September 11, 2020
The membership of the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID is extremely concerned about the continued impact of the street closure along Fulton Street from New York to Brooklyn Avenues. Bedford Stuyvesant as a community was hit harder by the pandemic than any other community in the City. After three months of mandatory shut down, businesses in our community were then faced with being the chosen location for protest against acts of injustice toward people of color.
With the May 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN a global movement was formed with the resounding message “Black Lives Matter!” Of course, we were excited when Mayor Bill de Blasio gave Bed-Stuy the distinction of being the first of several locations for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) murals. However, we did not anticipate the street being closed to ALL vehicular traffic for five months. As far as we know all other locations with street mural have been reopened to vehicular traffic yet our commercial strip in Brooklyn remains closed.
The mural is centered along several bus lines/stops, and the closure prevents the ease of access to several businesses including four (4) banks and a major local supermarket. Although the block that is closed may feel the most loss, the entire 29 face-block district is being impacted because of this severe interruption. In these three months we have experienced:
- A significant reduction in business due to the lack of public transportation onto the street. For some of us this translates into a DECREASE in revenue of as much as 50%. Our customers have reported avoiding the commercial area altogether because of the traffic delays caused by the street closure.
- Our garbage being left in front of our businesses for days at a time causing a resurgence of rats that we had begun to mitigate.
- Have had to suffer long delays on sidewalk and storefront repairs.
We, the members of the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID remain committed to our patrons and this community and we do so with great pride, however the subsequent issues arising from the street closure is affecting our bottom line, which in turn effects employees and patrons. We simply cannot survive under these conditions and seek immediate resolution to the matter. We were promised that the street would reopen, in no uncertain terms, no later than Labor Day. We demand that FULTON STREET OPEN NOW!!!