from Queens says:
Please don't tempt me with a very good reason to come eat and drink in Bay Ridge, instead please continue to be live up to your reputation as crappy drivers.
June 2, 2011, 10:19 am
The Voice of Reason from Bay Ridge says:
As a card-carrying Libra, I am of two minds with regard to the “Summer Streets Pedestrian Mall” along 3rd Avenue.

While I think its a cozy small town AND a progressive idea, it could be a giant mess. And this is coming from a local business owner within the proposed boundaries.

The valets aren't making a fortune parking cars for people who live on Ridge Boulevard. Which is to say, a big part of the "night life economy" here comes from people who DON'T live in Bay Ridge.

So while a street fair without the zeppoles once a week could be cool, it would be an obstacle for those who drive here to spend their money and therefore actually a detriment to local businesses and not the shot in the arm Marty Golden hoped it might be.

It would also make parking even more of a living hell for those who live outside the boundaries because people will still drive here, park and then walk to the "no cars" area.

Can you imagine Areo without the $150,000 Maseratis triple parked outside? Me neither.

I don't have any ulterior motives for this thing NOT to happen; I'm merely playing Devil's Advocate. For instance, who will pay for the increased police needed? John Q. Taxpayer?

Some think the Summer Streets idea is lovely and would enjoy taking a leisurely stroll through the streets on a summer night.

However, most seem to think it will be a logistical nightmare with people being forced to park and drive below Third Avenue on residential streets where parking is at a premium and there are few traffic lights, stop signs, etc.

If you block the river, its gotta flow elsewhere, right?

Just some food for thought. I would encourage everyone to attend the public hearing on Wednesday June 8 at St. Anselm's - 7PM.

——ing and moaning on a website is great but ultimately it won't get anything done. For it or against it, you need to speak at the public hearing. That's when the local politicians will be listening.
June 2, 2011, 10:44 am
Craig from Bay Ridge says:
I live on the corner of 84th and 3rd and I drive, so this has the potential to really impact me. However, despite this, I think it is a brilliant idea. As long as it is the local businesses that are being asked to put out sidewalk displays and not the random merchants that go from street fair to street fair, I would imagine it would be a great boon to local businesses, the community and give us a new activity for Friday nights.

Two thoughts though:
1) Why not try it out with one Friday . . . if it is successful, then they can schedule future Fridays.
2) I imagine that this will create a bit of a mess on the streets. I wonder if that mess will just sit there until Monday or if a sanitation crew would come through on Saturday to clean up.
June 2, 2011, Noon
Anita from Bay Ridge says:
A pedestrian plaza a great idea and kudos to Senator Golden for pursuing it. Foot traffic brings WAY more business to stores than driving--this will be a huge benefit to local business owners.
June 2, 2011, 12:11 pm
Jay from Bay Ridge says:
Bay Ridge is littered with garbage everywhere.. clean up the street first before thinking about anything else.. there are enough dumb kids wandering around Bay Ridge to scare off any family walk during the evenings.. let's teach civil responsibility to our children.. graffiti are everywhere in mailboxes, traffic sign boxes, and street light poles.. when are they ever going to be repainted.. Marty?
June 2, 2011, 8:12 pm
Big Lou from Bay Ridge says:
F Marty G and that ho and DOT
June 2, 2011, 11:16 pm
Big Lou from Bay Ridge says:
F Marty G and that ho at DOT
June 2, 2011, 11:17 pm
bay ridgeite from bay ridge says:
thfs says: who gets deliveries between 6p and 11p?

Answer: People who have jobs that don't get home until after 6pm. Oh and don't forget about the pizza place & chinese food deliveries.
By the way, what shops are open past 7 or 8pm? oh riiiight, just the bar and restaurants. Seems like they're the only ones who will benefit from this.
June 3, 2011, 6:13 am
Jaded from BR says:
Do they only eat pizza and Chinese food in Bay Ridge? Will this mean I get a pedicure at 10 pm? How will this affect my Fresh Direct deliveries? Will I finally see someone go in and out of those iffy, bamboo window-covered massage places? If too much garbage builds up, will they take the trash cans away on Third Ave too? Exactly how many cars can double park between Ridge and Third and what's the speed limit for reversing from Third to Fourth?
June 3, 2011, 8:18 am
Ellen from Bay Ridge says:
I am new to the neighborhood, 88th and 3rd ave to be exact, and I originally hail from Philadelphia. I think a pedestrian friendly plaza type atmosphere on 3rd would be a great event for the neighborhood. From what I've seen in the 5 months I have lived here, most ridgenites pack it in by 7pm! and retreat to their homes. Get out! Enjoy the great businesses and eateries that are within walking distance of your homes, enjoy the time with your children and pets!! For crying out loud, it won't kill you to support your own stomping grounds....In Philadelphia similar ideas had been proposed, and those that succeeded were due in part byt the support of those who live in the area. Let's be willing to take a chance, support our local commerce, and not complain that it will inconvenience us, because in the end, will it really hurt?
June 3, 2011, 10:36 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
This could be a really great idea during the holiday shopping season. The only people in Bay Ridge in the summer are those that either can't afford to, or do not have time to go away. Do it from September through December.
June 3, 2011, 1:52 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
The Dept of Health issues those classy paper ratings for restaurants, will it apply to the streets?

Idiots on parade.
June 4, 2011, 7:47 am
Ryan from Soho says:
I don't get it? I understand there might be some logistical issues with closing the streets but can't we all agree that an area where cars aren't allowed is a much, much nicer place to be? You can actually stop and chat with people and not have to the entire streetscape dominated by cars honking and polluting? I would love it my surrounding neighborhood was closed off to all non essential traffic so I wouldn't be forced to listening to 15 backed up cars honk as the majority of people are out walking around.
June 4, 2011, 12:58 pm
Liz from Bay Ridge says:

I have an issue I have not seen addressed. What happens when an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance or fire engine needs to come immediately. Will the streets be cleared of the pedestrians in time? Minutes, even seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Look what happened during the snow storm.
June 4, 2011, 8:05 pm
mike from GP says:
I can tell that pedestrians and bicyclists can get out of the way of emergency vehicles *much* faster than cars can! I see it all the time.
June 5, 2011, 4:53 am
steve from bay ridge says:
This is just like Golden's proposal to make third and fifth avenues one way.. Which was rejected because of community opposition which could well happen here..
June 5, 2011, 3:14 pm
JayJay from Bay Ridge says:
This is a great idea. Why not try it this year and see how it goes? Allow Restaurants from other neighborhoods set up shop also. I live in BR and I usually leave the neighborhood on Friday and Saturday nights because there is very little going on (except for the very ethnic Arabic hooka bars near 69th street).
June 6, 2011, 3:52 pm
Joanne Seminara Must Resign from 78th Street says:
I think this is a great idea, and would help encourage our community to get out and visit our great stores.

However, who wants to bet Joanne Seminara opposes this...

They should call, Community Board 10, Political Board 10, now.

Either Way, Lobbyist, Joanne Seminara should resign.
June 8, 2011, 12:38 pm
Jaded from BR says:
Emergency vehicles are pre-notified of all street closures. It will have little or no bearing on their ability to respond. What may takes seconds off their response time is having to weave around double parked cars and idiots who don't pull over on any given day.
June 13, 2011, 9:50 pm
Kathy from Bay Ridge says:
I know this is an old issue, but I really don't understand why we want our neighborhood to pretend it is something it is not...or require something prohibitive to some because it is trendy. Are our sidewalks uber congested?
Aug. 28, 2011, 9:24 pm

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