To the Editor:
Last year, we hosted a public hearing to discuss the possibility of a program run by the Department of Transportation called “Summer Streets.”
The program would allow for a portion of Third Avenue to be closed to traffic on Friday evenings during the summer, allowing restaurants and shops to bring their food and merchandise outside.
This program would keep cross street traffic open, and only local businesses with storefronts in the neighborhood would be eligible to participate. Along with our local cultural groups, this event would show off the very best of Bay Ridge to the rest of the borough and beyond.
This year, we are hoping to make a version of the program, “Summer Stroll on 3rd,” a reality.
Keep in mind, this is not another Third Avenue festival. The organizers are not inviting any outside vendors and there won’t be any loud music or shopping carts full of balloons.
Instead, imagine strolling the Piazza San Marco in Venice a few hours before sunset. The organizers are planning a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere to celebrate the diverse cultures, stores, restaurants, and strong community spirit that make Bay Ridge so unique. And that sounds good to us! Recognizing Bay Ridge as a creative and culturally vibrant neighborhood means more visitors, a stronger local economy and greater investment in local businesses and the quality of life residents have come to expect.
For too long, Bay Ridge’s incredible arts and culture organizations have enriched our own neighborhood but been largely overlooked by the rest of the borough and city. This event will showcase our local arts & culture groups and programs and help get them the recognition and appreciation they deserve!
On Feb. 7, there will be a public hearing hosted by Community Board 10. We believe this event will be a hit, but we want to hear from all of you because your input is absolutely vital. Together, as a community, we can ensure that this program will be a success, and that everyone who calls Bay Ridge home will benefit from this extraordinary “Summer Stroll.”
— State Sen. Marty Golden
and Councilman Vincent Gentile