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Midwood residents: We don’t need a nightmare on Elm Avenue

Brooklyn Daily

Midwood residents are shooting down a city plan to convert a small neighborhood street into a pedestrian plaza, even though one civic group claims that replacing cars with gravel paths, tables, and chairs would be a boon to the area.

“We need room for cars, we already have too many traffic problems,” said Sydney Norensberg who lives near Elm Avenue near Avenue M — the spot where the city wants to install their pedestrian plaza. “If people want to walk, they should go to the park.”

Representatives from the Midwood Development Corporation said the Department of Transportation approached them with the idea of blocking off Elm Avenue to traffic at E. 15th Street and turning the street and a small, oval-shaped pedestrian island near the Avenue M Q train station into a tranquil gravel court with metal chairs and tables — and they jumped at the chance.

“We want to make an inviting public urban space,” said Corporation Director Linda Goodman, who added that the plaza would be a temporary trial. “If it doesn’t work, it will go away.”

Yet some neighbors fretted that the people-friendly plaza would become a magnet for drunkards and require supervision.

“We’re worried about people congregating and we don’t want it to turn into a hangout spot,” said one resident, who would only identify himself as Ness. “If they plan on building it, security will be needed there.”

The Midwood Development Corporation said it would supply its own maintenance workers to offset city costs, which could run upwards of $10,000 a year.

Community Board 14 will review the city’s proposal on March 21 ahead of its April 4 public hearing.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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D from Crown Heights says:
Do yourself a favor and check out the street they're talking about on Google Maps:
http://g.co/maps/tt35s

Though I'm not a traffic engineer, from what I've read about similar projects, when you simplify intersections, traffic flow usually improves. I'll bet $20 that by removing the merge of Elm and Avenue M and tweaking the light timing of the signal at East 15th Street and Avenue M, you can make it easier for drivers.

I know change is scary, but sometimes you've got to take risks to make things better.
March 1, 2012, 9:47 am
Mrs. Hurwitz from Midwood says:
I remember a long time ago, maybe 30-40 yrs now, there used to be a bench at Dorman Square and it was quite a nice neighborhood spot.
March 1, 2012, 2:35 pm
Killmoto from NY says:
"If people want to drive, they should go to the highway"
March 2, 2012, 10:27 am
Stella from Midwood says:
I would go to the park to walk, but there are way too many drivers in it every day!

Can't wait for this plaza! Why should Manhattan get all the good stuff? Time for some love out here.
March 2, 2012, 10:29 am
Mitch from Avenue M says:
What a sensational headline considering 2 people are opposed. The street was just reopened after being closed for about 2 years while used as a storage area for the subway rehab. This little street has few cars and the effect on traffic will ne nill.

The nightmare is that Murdoch took over our local papers and they are now local "NY Posts" with blaring headlines and no substantive reporting.
March 2, 2012, 4:19 pm
Rob from Midwood says:
How come you restrict your interviews to sourpusses?
March 2, 2012, 9:54 pm
Bridget from kensington says:
Rob and Mitch are right; this modus operandi also appears in the article about Kensington Plaza.
March 9, 2012, 8:44 pm
Bridget from kensington says:
Rob and Mitch are right; this modus operandi also appears in the article about Kensington Plaza. Kudos to Midwood development!
March 9, 2012, 8:45 pm

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