Street art, more trees, and transportation improvements coming Downtown Brooklyn as part of $40 million investment

adams announces downtown brooklyn investment
Downtown Brooklyn is getting a facelift with help from Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s parks and transportation departments.
Photo courtesy of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Bustling Downtown Brooklyn is getting some major upgrade of its public outdoor spaces, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday, thanks to a $40 million investment to make the area both safer and more vibrant.

A $32 million capital upgrade will expand pedestrian space and improve traffic at five intersections along Flatbush Avenue between Livingston and Pacific streets. Those upgrades include added street greenery and new sidewalks, transportation upgrades with with improved bus service, pedestrian and roadway safety enhancements and new public art to liven up the roadway. 

A rendering of Fulton Street following upgrades.
Fulton Street will receive new street trees and seating areas in an effort to beautify the area. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

The rest of the funds will be used project will also bring streetscape improvements and greenery along Fulton Street.

“With new street trees, tree pits, and seating on the way to Fulton Street, Downtown Brooklyn is about to get even more beautiful,” said Parks Department Commissioner Sue Donoghue.

“This is how we reimagine our city, reinvigorate our neighborhoods, and revitalize our business districts: with more room to walk, to bike, and to enjoy retail and restaurants safely,” Adams said in a statement. “And with our $375 million investment in vibrant, new public spaces, building on the work of the ‘New’ New York panel, we are delivering more public space in every single borough.”

Downtown Brooklyn is home to dozens of schools and universities, office buildings, and local government hubs like Brooklyn Borough Hall and both state and federal courthouses. During the week, the nabe’s streets and subway stations are filled with more than 70,000 workers and 5,5000 K-12 students heading to and from their schools and offices — and that’s not to mention the 51,000 Brooklynites who live in the nabe full-time. Mayor Adams said the project brings one of the city’s most populated economic hubs into the future with its enhanced greenspaces and efficient transportation options.

The city’s Department of transportation is also looking to fill a “critical gap” in Brooklyn bike safety by converting Ashland Place to one-way northbound between Hanson Place and DeKalb Avenue and converting Hanson Place into a one-way westbound, between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place to make way for protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety measures. 

downtown brooklyn flatbush avenue
Five intersections along busy Flatbush Avenue will receive pedestrian and traffic safety upgrades. Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The department will also create two-way bus only lanes on Livingston Street between Flatbush Avenue and Boerum Place, with bus islands to provide physical protection for riders boarding and exited buses. The initiative will bring faster and reliable services for 50,000 daily bus riders, according to the DOT. 

“Downtown Brooklyn is becoming an exciting example of variety of the ways the city can redesign our streets to prioritize safe and efficient transportation options,” said DOT commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We’re building protected bike infrastructure, dedicated bus lanes, and adding pedestrian space to create a welcoming, vibrant commercial hub.”

The upgrades aim to benefit both pedestrian and drivers as it includes the addition of standard parallel parking at Fleet Place and Willoughby Street, painted asphalt art, shortened crosswalks and a new stop-controlled walkway across Willoughby Street. Construction is scheduled to begin in July.

The project is part of Mayor Adams’ $375 million investment in creating exciting, new public spaces across all five boroughs outlined in his “Working People’s Agenda,” and builds on a series of DOT projects to reimagine Downtown Brooklyn streets to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit, and enhance traffic safety.

“This project shows how multiagency collaboration and public-private partnerships can enhance our public spaces for the benefit of all New Yorkers,” Donoghue said.