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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A New Road Forward:


Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

Prepared for the Church Avenue BID


by the Pratt Center for Community Development
December 2010
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the Empire State Development
Corporation for funding this initiative.

Thanks to the following for lending their support to this planning process:

Professor Jonathan Martin and Assistant Professor Alison Schneider and students from the Fall 2009 Pratt Institute
graduate planning studio class
Madina Restaurant
Mohammad Razvi and Reza Hasan, COPO (Council of Peoples Organization)
Georges Jacquemart, Principal, Buckhurst, Fish & Jacquemart, Inc.
Justin Bland, Pratt Center intern
Sadra Shahab, Pratt Center intern
Coney Island Avenue advisory committee:
Sandy Aboulafia
Linda Cohen
Roberta Feinstein
Anne Gaudet
Kyle Gebhart
Rosemarie Hester
Emily Hultman
Ron Klein-Handler
Michael Joy
Eric Landau
Chris Bockelmann Norris
Anne Pope
Kristina Preussner
Hasan Raza
Bill Seery
Mariana Slepovitch
Courtney Williams
Glenn Wolin
Liena Zagare

Cover photo by Lorna Keuning


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Introduction 4

II. Existing and Emerging Conditions 8

III. Retail Analysis 14

IV. What We Heard 18

V. Vision Statement 21

VI. Recommendations 22

VII. Conclusion & Next Steps 28

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

3
INTRODUCTION

Introduction Park. These neighborhoods were designed in the late


With beginnings as a Native American footpath to a 30- 1800’s to be a physical (and socio-economic) refuge from
year stint as the route of the horse-drawn Coney Island the hustle and bustle of city life; the large, architecturally
and Brooklyn Railroad (which took people to the popular rich, single-family houses with large yards reflect this.
Coney Island seaside resort), to its 65-year history as the Brooklyn’s until recently hot real estate market reached
Coney Island Avenue electric-powered railroad (which was these neighborhoods (sometimes collectively referred to
discontinued in 1966), Coney Island Avenue has devel- as “Victorian Flatbush”), creating higher rents and hous-
oped into a five-mile long major thoroughfare that stretch- ing values and helping pave the way for higher-end shops
es from the southwest corner of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and restaurants to open on Cortelyou Road. The real es-
to Coney Island itself. Unlike neighboring thoroughfares tate boom did not truly reach Coney Island Avenue before
like Flatbush Avenue to the east and Ocean Parkway to its recent decline; most of the avenue’s new development
the west, Coney Island Avenue owes more of its history to projects of the last few years are currently stalled.
the efforts of private actors (e.g., the various companies
that built its transportation lines over the years) than to
public sector-sponsored planning interventions.

Today, mixed-use buildings with commercial establish-


ments on the first-floor and housing on the upper floors
characterize the avenue’s built form, along with low-rise
structures that house auto and construction-related ser-
vice businesses. Multiple vehicular travel lanes in both
directions, a local bus, and an express bus help contrib-
ute to its status as a heavily trafficked corridor.
Stalled development at Hinckley Place Photo: Liena Zagare

This report will examine Coney Island Avenue’s


northernmost section (from Parkside Avenue to Cortelyou Origin and purpose of the project
Road), which serves as an oft-cited boundary between Despite its strategic and highly visible location just south
several residential neighborhoods. On the west side of of Prospect Park and the Parade Ground, and adjacent
the corridor, the Kensington neighborhood developed to neighborhoods with relatively strong real estate and
after Ocean Parkway was built; it has a variety of housing growing immigrant populations, there is widespread
types and is extremely ethnically diverse. Parkville is a sentiment among local residents that the northernmost
small neighborhood to its south that is home to a large section avenue leaves much to be desired. Unwelcoming,
Pakistani population, many of whom are recent arrivals dangerous, and obstacle-ridden sidewalks and a relative-
to the U.S. On the east side of the avenue just south of ly weak selection of goods and services mean that many
the Parade Ground, the Caton Park neighborhood has people simply avoid the corridor altogether or use it only
a high-density residential building stock and is home to when absolutely necessary.
many African American and West Indian households. To
its south, a suburban-esque housing stock characterizes Recognizing the untapped potential of Coney Island Av-
the neighborhoods of Prospect Park South and Ditmas enue, the Church Avenue Business Improvement District

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

4
INTRODUCTION

Study Area and Vicinity


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A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

