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DOT's 'Cobble MockUps' Receive Community Approval in DUMBO

By Janet Upadhye | July 30, 2013 8:53am
 The Department of Transportation designed "Cobble Mockups" that would replace old Belgian blocks in DUMBO which are not wheelchair or bicycle accessible.
DUMBO Cobble Mockups
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DUMBO — It's been a bumpy road for the Department of Transportation and their plan to reconstruct the historic streets of DUMBO and Vinegar Hill, making them more accessible to users. 

But after three years of design competitions, public workshops, failed designs and negative community feedback, DOT has created one winnning street design that satisfies their requirements and the community's desire to preserve the historc feel of their streets.

"I am in support of this recent design,"  said Lee Trucks of the Brooklyn Bridge Park after the DOT's presentation at a recent Community Board 2 Meeting. "These streets feel safe and beautiful."

DOT presented two street-scale "cobble mockups" that would replace the current Belgian blocked streets in the neighborhood.

One design was comprised of "new cobble" made in different sizes and colors. The second and more favored design was made with re-used DUMBO stone and new stone combined with a granite strip." The granite strip will serve as a smooth bike lane.

"Historic streets and bikable streets don’t really get along," said Tom Maguire of DOT. "Our challenge has been to figure that out."

And this time they got it right.

Nearly 60 people went to view the mockups and the DOT received 37 formal comments. Thirty people favored the design that mixed old and new stone.

Several community members also spoke in support of the winning design at the meeting, asking Community Board 2 to move the plan forward.

"I didn’t think it was possible but the DOT has been very responsive to the community feedback and I see a lot of that incorporated in the designs," Jessie Harrington, a resident and business owner in DUMBO, said. "I am impressed with the final plan."

Community Board 2 voted to approve the plan and the design will go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission in September for final approval.