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More input sought on Tillary makeover

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All it takes is a dream, and a meeting to present it.

At press time, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) was holding its second meeting to seek public input as to how Tillary Street — dubbed the “Brooklyn Bridge Gateway” — should be rebuilt between Cadman Plaza West and Navy Street.

The June 23 workshop at Brooklyn Borough Hall came as the DOT prepared for a total reconstruction on the roadway in 2012, which involves ripping up the street to put in new curbs and infrastructure.

DOT officials say it also opens the door to possibly widening the sidewalks, putting in medians and getting a better understanding of how the street operates in general for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.

In the first public meeting held in January on the issue, residents stressed how Tillary Street was a welcoming gateway boulevard just off the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and imagined it with raised bike lanes, beautiful landscaping and better pedestrian crossings.

DOT Downtown Brooklyn Transportation coordinator Christopher Hrones said that what struck him about the first meeting was how much space people wanted to reclaim.

While some intersections, like the westbound approach from Tillary Street to Adams Street, still need all the traffic lanes and crossings, other like Tillary Street west of Adams Street don’t really get a lot of traffic volume, he said.

Hrones lauded residents’ ideas about limiting some of those traffic lanes to accomplish other goals like landscaping, and decreasing the length of pedestrian crossings.

Other ideas included enlarging median strips with plantings and refuges for pedestrian crossings, and having more shelters and bay spaces for buses.

Residents also talked about utilizing the service road, just north of Tillary Street, increasing designated bicycle lanes and narrowing down the Flatbush Avenue‚ĀĄTillary Street intersection to make it easier for pedestrians to cross.

The meeting on Tillary Street’s future was to review the issues and suggestions brought up at the January workshop; the DOT was also set to present some conceptual designs.

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