Joralemon Street Solution Moves Forward
Street Closing Survey
Since the opening of venues at Brooklyn Bridge Park visitation has escalated to over 3 times the parks own 2005 estimates of a completely built project. Protecting Belgium Block Joralemon Street was anticipated on numerous occasions in their Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and it was always recommended that Joralemon Street be closed to vehicular traffic. As we work along with NYDOT towards a solution we would like to ascertain input from you to help define the outcome that best reflects the values and goals of the community.
A solution for the vehicular through traffic on Joralemon Street at Furman Street is the goal of a concerted effort now being made by the Willowtown Association with the wide backing of neighborhood residents.
The association is working with the city’s Department of Transportation to evaluate safety issues due to the ever increasing volume of cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and families with strollers using Joralemon as an access to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Transportation Committee of the Brooklyn Heights Association is also involved in this evaluation.
As the highly successful park moves toward completion, many of its venues especially at the south end adjoining Willowtown are large-scale destinations for visitors. The problem was anticipated by the planners of the park who suggested in the 2006 Environmental Impact Statement that with “DOT approval Joralemon Street is expected to be closed to vehicular traffic.”
The case for closure was presented last November to Community Board 2 by Chair Linda DeRosa of the association’s Joralemon Street Committee. In January the board unanimously endorsed that the DOT study the conditions and make recommendations. This study is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.
“We’re not promoting anything that wasn’t expected to happen,” says Ms. DeRosa. “We are thrilled to have this world-class park as our neighbor. It’s our suggestion as well as what we have seen from the DOT that Joralemon Street should be a placid gateway for park visitors without the dangerous conditions that exist now. This plan fits into the DOT’s larger Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Project which we support. The idea for the ‘pedestrianization’ of Joralemon as emphasized by the DOT links the association’s concerns also with the Vision Zero initiative for safer streets promoted by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s Police Department. Traffic and transportation are being reevaluated all over Brooklyn. We sincerely hope that DOT’s decision will be to close the end of the street.”