Business leaders looking to close more blocks for ‘Summer Streets’

January 31, 2013 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Bay Ridge business leaders who sponsored a successful “Summer Stroll” on Third Avenue last year are looking to expand the event this year to include more blocks. 

The Merchants of Third Avenue, the group behind the “Summer Stroll on 3rd” series of evening walking events, has filed an application with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to host another summertime happening. Last year, the avenue was closed to vehicular traffic on four Friday nights in July and August from 82nd Street to 89th Street and pedestrians were allowed to stroll in the street to enjoy live music, poetry readings, and other forms of entertainment.

“This year, the Merchants of Third Avenue have expanded their application to include Third Avenue between 68th and 90th Streets for the following dates: July 19 and 26 and Aug. 9 and 16,” Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, said.

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The community board’s Traffic and Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on the application on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. at P.S. 102 on 211 72nd St.

The committee will make a recommendation to the full board on whether the city should approve the application. The board will then issue a recommendation to the DOT.

“We decided to go larger this year because last year proved to be such a big success,” Charles Otey, a Merchants member and one of the organizers of the “Summer Stroll” event. “We had tens of thousands of people come and enjoy our avenue.”

The Summer Stroll event would be part of “Summer Streets,” a city-wide program by DOT in which streets are closed to traffic to encourage pedestrian strolling.

Beckmann spoke about the Summer Stroll application during her district manager’s report at the Jan. 28 meeting of the community board.

In other news, Beckmann said the city is repairing stretches of the Shore Road Promenade damaged by Hurricane Sandy. She recently accompanied City Parks Commissioner  Kevin Jeffrey, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst), CB 10 Parks Committee Chairman June Johnson and Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia on an inspection tour.

“Ten areas along the stretch of the seawall that sustained substantial damage will be restored. New York City Parks expects that repairs will be completed before Memorial Day,” she said.

“There were a total of 30 benches lost, large sections of rail and capstone, a large section of broken paved area; two six-foot sections of the sea wall, a portion of the Bay 8th Street stairs. Several sink holes will be back filled and repaved,” Beckmann said.

“We also discussed about the future of the sea wall and continued efforts by both Community Boards to advocate for long term funding to refurbish the entire length of the sea wall from the Verrazano Bridge to Bridge to Caesars Bay. We will remain in contact with New York City Parks regarding the progress of the repairs and updates,” she said.

Beckmann said the Parks Department has officially begun to recruit lifeguard candidates for the 2013 summer season. “Parks lifeguards playa critical role in the city’s 8 beaches and 54 outdoor pools. If you know anyone who may be interested, information is available by calling 311,” she said.

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