Battle Brewing Over Park Bridge On Montague

It was just a matter of time.

A few days ago, we shared Brooklyn Paper‘s news about the possibility of an access bridge from Montague St. to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Today, the Eagle writes about the inevitable objections raised by Montague St. residents.

Montague Street to Brooklyn Bridge Park will ruin the “peace and relaxation” of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and infringe on the Promenade’s protected views, say some Heights residents who live near Montague Street.

Predictably, the business interests on Montague feel differently:

…the increased pedestrian traffic would be a boost to businesses, said Kate Chura, ‎executive director of the ‎Montague Street Business Improvement District.

But Rick Dean, president of the co-op board at 2 Montague Terrace, says the idea requires much more study before any support is given. The stately 2 Montague Terrace is adjacent to the walkway connecting Montague Street to the Promenade.

Among the most serious objections came from the president of the co-op board at 2 Montague Terrace, Rick Dean, according to the Eagle, which quoted him as saying in a letter to the Brooklyn Heights Association that a new bridge could “kill the neighborhood.”



The comments came at a meeting last Thursday.

Was anyone else present? Anything to add to the conversation?

Check out the Eagle for more details, and let us know what you think…



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  • gc

    The impact on the residents of this neighborhood will be awful if this happens.

  • mac

    will it be more awful than the north heights residents have had to deal with since the Squibb Park entrance was opened? If they keep it at Montague, the impact will likely be minimal…now if it shifts over to Remsen, then yes, most of the traffic to the park will be on what are mostly residential streets …

  • Still Here

    Should be at foot of Montague.It will significantly reduce foot traffic on Joralemon and Squib, and to some extent Old Fulton.The Montague commercial tenants will love it.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Montague Street is the main thoroughfare for the Heights. It should handle foot traffic to the park just as it currently handles foot traffic to the Promenade.

    Residents who complain about more pedestrians on our neighborhood’s main street must hate the Promenade, love seeing shuttered storefronts, and enjoy the crowded sidewalks on Joraleman and Middagh.

  • CassieVonMontague

    I can’t picture what it would look like. Stairs will be dark, inaccessible to disabled, and right next to the BQE. An elevator can’t handle the numbers and will be as enjoyable a subway elevator. A footbridge will be expensive.

  • Local_Montague_Man

    If a footbridge from Montague street to BBP would bring more great local stores like Montague Wine and James Weir flowers I would be 100% supportive despite the change the bridge would create in the feel of the neighborhood.

    This is obviously my opinion, and everyone is entitled to disagree, I just don’t see that happening.

    I see more of the same and worse in terms of montague commercial tenants. Landlords will hold out for even higher rents (I love capitalism btw, and don’t see a problem with this from their perspective) and potential tenants will be narrowed down to the usual suspects who can afford it.

    A lot of us have not been in the area for a long time, however we paid a premium for the neighborhood (collective pride of place, kindness, safety, views, etc.) not BBP access or a foot locker or mcdonalds on montague (thank god the subway sandwich place is gone). We are actively learning what it means to be a BH resident and carry on that tradition. Unfortunately, in my opinion a cut through to the BBP will kill what that means starting in two key areas; there will be tons of people who do not share in our pride of place, and crappy stores that cater to the masses.

    Lets not let this happen.

  • gc

    “will it be more awful than the north heights residents have had to deal with?”
    I don’t know the answer to that question.
    I will say that rather than spreading the awfulness (as you describe it) around, I’d rather see it contained or better yet reduced.

  • gc

    Doesn’t sound very appealing.
    And comparing the number of people heading to BBP with numbers heading to the Promenade is like apples and oranges.

  • Heights Guy 77

    Unless the Joralemon entrance/exit is somehow blocked, I think the main traffic will still be at Joralemon. The 4/5 subway entrance is closer to Joralemon and attaches to the 2/3. Also, that is a LONG way to walk down stairs, versus a gradual hill at Joralemon. Unless they had an escalator, I don’t see a lot of people using an entrance/exit at Montague. And if they had an escalator, I assume there will be massive problems with it. I say “leave it how it is.” There is new development happening to attract people to walk down Cadman Plaza to the BBP, already. What is our neighborhood supposed to become? 101 ways to get to the BBP?

  • blackbeard

    Absolutely. This should be fought tooth and nail. Atlantic should be the main park entrance, and through Dumbo. (Joralemon entrance should be blocked.)

  • Jorale-man

    Good points. I feel that whenever some new burden is foisted on the Heights by the park, people immediately deride Heights residents who oppose it as insular and holier-than-thou.

    As much as I’d like to see Joralemon Street return to being a quiet and peaceful lane – and not a rowdy park thoroughfare – alas, that’s not going to happen.

  • Arch Stanton

    Except you have no workable plan for that.

  • Arch Stanton

    There was a movement a few years ago to block Joralemon st. They were told point blank by the city “it will never happen”.

