NYC announces major public space and transit improvements for Downtown Brooklyn

July 20, 2023

New York City is investing over $40 million in street safety improvements and new public spaces in Downtown Brooklyn. On Thursday Mayor Eric Adams said the investment will be put towards transformative improvements along Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue, with plans for improved pedestrian space, bus service, new public art, and safety upgrades to the streetscape.

“Downtown Brooklyn is our most populous borough’s largest economic hub. And today, we are bringing it into the future with more than $40 million for green space, efficient transportation, and safe streets that hard-working New Yorkers deserve,” Adams said.

“This is how we reimagine our city, reinvigorate our neighborhoods, and revitalize our business districts: with more room to walk, to bike, and to enjoy retail and restaurants safely.”

As part of the improvements to Fulton Street, NYC Parks will add new street trees, improve existing tree pits, and add seating. These upgrades are meant to enhance the streetscape and make it a more vibrant, lively area, ultimately boosting Fulton Street’s commercial activity. The $8 million project is happening in addition to ongoing private projects already working to improve the neighborhood.

DOT is currently working on a design for its substantial, $32 million project to expand pedestrian space and improve traffic safety at five different intersections on Flatbush Avenue between Livingston Street and Pacific Street. As part of the project, the city will widen sidewalks using concrete extensions and shorten the distance to cross streets. New street furniture and trees will be added to make it more visually appealing.

The project also includes the construction of a raised shared street on the corner of Ashland Place and Hanson Place along the front of Williamsburg Savings Bank to create a “pedestrian-focused node.” Shared streets are designed for slow travel speeds where pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists share the right of way.

To further enhance the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, DOT will install protected bike lanes and other safety improvements on Ashland Place and Navy Street between Hanson Place and Flushing Avenue, and a slower street on Hanson Place between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place, starting later this year.

To improve bus service in Downtown Brooklyn, DOT will create two-way, dedicated bus-only lanes along Livingston Street between Flatbush Avenue and Boerum Place with physical barriers and pedestrian islands to board buses. These improvements will make bus rides faster and more reliable for roughly 50,000 daily commuters.

Other improvements that are part of the project include the reconfiguration of the parking lot at Fleet Place and Willoughby Street which will make way for a new, large pedestrian space that will feature asphalt art and shorten the crosswalk distance by 75 percent.

These improvements are a continuation of Mayor Adams’ effort to improve public spaces across the five boroughs, for which he invested $375 million in his “Working People’s Agenda.”

This year, the Adams administration has reopened a section of the famed skateboarding mecca known as “The Arches” under the Brooklyn Bridge. The project also builds upon previous DOT projects to redesign the streets of Downtown Brooklyn to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation, as well as improve traffic safety.

“Downtown Brooklyn has become a thriving mixed-use neighborhood, and these improvements will further enhance the downtown experience for shoppers, office workers, and residents alike,” Regina Myer, president of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, said. “With the beautified, safer streets afforded by this plan, we solidify Downtown Brooklyn as a nationwide leader in creating a people-first downtown.”


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