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State will fund connections between Downtown areas divided by BQE

High hopes: President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership Regina Myers hopes Cuomo's investment will help realize a larger $200 million plan dubbed "Brooklyn Sands," which aims to make Downtown Brooklyn more walkable and connect it to the waterfront.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo will invest $5.6 million to create new pedestrian crossings to connect Downtown areas separated by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

The elevated, cross-borough highway separates Downtown Brooklyn from Dumbo and residents of Fort Greene’s massive Ingersoll Houses from the Navy Yard and Commodore Barry Park, creating dicey street crossings and casting a literal shadow over much of the neighborhood.

The state cash infusion will help fund a $7.7 million project to open up the area by creating new, safer crossings at the busy intersections of Tillary and Navy streets and at Park Avenue and St. Edwards Streets, according to Cuomo’s number two.

“With funding from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, significant projects to improve walkability and safety will better connect Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard to surrounding neighborho­ods,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who announced the investment Wednesday.

The $5.6 million in state funding is part of Cuomo’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative to help fund various city projects around the Downtown area, which include:

• $1.96 million in funding for a $15 million suite of upgrades for Commodore Barry Park, including new place spaces, renovated basketball and handball courts, and removing fencing to promote easy access.

• $1.25 million of funding for an $8.37 million project to transform Walt Whitman Library into a so-called “modern community hub,” featuring renovated and expanded programming spaces to support job training and other events.

• $1.5 million for a $2 million project to install new lights around the perimeter of the Farragut housing complex on Navy, York, and Sands streets.

• $853,700 for a $5.99 million project to renovate the Cumberland Street entrance to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

• $600,000 to fully fund an arts project featuring local artists.

• $200,000 to create a digital tech center at the Ingersoll Community Center, featuring new computer equipment and furniture to support new jobs and arts programs.

The leader of a Downtown business group that applied for the $10 million grant applauded the governor’s investment, which they hope will connect Kings County’s business district with the Navy Yard’s expanding tech hub.

“Walkability and green space are essential to the continued growth of the area and these planned improvements will provide long-overdue connections from Downtown Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” said Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

The business group hopes to use the money to build momentum on a larger $200 million revitalization scheme dubbed the “Brooklyn Strand” plan, which Mayor Bill de Blasio first announced in 2014, and would construct a slate of parks and public spaces to make the Downtown area a more walkable place.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 9:28 am, August 9, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Rufus Leaking from BH says:
The governor will invest nothing. It isn’t his money it is yours. You are investing. Andy is just posturing.
Aug. 9, 9:46 am
Tyler from pps says:
Rufus... we understand how taxes (and other state revenue streams) work. Do you?
Aug. 9, 10:59 am
Joe Gonzalez from Brooklyn Taxpaper says:
This whole Brooklyn Strand proposal is a waste of public tax money. Regina Myers is a hustler of public funds to create make work jobs for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) and their cronies. For past six years DBP has pushed false narrative that people cannot walk down streets between Fort Greene and Dumbo thereby requiring the multi-million dollars expense to redesign the surrounding streets. Multiple architects, consultants and various other hustlers have made money pushing this crappy redesign proposal.
Aug. 9, 7:49 pm
Live here from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Joe, I agree. Myer is a hustler for the real estate lobby.- look no further than the housing inside Brooklyn Bridge Park. The last two park killing buildings at Pier 6 were not needed for park funding yet she fought for their construction anyway and claimed that one building was for affordable housing. Posters on that very building today, advertise "luxury" apartments - yeah, right. She is a liar. The public deserves better than the likes of Myer - Cuomo, the same.
Aug. 10, 7:30 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The claim the BQE divided the neighborhood is nothing but myth. This is just some statement made by anti-car fanatics who hate anything from the car culture. More importantly, I don't see why there needs to be a park over where the BQE runs as in that rendering when the money can be used to help fix the ones that are already there. As for possibly tearing down the BQE, I find it a bad idea especially when it will force commercial traffic to use local roads causing a lot of traffic there. Then again, that's probably how such fanatics got to promote congestion just by creating the very congestion hence the Bloomberg Way.
Aug. 11, 6:36 am
Tyler from pps says:
Seriously, Tal. If you could just hush you face and focus on more important things... like trying to convince you mom to let you out of the basement every now and again, or collecting golf balls in your yard and reselling them.
Aug. 11, 4:04 pm
ProspectHeightsResident from Prospect Heights says:
Who bribed who in this extravagant ripoff of a "deal?"
Aug. 11, 9:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If some of you drive on a regular basis just like I do, then you would understand why redesigning or even tearing down the BQE is a bad idea.
Aug. 12, 9:17 am
Tyler from pps says:
If Tal lived in New York City and not on a golf course in Pleasantville, he might understand why parks and pedestrian (resident) access is valuable.
Aug. 12, 9:46 am
ujh from Sleepy Hollow, NY says:
I used to live in downtown Brooklyn and participated in the public input meetings after this project was put on the table. Tyler seems the only person here who knows what he's talking about. Judging from the ignorant remarks of others, you who claim to be local residents must have never tried to cross various thoroughfares and are unaware that residents from the "other side of the tracks" (Flatbush Avenue Extension) have been treated like second-class citizens when it comes to connectivity to the Civic Center, Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Some of you may have attention deficit disorder because If you read the article, you would know that the entire project includes a lot more than connections. As the NYS grant doesn't cover the needed budget, components won't get built unless additional city (again taxpayers') and possibly private funding is made available. Tal, as usual, your comments make no sense. Where did you read that the BQE would be torn down?
Aug. 13, 12:16 am
Rex from Park Slope says:
ujh from Sleepy Hollow: This link talks about the BQE tear-down option... https://ny.curbed.com/2019/3/12/18248873/brooklyn-heights-bqe-repair-dot Granted, the BQE was probably THE most destructive legacy resulting from Robert Moses' city planning exercises, but it would probably take an earthquake to bring about its removal given the cost of alternatives.
Aug. 13, 4:02 pm

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