  • Arch Stanton

    Doubtful. While Joralemon St would still likely be used by regular park users who come by subway and want to access the southern portion of the park, like the soccer fields. That is a relatively small portion of park visitors. Most of the park visitors are tourists who will eagerly use a “grand” Montague St entrance”. Just look at attraction the Squibb foot bridge has gotten.

  • winchell’s cavanaugh

    I have been in this area for 50+ years and have greater pride in this place than any other. Carrying on the tradition of being a BH resident means wanting a thriving, vibrant neighborhood and not shuttered storefronts. Trust me, the Burger King on Montague Street — in the late 70’s, early 80’s — did not take away from the neighborhood kindness, safety, nor views. I am more disturbed by the wanna be’s at rooftop bar on the Toll House monstrosity and the poorly-coordinated toddlers on scooters than patrons of a McDonald’s.
    PS, I hated the riff-raff who hung out at the mailbox in front of Baskin Robbins –many of whom were the children of those who came over on the Mayflower and personally delivered the piece of the rock to Plymouth church.

  • Arch Stanton

    Like it or not folks, the park is here to stay and people will be traveling through the Heights, one way or another, to access it for a long time to come. Best have the traffic on the street most able to handle it, Montague. Otherwise, the problems on Joralemon and the north Heights will continue to escalate.

  • Local_Montague_Man

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. To be clear my comment was not based on the people who would eat at mcdonalds, the sight of a mcdonalds (baskin robins, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc.) on the street would be offensive to me. Again, just my opinion.

    My point on pride of place can be boiled down; the more people (of any socioeconomic cohort) that pass through the heights that don’t live there the more chances for bad behavior.

    I do not know what the statistical increase would be, however I do know if there are more opportunities for something to happen, that something happens more frequently.

    On the storefront side…why can’t current businesses survive on Montague? RENTS ARE TOO HIGH. I personally looked for a while to open up a shop on the street, here is my takeaway; landlords are holding out for 10-15k a month with a multiple year contract fully guaranteed. Where are the moms and pops that can foot that bill. That’s a lot of widgets…

    The BID cannot have it both ways. If they want corporate tenants who can afford the offer-side rent, they are not going to have the same neighborhood. More likely they care less about the “feel” of the heights and more about their bank accounts.

    Maybe we can get another urgent care owned by a private equity firm, or maybe another verizon, sprint, or at&t. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a deli like Dellapietras or a restaurant like Colonie, or a shop like hatchet outdoor supply? Look at the shops on Atlantic between Hicks and Henry….why can’t Montague Street have that same quality? Would love to hear some opinions…

  • abba

    Except that the street most able to handle it is Atlantic.

  • Teresa

    One of the best things about living in New York City is the variety of people that one can encounter. Brooklyn Heights is a fairly homogeneous neighborhood, and I’m glad to see people from other parts of the city and the world coming here. I love our neighborhood (I’ve been here for 20 years), and I think it’s in danger of becoming even more of an enclave for the rich (like so many other parts of NYC)–I’m all for initiatives that will mitigate that.

  • Arch Stanton

    Atlantic is no more able to handle the pedestrian traffic than Montague, in fact somewhat less suitable because of the dicy crossing at the BQE entrances. Also Atlantic is out of the way, not in the path of mass transit. Besides what possible justification do you have, other than self interest, that residents of Atlantic should have to bear the bourdon of park traffic as opposed to Montague?

  • gc

    My workable plan is to close the Joralemon St entrance. It appears that the Sqibb entrance is about to close again on its own, if not, consider closing it. Leaving Dumbo, Old Fulton St, and Atlantic Ave as entrances.

  • Banet

    A few of those businesses on Atlantic own their buildings. Or, at least, their grandmother does.

  • Banet

    If the Squib bridge closes, it will only be during the pool construction. The Park is 109% committed to having it open long-term.

  • Local_Montague_Man

    Good point

  • Arch Stanton

    Okay, but since neither of those closures will ever happen, you don’t really have a solution.

  • KXrVrii1

    On another discussion, someone indicated that ADA would mandate elevators or ramps, and seem to suggest that the ramp would be preferred.

    So potentially a fairly large bridge if it has to handle ramps.

  • TeddyNYC

    I wouldn’t say that given the presence of the very busy BQE entrance ramp, heavy traffic on Columbia St. and new residential development in progress.

  • Jorale-man

    That’s true, though I think Atlantic can handle crowds better than Joralemon. It’s a large commercial thoroughfare as opposed to a narrow residential street and the sidewalks are considerably wider. And there’s already so much traffic noise that the addition of some rowdy teenagers wouldn’t make a huge difference. But Arch makes a god point too – the BQE on-ramps make the last stretch unpleasant. No perfect solution any way you look at it.

  • Bornhere

    I guess it was an impossible dream, but I had hoped that shuttles, starting at Court and Joralemon, going down Atlantic, stopping at intervals along Furman to Old Fulton, and returning to Court and Joralemon would have been a nice “give back” to the beleaguered streets — and help park visitors. Again, for those who don’t live on affected streets, you can’t understand the disruptive effect of hundreds of people trekking west, especially those wending their way back at midnight and beyond.

  • Arch Stanton