5
INTRODUCTION

(i.e., “the BID”) received funding from the New York City tive on the corridor. There is the longtime cluster of
Department of Small Business Service’s “Avenue NYC” auto-related facilities that are zoned to do business there
program to study the corridor’s northernmost stretch. and their customer base, not all of which lives nearby.
The BID (whose service area is Church Avenue between There are the merchants who own small shops such as
Coney Island Avenue and Flatubsh Avenue) is interested bodegas and small eateries. Finally, there are the people
in exploring how Coney Island Avenue could be a “gate- and families who live in the residential neighborhoods on
way” to the Church Avenue community and the greater either side of the avenue. Some of them regularly patron-
Flatbush neighborhood by attracting people from places ize businesses there, but many of them do not. We made
like Prospect Park and the Parade Ground. Apart from efforts to engage each of these sets of interests to help
the BID’s interest and proximity to the avenue’s northern inform this report, but due to limited resources for doing
section, limited resources prevented this study from tak- labor and time-intensive merchant outreach (especially
ing on the entire five-mile long corridor; as such, the study vis a vis the relative ease of designing, disseminating,
area is from Parkside Avenue to Cortelyou Road. and analyzing the results of a shopper survey), the voices
of nearby residents ultimately emerged as the strongest.
The overarching goal of the planning study is to recom- Even though there are different constituencies for the
mend a series of preliminary steps that should be taken avenue, their aspirations are not inherently contradic-
as part of a multi-pronged apporach to revitalize Coney tory. As such, this report is intended to inspire a new
Island Avenue’s northern stretch and help it better meet path forward for Coney Island Avenue for anyone or any
local needs. group with a stake in its future. It does not lay out a
comprehensive development plan per se, but it outlines a
Who is this for? platform of actions around which interested stakeholders
Part of the challenge with the northern stretch of Coney can organize to make fundamental improvements to Co-
Island Avenue is that it lacks any sort of organization to ney Island Avenue while laying the groundwork for future
act as its steward (e.g., business improvement district, formal planning engagements.
local development corporation, merchants’ associa-
tion, etc). Adding to this, the stretch of the street from Project Methodology
Prospect Park all the way down to 18th Avenue is the To help it complete this study, the BID hired the Pratt
boundary between two police precincts and two commu- Center for Community Development as a technical con-
nity districts: one side of the street belongs to one, and sultant. Building on the work done by a Fall 2009 Pratt
the other side of the street to the other. From Prospect Institute graduate planning land use studio course that
Park to Church Avenue, the street also is the dividing focused on Coney Island Avenue (between Parkside and
line between two school districts and two City Council Cortelyou), the Pratt Center gathered primary and second-
districts. Due to this condition, at best, there is confusion ary data to gain an understanding of how factors such
about jurisdiction and catchment areas, and at worst, the as existing zoning, land use patterns, business practices,
avenue is overlooked and ignored. traffic conditions, and attitudes of nearby residents all
contribute to the set of conditions we see on the avenue
In addition to its peripheral status at the edge of so today.
many “districts,” Coney Island Avenue has distinct sets
of stakeholders, each of whom has a different perspec- From the outset of preparing this planning study, the

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

6
INTRODUCTION

Church Avenue BID placed a high priority on public


participation, both as a tenet of a community-based
approach to planning and because there currently is
no organization that acts as a steward for the northern
section of Coney Island Avenue. As such, the BID wanted
to assemble a locally-based advisory committee for the
project with whom we could share findings and consult
with about their thoughts and aspirations for the avenue.
We spent the first several weeks of the project conducting
outreach to the various groups of people who collec-
tively are the avenue’s local stakeholders. We recruited
potential participants for the committee in several ways,
including announcing the initiative at meetings of Com-
munity Boards 12 and 14, making contacts with local
neighborhood associations and non-profit organizations,
and knocking on the doors of businesses on the avenue.
Ultimately, we assembled a group of volunteer advisory
committee members who over the past few months have
provided feedback, ideas, and other types of support for
this effort.

There were other ways in which we consulted with the


community: we published an online survey of shoppers
and other “users” (which 375 people completed) to better
understand how local residents and other stakeholders
relate to Coney Island Avenue, and we interviewed some
of the merchants who operate businesses there.

