Thanks to North Brooklyn’s Open Space Alliance organization, Union Avenue in Williamsburg has been completely wiped off the map – in a good way. As reported by NY1, the organization came up with $50,000 to have the street turned into community park land. And the even better news is that their green space mission isn’t over yet.
When compared to all other parts of NYC, North Brooklyn has one of the lowest percentages of open space. In fact, the popular area is only about 5 percent park land. This is one of the reasons that Brooklyn organizations like the Open Space Alliance fight tooth and nail for green space.
Joe Vance, an Open Space Alliance boardmember, explained to NY 1 that when the city pushed to rezone the waterfront around Williamsburg and Greenpoint to allow for construction of residential towers, the organization decided that it was time to push for open space within the community.
“One of things that we asked for, and what they agreed to, was to do a traffic study of all the streets that passed through McCarren Park to see if any of them could indeed be demapped and made into park space,” Vance said.
However, erasing a street in Brooklyn is not easy to do, nor is it cheap. In fact, it cost the organization $50,000 to make it happen. According to Vance, OSA had to pay for consultants and multiple traffic studies. “They have to go through a review by every city agency,” Vance said. “Not just Parks and DOT, but Sanitation, the utility companies weigh in, the FDNY, the police.”
With Union Avenue off the map, the community now has an acre more of park land and will most likely continue to fight for more, specifically the controversial Bushwick Inlet Park. At the moment, however, the Alliance says the next step is to redesign their new Williamsburg space.