City Announces $40 Million Investment for Public Spaces and Street Safety in Downtown Brooklyn

Mayor Adams and agency officials announce a $40 million investment to improve streets and public spaces in Downtown Brooklyn. Image Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.

On July 20, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams, Department of Parks & Recreation (Parks) Commissioner Sue Donoghue, and Department of Transportation (Transportation) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced a $40 million investment to improve public spaces and street safety along Fulton Street and across Downtown Brooklyn—the borough’s largest economic hub. The project, which is part of Mayor Adams’ $375 million investment in improving public spaces citywide, aims to support Brooklyn’s economy by delivering streetscape improvements, transportation and public space upgrades, and pedestrian and roadway user safety enhancements.

Transportation will invest $32 million to expand pedestrian space and improve traffic safety at five intersections of Flatbush Avenue between Livingston Street and Pacific Street. The project involves widening sidewalks, shortening crossing distances, and adding street furniture and trees to beautify the corridor. Transportation will also build a raised shared street—a roadway designed for slow travel speeds where pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists share the right of way—at the corner of Ashland Place and Hanson Place.

The shared street at Ashland Place and Hanson will complement Transportation’s plans to create a comfortable environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Later this year, Transportation will install protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements along Ashland Place and Navy Street, between Hanson Place and Flushing Avenue, as well as a slow street—a street that uses extensive traffic–calming measures to discourage vehicular traffic and reduce vehicle speeds—on Hanson Place, between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place. The project includes converting Ashland Place to one-way northbound, between Hanson Place and DeKalb Avenue, and converting Hanson Place to one-way westbound, between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place.

Furthermore, Transportation will make commutes faster and more reliable for bus riders this summer by creating two-way, dedicated bus-only lanes on Livingston Street between Flatbush Avenue and Boerum Place. The lanes will be physically protected and will have bus boarding islands east of Gallatin Place. Livingston Street will remain two-way for general traffic west of Gallatin Place, and Fulton Street will become westbound only for general traffic east of Gallatin Place, with metered parking along the north curb. Transportation will also create additional pedestrian islands and painted pedestrian space to shorten crossing distances and improve pedestrian safety.

Additionally, Transportation will reconfigure the parking field at Fleet Place and Willoughby Street this summer to install standard parallel parking spaces—creating a large painted pedestrian space featuring asphalt art, shortening the crosswalk distance by 75 percent, and allowing for a new stop-controlled crosswalk across Willoughby Street.

Parks will invest $8 million in the project to support Downtown Brooklyn’s commercial uses by improving tree pits and adding trees and seating along Fulton Street, thereby contributing to a more attractive streetscape.

These projects are part of Mayor Adams’ $375 million investment in creating exciting public spaces across the City, outlined in his “Working People’s Agenda,” and build on a series of DOT projects to reimagine Downtown Brooklyn streets to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit, and enhance traffic safety. The Fulton Street project also builds on “Making New York Work for Everyone,” the action plan put together by the “New” New York panel for the growth of the City’s commercial districts.

Mayor Adams stated, “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. 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. And with our $375 million investment in vibrant, new public spaces, building on the work of the ‘New’ New York panel, we are delivering more public space in every single borough.”

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Regina Myer stated, “The city’s investment in Downtown Brooklyn’s public realm demonstrates a profound commitment to the neighborhood and the realignment of our streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit users. 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. With the beautified, safer streets afforded by this plan, we solidify Downtown Brooklyn as a nationwide leader in creating a people-first downtown.”

StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure stated, “Planting more trees seems like a simple thing, but as we grapple with the increasingly severe effects of climate change, there are few things we can do that are better for the environment and for enhancing public space. In addition, pedestrian-safety and public-realm upgrades along Flatbush Avenue, the reimagining of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, and the implementation of major bus improvements on Livingston Street will benefit the tens of thousands of people who work, commute, shop, and recreate in Downtown Brooklyn every day.”

By: Dylan Shusterman (Dylan is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2025.)

Mayor: Mayor Adams, Parks Commissioner Donoghue, DOT Commissioner Rodriguez Announce More Than $40 Million Investment in Safer, More Vibrant Downtown Brooklyn, July 20, 2023.



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