City residents plan metered parking under Williamsburg BQE • Brooklyn Paper

The city wants to completely transform the long-neglected wasteland under the Williamsburg section of the Brooklyn-Queens Freeway – charging you $1.50 an hour to park there!

Residents of North Brooklyn blasted a Department of Transportation program to turn disused lots along Meeker Avenue into more than 300 metered parking spaces during a heated virtual civic meeting Thursday night, saying residents were asking for the city of making the area a nicer community space for years, not adding more automotive infrastructure.

“This highway has split this community in two for three generations,” Greenpoint resident Kevin LaCherra said at the Nov. 5 Community Council 1 transportation committee meeting. “We’re starting to think about and talk about what this space can become in the future, whether it’s parks or basketball courts, whether it can contain stormwater, green infrastructure, parks , whatever – paid parking was never part of that conversation.

The DOT touted the project as a way to regulate the space that currently has free parking, while also cleaning up rampant illegal dumps and relocating homeless people who have set up camps there.

“We believe this proposed parking lot is needed now and will add to the positive changes underway in the nearby communities of Williamsburg and Greenpoint,” Carlos Torres, director of parking management for the agency, read in a prepared statement. “This proposed facility will have regulated parking and ongoing maintenance and will serve as an asset to the community.”

The redesign will begin its first phase from Metropolitan Avenue to Leonard Street, before continuing to Morgan Avenue, and city planners have claimed the redesign will pave the way for a long-awaited bikeway on Meeker Avenue, which officials will present to city council. ‘administration. early 2021.

The council’s district manager didn’t buy those promises, saying the DOT should come back with full-fledged plans.

“Do NOT speak with a forked tongue,” said Gerald Esposito. “If this is the start of this wonderful area that will be under the highway that they are going to promote and do, then let’s see the full package because they certainly can’t be trusted.”

A representative from Councilman Stephen Levin’s office added that the pol and many residents have complained about garbage for years and that the city should not dress up an unpopular proposal with basic municipal services.

“It’s something our city has a responsibility to address, which is why we have a sanitation department, which shouldn’t be a giveaway or something offered as bait to push a plan forward,” said Elizabeth Adams, who is also running for Levin’s seat next year. “I think it’s important that we don’t use extortionate methods to make parking decisions when we have such urgent public space needs for our city.”

Several committee members noted that the agency held a workshop in 2017 to gather feedback on how to improve the desolate area, with slides showing transformed public spaces around the city for inspiration, such as the square around Myrtle-Wyckoff tube station in Bushwick-Queens. border, or the 125th Street Plaza under the Metro North Railroad tracks in Manhattan.

A slide from the DOT’s 2017 entry workshop gathering insights into the region’s future showed transformed spaces like 125th Street Plaza in Harlem.POINT

“The general feeling was that we were going to see more user-friendly uses for the BQE, not additional automotive infrastructure,” said council transportation committee chairman Eric Bruzaitis. “Just to have the announcement that we were going to do this incremental meter parking, I think that came as a shock to a lot of us.”

That brainstorming session is a far cry from today’s pandemic-ravaged city budget, where funds to pay for such a larger-scale project are scarce, according to a borough liaison for the DOWRY.

“The viewing session that happened in 2017, we’re in a different time now,” Ronda Messer said. “We wanted to hear what people’s ideas were, whatever they were. But at this point, if you wanted to set up a park…or something that doesn’t involve DOT infrastructure, there would have to be a full proposal on who’s going to pay for it and who’s going to maintain it.

Even though the community board doesn’t have a veto over the project, the committee unanimously passed a token motion to oppose DOT’s plans and demand that the agency come back with a full proposal based on the previous workshops.

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