Bay Ridge

Summer Stroll sponsors to seek expansion in 2016

Pols, business leaders to push for event to take place over six nights

August 18, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Third Avenue was lined with outdoor cafes that stretched into the street during Summer Stroll on 3rd on Friday night, including this one outside Blue Agave restaurant. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas
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Riding high from the success of Summer Stroll on 3rd, which drew hundreds of thousands of people to Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue over a series of four Friday nights in July and August, state Sen. Marty Golden, a key sponsor of the event, said he will push to extend the street fair to six nights next summer.

“If something works, you don’t stop it or lessen it. You do more of it,” Golden told the Brooklyn Eagle.

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Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) said he will push the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), the agency that oversees Summer Stroll on 3rd and similar events throughout the city, to add two more nights to the calendar in 2016.

Golden and Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) co-sponsor Summer Stroll on 3rd along with the main sponsor, the Merchants of Third Avenue, a business group headed by lawyer Bob Howe that represents storeowners on the busy commercial strip.

“Increasing the nights will only increase its popularity,” said Charles Otey, executive secretary of the Merchants of Third Avenue, expressing support for the idea of expanding the event to six nights.

The final night of Summer Stroll on 3rd for 2015 took place on Aug. 14, with the temperature hovering in the low 70s and a cool breeze in the air. Third Avenue was closed to vehicular traffic from Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) to 80th Street. Pedestrians were free to stroll in the middle of the roadway. The avenue was lined with outdoor cafes and outdoor art galleries where painters and photographers displayed their works.

On nearly every block there was a band playing rock music or singers performing Broadway show tunes.

“Summer Stroll has proven to have a winning formula,” Golden said. “You open the streets to let people stroll, eat out and enjoy the music and the artists we have in Bay Ridge.”

Summer Stroll on 3rd is designed so that all parts of the avenue can benefit, according to Golden. On two nights, the Stroll’s activities are held between Bay Ridge Avenue and 80th Street. The other two events, which took place in July, were held between 80th and 90th streets.

The Stroll events are part of DOT’s Weekend Walks, a citywide program designed to open the streets up for pedestrians to enjoy.

There were 14 Weekend Walks events in Brooklyn during the spring and summer this year, according to the DOT’s website.

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