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

7
EXISTING AND EMERGING CONDITIONS

Before recommending ways forward for the avenue, it is smaller retail stores that are typically on the ground floor
important to examine some of the fundamental condi- -- with apartments on the upper floors -- and that cater to
tions and regulations that interweave with eachother to the immediate neighborhood (e.g., grocery stores, beauty
make northern Coney Island Avenue what it is today. By parlors, and funeral homes).
having a better understanding of factors such as zoning
types and boundaries, land use patterns, demographics, The west side of the avenue is remarkably different in
and the corridor’s physical characteristics and conditions, its zoning and thus in its business types. Apart from the
our recommendations for effecting change are more block between Beverley and Avenue C which has a “C2-3”
likely to be rooted in reality. commercial overlay on top of a residential base zone, it
falls entirely into a “C8-2” commercial zoning designa-
Zoning tion. This zoning designation, which is not a commercial
The zoning pattern on the east side of Coney Island Ave- overlay, is a commercial base zone for automotive and
nue differs from the west side in that the former is zoned other heavy commercial services. For this reason, there
for residential development, and the latter is largely is a concentration of auto repair and other car-related
zoned for auto-related and industrial uses. The following businesses on the corridor’s west side. This type of zon-
explains this in more detail. For even more information ing district is mainly found along major traffic arteries
about allowable building densities, height limits, and uses throughout the city, where concentrations of automotive
allowed under certain zoning districts, please refer to the uses have developed.
Department of City Planning’s Zoning Handbook, an an-
notated guide to the city’s zoning resolution with helpful Residential zoning districts
photographs, diagrams, and charts. The east side of the avenue is zoned for medium density
housing. On the west side, the predominant C8-2 zoning
designation -- the one that allows auto-related firms to
locate there -- does not allow housing to be developed.
The only part of the west side where housing can be built
is the block between Beverley and Avenue C, where an
“R5” zoning designation allows for housing to be built at
a lower density than what the residential zoning districts
allow for on the east.

Auto businesses on the west side Photo: Justin Bland

Commercial zoning districts


The east side of the avenue (which was recently rezoned
as part of a 2009 rezoning of the Flatbush neighborhood)
has a commercial “C2-4” zoning overlay, a commercial
zoning district that is overlaid onto a base residential
zone. This commercial zoning designation allows for

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

8
EXISTING AND EMERGING CONDITIONS

Zoning

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Data source: PLUTO 2010, NYC Department of City Planning

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

9
EXISTING AND EMERGING CONDITIONS

Land Use and Ownership Island Avenue as a travel path to the park and Parade
Many sections of corridor, especially from Church Avenue Ground.
to Cortelyou, are mixed-use in nature, with commercial
uses on the first floor and residential uses above. How- The study area’s different land uses (i.e., a major park,
ever, there are many exceptions to this pattern in several car repair businesses, apartment buildings) give it an
spots throughout the study area: the northernmost sec- inconsistent “streetwall” that is often disrupted by car
tion of the avenue across from the Parade Ground where washes and gas stations; this creates a challenge for
a large apartment building and a private school and developing a cohesive shopping area. The lack of city-
church are; the auto-related businesses dispersed along owned land means that private landowners will have to
on the west side (none of which share building space with be key players in any development that takes place on
apartments); three gas stations on the west side and two this stretch of the corridor.
on the east; and a concentration of three-story apartment
buildings on the east side near Coretlyou that do not have
storess on the first floor.
Demographics
Race and ethnicity
The neighborhoods surrounding Coney Island Avenue are
fairly diverse in race and income, even by New York City
standards. Racially, it somewhat mirrors New York City
but has a higher percentage of whites and a lower per-
centage of Latinos. The foreign-born population is 56%,
significantly higher than the 36% figure for the entire city.
Much of this can be attributed to the large Pakistani and
South Asian population that lives in the southwest section
of the study area. After stricter immigration regulations
caused many in the Pakistani community to leave Kens-
ington and Parkville after 9/11, there are anecdotal signs
Place of worship next to a storage lot Photo: Justin Bland
that this community’s population has stabilized over the
last several years. The other major component of the
Private ownership is the norm here. All of the land on
demographic study area’s foreign-born population is West
the corridor between Parkside and Cortelyou--except for
Indian, whose members tend to live in the area between
Prospect Park and the Parade Ground--is privately-owned.
the Parade Ground and Church Avenue.
These highly utilized public resources represent potential
assets for Coney Island Avenue as they could help draw
people to and from the corridor. Currently, however, the
Income
There are a broad range of incomes within the study
physical and psychological connection between the street
area. For example, parts of Victorian Flatbush have
and the park is weak for two major reasons: a) the lack
median household incomes over $65,000 while the area
of programming in the Parade Ground’s Bowling Green
sometimes referred to as Caton Park only has a median
area1; and b) the unpleasant nature of taking Coney
household income a bit over $25,000 (according to the 2.
1. From 2001 to 2009, the Bowling Green cottage was the home
Comparably low income levels are found in the southwest
of the Prospect Park Youth Center. It is currently vacant.

