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Road rage! Montague Street gets in on the pedestrian plaza trend • Brooklyn Paper

Road rage! Montague Street gets in on the pedestrian plaza trend

Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights will become a public park — complete with sod — on Sundays in July under a local business improvement district’s proposal.
Montague Street Business Improvement District

Montague Street will again become a pedestrian mall — but this year’s version will shut down fewer blocks for less time.

Rather than close Montague Street between Clinton Street to the Promenade to cars, as it was last July, only two blocks of Brooklyn Heights’ main street— from Clinton to Hicks streets — will be off limits to cars on the last three Sundays in September.

The shorter schedule wasn’t nearly as appealing to some merchants.

“They really should be doing it every weekend,” said Roma Supera, who manages La Traviata, an Italian restaurant between Clinton and Henry streets. “Right now, on our café you watch the cars go by. It’s so much nicer to be able to people-watch.”

The “Weekend Walks” program is backed by the Department of Transportation, which works with local businesses to close commercial strips to auto traffic and encourages businesses to hawk their wares on the pedestrian-clogged streets.

Last year, thunderstorms washed away two of the four weekends, so this year, the Montague Street Business Improvement District chose September dates, said Executive Director Chelsea Mauldin. And the scheduling change is a boon to bibliophiles: the opening Sunday coincides with the Brooklyn Book Festival at nearby Borough Hall.

In a rare show of solidarity on Brooklyn’s Mean Streets, drivers on Montague Street weren’t upset at the coming two-block blockade.

“In New York, people don’t know who their neighbors are,” said Michael Medina, who was idling between Clinton and Henry, waiting to pick up his girlfriend. “This is a good way to promote the businesses and get people out and smiling.”

Street closure on Montague Street from Clinton to Hicks streets will be on Sept. 13, 20, and 27. For info, call (718) 522-3649.

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