The city Department of Transportation is poised to make changes to a stretch of S. Elliott Place between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue that would make a permanent fixture in the heart of Fort Greene.
In response, a small group of residents sent a letter on Monday to Councilman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene, calling on her to help delay the sealing of the small stretch of street.
"There is no reason why there should be a rush to judgment in finalizing Fowler Square Plaza…and every reason to forestall its permanency until objective and residential based opinions are factored in once Barclay [sic] Center is in full swing," the letter, signed by five local residents, read.
The signatories to the letter, including South Portland Block Association president Peter Vitakis and S. Oxford St. Block Association president Abby Weisman, asked James to secure another six-month extension to study the effect would have on Fowler Square.
James could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the contents of the letter.
According to DOT, work to permanently seal off the plaza will not take place until Community Board 2 votes in the affirmative at a meeting this winter.
So far, response to the plaza from residents, business owners and visitors has been generally positive.
In other pedestrian plaza news, recently got some much needed shade in the form of large blue umbrellas— courtesy of Fulton Area Business Alliance.
Update, 8:32 p.m.: We're including the full text of the letter sent Monday to Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene:8/27/12
Council Member Letitia James
67 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, Ny 11217
Re: Request for postponement of finalizing Fowler Square Plaza
Dear Council Member James,
Because the 6 month trial period observation by the DOT to finalize Fowler Square as a permanent pedestrian plaza is coming to an end, I’m respectfully asking you to lend your good offices to our plight. On behalf of the adjacent South Elliott Place residents as well as many discomfited South Portland, South Oxford, Fulton Street neighbors (not to mention a vociferously protesting Brooklyn Tech) who are impacted on contiguous blocks, we ask for a delay of at least 6 months to evaluate the impact of the 18,000 plus Barclay attendees in the immediate weeks ahead. The reality of their car traffic…the evidence of the social networking which will encourage many of them onto our community (i.e. Habana Outpost Block Party)…into our streets… the business engineered welcome with its proliferation of FAB Alliance/BAM entertainment events…all must be measured with no favoritism nor pre-emptive dismissiveness.
There is no reason why there should be a rush to judgment in finalizing Fowler Square Plaza…and every reason to forestall its permanency
until objective and residential based opinions are factored in once Barclay Center is in full swing. .
Urgency is required as there have been surveyors on Fowler Square in several of the last few days…presumably on behalf of the DOT’s plans to make this a fait accompli. Your speaking out for a postponement on our behalf is vital, important and greatly appreciated.
Many thanks and kindest regards,
Sandy and Jay Reiburn…South Elliott Place 22 year residents
Abby Weissman…President-South Oxford St Block Association
Peter Vitakis…President-South Portland Block Association
Roslyn Huebener…Board Member Fort Greene Assn …27 year resident
Joe Napoli…FGA Member …41 year South Elliott Place resident