Once the challenge of finding an apartment in Brownstone Brooklyn is over, a far greater task emerges: trying to find a parking space. And thats not the only problem. Overcrowded trains, gridlocked streets and honking car horns daily aggravate local residents in this otherwise desirable section of the borough. In search of creative solutions to the problemswhich are expected to only get worse as new development projects move forwardthe Park Slope Civic Council is this week planning a public forum. The forum, Traffic and Transportation in Brownstone Brooklyn, will be held on Thursday, March 2 from 7-9 p.m., at the Old First Reformed Church on 7th Avenue at Carroll Street. Admission is free. What we hope to get out of this is to advance the conversation and look at innovative ideas, said Lydia Denworth, the president of the Park Slope Civic. Headlining the event is Fred Kent, the president of the Project for Public Spaces, a consulting firm that deals with revitalizing city spaces. Other planned speakers include Karla Quintero, project coordinator for Transportation Alternatives; and Jon Orcutt, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation campaign. The forum will also feature a sneak preview of the new documentary, Contested Streets: Breaking New York City Gridlock. A question and answer period will follow the presentations. Denworth said the issue is not just the massive Atlantic Yards project, but also development along 4th Avenue, the Gowanus, and elsewhere. Obviously, the number of cars will increase, she said. We are at this moment, and in a way we have this opportunity to see how we can keep our neighborhoods as livable and enjoyable as possible, she continued. Craig Hammerman, the district manager of Community Board 6, deals with many of the complaints from local residents. It is probably one of the single most vexing challenges confronting our district that we hear about in every neighborhood at every virtually every meeting we go to, said Hammerman, whose board encompasses Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, Gowanus, Cobble Hill, and the Columbia Street District. Hammerman said that through public discourse, creative solutions would emerge. Denworth said that so far, the response from government officials and developers has been tepid. They are saying its premature, she said. We dont think its premature. We think its the perfect time.
©2006 Community News Group
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