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

10
EXISTING AND EMERGING CONDITIONS

Land Use
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PK Mixed residential-commerical

BUCKING
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Commercial
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Auto-related (includes parking)
PL
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Source: PLUTO 2010, NYC Department of City Planning

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

11
EXISTING AND EMERGING CONDITIONS

section of the demographic study area, where the South nesses could better harness (there is more on this in the
Asian community is concentrated. next section). Also, households in Kensington tend not to
be as affluent, but there are a greater number of them to
Emerging demographic trends create a constituency for the avenue’s businesses.
These figures are based on 2000 Census data, and it will
be important to update them when the geographically
fine-grained data from the 2010 Census is released. Re- Traffic and Pedestrians
gardless, there are some post-2000 demographic trends Vehicular Traffic
of note: Coney Island Avenue is a major north-south automobile
thoroughfare with an average of two traffic lanes in each
• The socio-economically stable Prospect Park South direction. It is a designated truck route, and is served by
neighborhood continues to be the most affluent part of local and express busses. The road is very wide: 70 feet
the study area. This has implications for the types of wide from curb to curb. (In comparison, Church Avenue is
businesses that could attract this population to the cor- about 43 feet wide). The center lane alternates between
ridor in the future. a single-direction, left-turn only lane; a bi-directional
left-turn lane (sometimes dubbed a “suicide lane”); and a
• Victorian Flatbush/Ditmas Park is continuing to experi- painted median.
ence an influx of younger and higher-income households,
which could also determine the type of retail that could There are serious impediments to the smooth flow of
do well on Coney Island Avenue. traffic on Coney Island Avenue. The lack of dedicated left-
turn signals (i.e., traffic lights with green arrows) results in
• The northern part of Kensington seems to be in the major traffic back-ups at major intersections like Church
midst of a transition to households of higher incomes, Avenue and Cortelyou. Double-parked cars at businesses
many searching for a more affordable alternative to areas up and down the corridors -- a consistent condition -- also
like Windsor Terrace and Park Slope. Moreover, this area contributes to clogged traffic.
also has several major stalled residential developments
which could bring additional higher income households to In order to better understand the amount of traffic that
the area in the future if they are completed. flows on the avenue, Pratt graduate students and profes-
sional transportation planner Georges Jacquemart con-
• The Pakistani community seems to have stabilized fol- ducted a traffic count of the Church Avenue intersection
lowing its post-9/11 losses, and its business community-- during peak hours. They counted “critical movements”
while feeling the effects of the current economic reces- (the volume of traffic movements that conflict with eacho-
sion--has followed suit, opening up more stores on Coney ther, such as left-turning vehicles in an intersection) and
Island Avenue over the last several years. found that Coney Island Avenue has significant excess ca-
pacity. This excess capacity points to an exciting opportu-
The demographics of the neighborhoods that surround nity to introduce various traffic-calming measures without
the avenue represent a vibrant yet undertapped market significantly impacting traffic congestion on the avenue.
for its businesses. The higher-income areas of Victorian
Flatbush have spending power that the avenue’s busi-

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

12
EXISTING AND EMERGING CONDITIONS

Pedestrians es that are open at night makes the corridor prohibitively


Pedestrian traffic, a mainstay of successful urban shop- dark for many local residents.
ping districts, is low to moderate at best. This can largely
be attributed to poor sidewalk conditions (described in
the next section) and the relatively weak retail offerings
that cater to pedestrians. Also, long blocks mean that
people have to walk far to actually reach a crosswalk.
Even once they reach one, many pedestrians report
feeling unsafe when they cross the avenue; allotted times
for crossing are very short, and crosswalks are poorly
marked and strangely located.

Cars being repaired on the sidewalk Photo: Liena Zagare SW corner of Coney Island Avenue and Church Avenue
Photo: Liena Zagare

Streetscape
The overall appearance of the avenue leaves much to
desired. Many of the auto service and parts businesses
which dominate the east side of the street contribute
to the poor streetscape conditions with vehicles that
obstruct the sidewalk, oil from car repair shops that spills
out onto the sidewalk, and consistent double-parking.
These are some of the most commonly cited reasons why
people do not enjoy walking along the corridor. Many
local stakeholders even reported that they make a point
of avoiding walking along the street. Other factors that
contribute to poor streetscape conditions include the fact
that there are almost no street trees sbetween Parkside
and Cortelyou. Also, waste baskets are an anomaly, exac-
erbating the problem of garbage-strewn sidewalks.
Finally, the lack of street lights and a dearth of business-

