As part of the East New York rezoning that was approved in 2016, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), along with City Council member Rafael Espinal and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, released a plan to transform Broadway Junction into a major transit hub. (Its subway stop is the third-busiest station in Brooklyn, serving more than 100,000 commuters every weekday.)
Since last year, city officials have been meeting with a working group made up of several community boards, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and other area leaders, to get feedback and discuss ways to improve the 25-acre area—at the nexus of East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, among other neighborhoods—which is home to five subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), and six bus routes.
This week, the city unveiled their preliminary reimagining of the area, focusing on five main aspects: Transit access and equity; inclusive growth; economic and workforce development; active places and neighborhood amenities; and public realm and open space.
“Broadway Junction is an area that has been overutilized and underinvested in for decades,” City Council member Rafael Espinal said in a statement. “Through the East New York Neighborhood Plan, I made clear to the administration that we must better study the area to identify potential investments and ways to deliver the quality jobs, services, and public spaces our community deserves.”
The transit aspect is aimed at improving commuters’s daily experiences using the stations around Broadway Junction by making all lines fully accessible, especially for disabled individuals; reconfiguring streets to improve safety and circulation; creating new and improved transit connections (including alternatives to the existing LIRR underpass); and making the intersection at Jamaica Avenue, Georgia Avenue, and Fulton Street safer through signals and traffic-calming measures.
As far as neighborhood amenities, the plan aims at making the area an “active, mixed-use district” by adding streetscapes, attracting retail opportunities, improving signage and lighting, providing affordable food options, and building cultural facilities for community use.
The document also delves into ways to improve the area’s sidewalks, streets, and open spaces by investing in programming (farmer’s markets, performances) for Callahan-Kelly Park; improving street parking and consolidating existing surface parking lots; exploring ways to reduce overhead infrastructure and allow for more lighting underneath; and creating a pedestrian connection from the Broadway Junction subway station to East New York’s LIRR stop.
Based on this initial vision, city officials will now develop a strategy to implement it and will continue to receive feedback from the community.