Watch CBS News

Some Sunset Park Residents Upset About Revised Brooklyn Traffic Plan, Say They've Been Excluded From Decision Making Process

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A dangerous stretch of Sunset Park is about to undergo a safety transformation.

But the community it's meant to protect is crying foul – claiming they've been shut out of the entire process.

As CBS2's Christina Fan reports, there's no question that Seventh and Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn's Chinatown are traffic hazards. Trucks are chronically double parked. The sidewalks are too narrow. But families say even more problematic is the DOT's lack of transparency in redesigning it.

"Please come back and give us a better plan, not just throw us a piece of paper, this is what we do," said business owner Kenny Guan.

Seventh and Eight Avenue are currently two-way streets. Under the proposal, Seventh between 39th and 65th Street will convert to one-way northbound, while 8th will convert to one-way southbound. Protected bikes lanes and more sidewalk space will also be added.

But residents are not happy nearly 200 parking spaces will be eliminated, and that some sections will be cut down to just a lane of traffic.

"Where are we going to park? We're just going to circle around every day when we come from work, looking for parking?" said Sunset Park resident Xiu Yu Lin.

Frustrated families rallied in Sunset Park Monday, collecting 10,000 petitions from residents against the proposal. They claim the city has not reached out to local community boards for feedback, and that those who tried speaking up at recent virtual meetings were either kicked off or silenced on the call.

"Before they muted everybody, I was able to ask a question. Without answering, they just muted me, and mute everybody else," said Paul Mak of the Brooklyn Chinese America Association.

"It's not public at all because they cannot speak, they cannot type, and there is no translation," said Irene Chu with the office of Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate.

We reached out to the DOT multiple times Monday – asking about how much community outreach they've engaged it. But received no answer.

Families say not all elements of the plan are bad – they just want to have a say in the process before construction is scheduled to begin this summer.

Christina Fan contributed to this report. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.