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Tunnel vision! Plan to make Atlantic Avenue underpass safer, prettier

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A gloomy Atlantic Avenue underpass is getting a makeover.

The Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District won a $75,000 city grant to revamp the dreary underpass that divides Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill from Brooklyn Bridge Park and create a so-called “funderpass” adorned with murals, lighting, benches, directional signage, and even an air pump station for bicyclists.

“It will really be a game changer for Atlantic Avenue,” said Josef Szende, executive director of the merchants group. “The goal of the project is to transform the underpass into an inviting gateway linking the waterfront to Atlantic Avenue’s dynamic shops and restaurants.”

Backers of the proposal say the dreary passage-way creates a rift between the world-class green space and Atlantic Avenue’s thriving shopping community — and that’s only made worse because many pedestrians are wary of crossing a scary on-ramp heading toward the expressway near Columbia Street.

“Improving the quality of the pedestrian experience will more closely connect the surrounding communities to the available open space resources on the waterfront,” said Eric Galipo, an urban designer at Planning Corps, who helped put together the funderpass plan. “The businesses along Atlantic Avenue stand to benefit from increased pedestrian traffic from the waterfront towards Downtown.”

Merchants are in fact optimistic about a more vibrant pathway at the foot of Atlantic Avenue.

“I hope that this will aesthetically clean the underpass up and activate it so that there’s things to see and things to do,” said Nat Rubin, owner of the Moxie Spot on Atlantic Avenue and an Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District board member.

The business group was one of seven merchants associations to win a portion of the $250,000 in grant money handed out by the Department of Small Business Services.

The Atlantic Avenue funderpass design, which is still in its early stages, will be developed over the course of the next year with the help of Design Trust for Public Space.

Updated 5:37 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Peter from Park Slope says:
They need to do more than beautify it. They need to make it safe for pedestrians, which is something it is very much not.
Dec. 12, 2012, 10:05 am
Tom from Sunset Park says:
That's a pretty green but why not paint the brighter color used under Park Avenue which reflects light better. That will give it a more welcoming look. This is the way it is done under the FDR in Manhattan and under the Borden Ave(LIE) overpass in LIC.
Dec. 12, 2012, 10:01 pm
joebk from bk says:
thats the dutaaup area
Dec. 12, 2012, 10:08 pm
Peter from Brooklyn Heights says:
They could start with figuring out how to keep the pigeons from crapping all over the sidewalk (they nest in the bridge's girders).

Until they clean that up, no one will want to walk under there.
Dec. 12, 2012, 10:16 pm
Zarda from South Slope says:
The city has been blathering about this issue for over 30 years.
Dec. 13, 2012, 11:45 am
Joey B from B-Town says:
My musical talent will come to the rescue!
Dec. 13, 2012, 4:44 pm
Angry from Brooklyn says:
Where is this money coming from?
Dec. 13, 2012, 10:21 pm
Can't from U Read??? says:
Umm...Angry, just finish the story, OK?
Dec. 14, 2012, 10:45 am
Joey B from B-Town says:
Is my musical talent not needed then?
Dec. 14, 2012, 11:57 am

Comments closed.

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