Talk about shedding tears of joy!
A more than 3-year-old sidewalk shed disappeared from a Prospect–Lefferts Gardens street on July 25, prompting cheers from locals who said the structure blocked parking spaces and pedestrian traffic for so long that they had to do a double take to make sure it was truly gone.
“I was going to cross the street in the middle, then realized I didn’t have to anymore,” said Justine Lynch, a 10-year resident of the nabe.
The structure was erected on Lincoln Road near the Prospect Park subway station to protect pedestrians from falling debris during construction at 33 Lincoln Rd., a nine-story residential building where the city stopped party promoters from hosting a rave in Feburary.
It was installed sometime after 2015, according to Department of Buildings records. But a Google Street View image from October 2014 shows construction fencing — which the shed replaced — occupied the sidewalk and street parking spaces for months before it was built.
Waking up to find the structure dismantled was like a breath of fresh air, according to another neighbor.
“It feels so much better. It was congested, it was dangerous — when a train let out, it was like a school of fish coming at you,” said Leslie, who refused to give her last name because she resides near the residential development and “might want to live there some day.”
And now that the shed is no more, the owner of the deli next to where it once was plans on upgrading his business’s signage, according to an employee.
“People couldn’t even see us,” said Ali Kassim, whose father owns Prospect Deli and Smoke Shop at 41 Lincoln Rd. “Now our sign can expand and people can see it all the way from the station.”
The shed stood for so much time, Kassim said, that he just assumed it was there for good.
“To be honest I didn’t expect them to open the sidewalk anymore,” he said. “It’s been so long.”
But residents who welcomed the structure’s removal now have to stare at the building it surrounded, which some say does not fit in with the architectural character of their nabe.
“People are happy the sidewalk is back, but I don’t think they’re happy with how the building looks,” said Ainslie Binder, who lives in the area. “It’s kind of ugly and doesn’t add anything to the neighborhood. But not having to walk in the street is nice.”