By Matthew Taub
Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn Brief
Sunset's Park’s Eighth Avenue is the main corridor of Brooklyn’s Chinatown, teeming with pedestrians, shoppers and heavy traffic. As a result, it's also plagued by graffiti, litter and grime. But thanks to a new initiative, that may soon change.
On Thursday afternoon, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, together with the Brooklyn Community Improvement Association, Assemblymember Peter Abbate, City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca and other officials and community representatives launched a street cleaning initiative for Eighth Avenue, the neighborhood’s main commerce district.
Funding for the initiative, at least in its first phase, will be provided by First American International Bank.
“We’ve been here fifteen years and we want to show our support for this neighborhood,” said Jason Chan, the bank’s senior vice president.
Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber, mentioned how a similar initiative was a success in Midwood and that another operation on Flatbush Avenue, currently in progress, is going well.
“Government funding will hopefully continue after the bank’s initial funding,” Scissura said. “But we’re projecting the bank’s contribution will support at least six months of the operation.”
A specific funding figure was not mentioned. But it will be enough that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, crews will canvass the neighborhood, removing graffiti, cleaning sidewalks and otherwise beautifying the area. The work is supplemental to the Department of Sanitation’s weekly street cleaning activities and separate from the idea of forming a Business Improvement District. Officials believe the improvements will quickly be noticeable.
“We want clean streets, and we want safe streets,” said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. “We’re going to start small, get the community excited, and then grow the operation.”