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Meeker Avenue 'Dead Zone' to Get Major Makeover

By Gwynne Hogan | September 18, 2017 2:23pm
 The city wants to redesign Meeker Avenue to improve it for pedestrians, cyclists and use more public space.
The city wants to redesign Meeker Avenue to improve it for pedestrians, cyclists and use more public space.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

WILLIAMSBURG — The Meeker Avenue "dead zone" that runs under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is a cluster of perilous intersections frequented by skateboarders, graffiti taggers and littered with abandoned cars.

But the 15-block eyesore, which bisects Williamsburg and Greenpoint and connects the Williamsburg and Kosciuszko Bridges, is in for a massive makeover, according to the city.

The Department of Transportation is asking for public input on creative ways to re-imagine the dark and desolate stretch in order to improve pedestrian and traffic flow, incorporate bike lanes and increase public space. A online portal soliciting feedback from residents about Meeker Avenue will open in the coming days.

In a presentation given to the community last week, the DOT cited other imaginative revamps of underused public space, including a climbing wall like the one under the DUMBO side of the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as pedestrian plazas and public art exhibitions.

"The words that come to mind are dangerous and underutilized," said Luke Ohlson, an organizer for the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, in describing the current status of the avenue. "It is really a dead zone in terms of local businesses being able to get any sort of foot traffic. It's extremely dangerous, especially for older residents and children."

Additionally, the redesign could be a "golden opportunity to make a protected bike route though the heart of North Brooklyn," he said.

As part of the construction of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, the state's Department of Transportation is building a new bike and pedestrian walkway across the bridge, slated for completion in 2020, that would lead to Meeker Avenue.