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

13
RETAIL ANALYSIS

It is important to understand what kind of businesses are should explore this issue by considering what types of
on Coney Island Avenue today and what types of busi- new complementary businesses could encourage multi-
nesses could be supported there in the future. This sec- stop shopping or considering how the corridor could be
tion will begin to consider the existing mix of businesses marketed as an eclectic mix of businesses.
on the corridor, the geographic areas from which current
and potential customers can come, and the types of
goods and services that are experiencing retail “leakage”
from the avenue (i.e., for which people shop elsewhere).

Current Business Mix


Like many commercial corridors, Coney Island Avenue has
a mix of convenience and comparison goods. The former
category is largely composed of bodegas and small eater-
ies and includes other neighborhood-serving retail like
hardware and hair salons for which customers generally
do not travel far. An auto tire business on the wast side Photo: Justin Bland

Businesses that sell “comparison” goods and services, Retail Trade Area
on the other hand, tend to draw customers from beyond Based on the findings of this study, we have outlined
the immediate neighborhood. The avenue’s auto and two approximate trade areas from which customers are
construction-related businesses comprise the bulk of this drawn to the corridor to shop for convenience goods and
category. Coney Island Avenue is also home to several services. In formal retail market studies, a primary trade
non-commercial establishments such as places of wor- area is technically defined as the geographic area from
ship, medical offices, a private school, and an assisted which 60% of shoppers originate. In order to estimate
living facility for adults. the primary trade area for the northernmost section of
Coney Island Avenue, we mapped the residences of 85
The mix of comparison and convenience businesses people who were interviewed by graduate students in
aside, there is a hodgepodge nature to the collection of Pratt’s planning studio course in the Fall of 2009. Since
business on the corridor which negatively impacts its these “man-on-the-street” (i.e., intercept) interviews were
potential as a cohesive, multi-stop shopping strip. Other conducted on Coney Island Avenue, they necessarily
than auto-related businesses that are clustered together captured people who already tend to shop on the avenue;
throughout spots on the study area’s west side, there hence, the estimated “primary” trade area.
seems to be little pattern to where different business are
located along the corridor. Examples of such incongru- The “potential” trade area is larger in geography and is
ity include a large grocery store next to a roofing supply based on the home residences (i.e., the nearest intersec-
company, a health clinic/methadone treatment center tion) of the 350-odd people who supplied their address in
adjacent to a motorcycle shop, and a Russian bath house- the online survey administered by the Pratt Center in the
with a restaurant supply store on one side and a moving/ Spring of 2010. While many of these survey respondents
storage business on the other. Future planning efforts do indeed shop on the avenue, many others indicated

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

14
RETAIL ANALYSIS

Estimated Retail Trade Areas

PR O
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19
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ARLE R TURNER
PL DURYEA
AV ALBEM
12 C ON
T BEVE
AS
EY IS

H AM
TE LY RD CORTEL
ST BEVER
LA

E 21 S
RA
OCEAN

A
ND A

CL
ST
Ditmas Park

MARLB
IS A

T
V

U
ST

E 4 ST

LO EW S C
T
PKW Y

M AT T H
OR

E 3 ST

OCEAN
Kensington
Y

O R OUG
M PL
E 2 ST

SLOCU
ST

E 5 ST

35
E 8 ST
E 7 ST

E 1 7 ST

AV
ST

H RD

E 1 8 ST
V

AV C RD
A

OCEAN

36

E 1 6 ST
U
14

ST YO
37 L
ST R TE
CO
PKW Y

E 9 ST

E 1 9 ST
38
ST
ARGYLE

D
LYOU R
CORTE
DAHIL
V

WE S T M
A

AV
RD
L RD
15

39 AS
ST TM AV
DI
RK
INSTER

40 KI
W
ST NE
42 41 S AV
NEWKIRK

ST ST DITMA
RD

FARRA
Parkville
OCEAN

AV PLZ
V
A
16

44
PK W Y

ST 43
ST AV F
45 AV VE N CT
ST LE DE K O
IL
CORBIN

V O O D RD
RK GLENW
PA O D RD
V

O
GLENW
A

AV
17

ER RF CT
CT

46 ST WALDO
ST EB
W
SE

T
GTON C
T

WELLIN
ON

E 10 S T

47 AV AV
AV L E R AV H
E 9 ST

ST
PL

Primary trade area E IL TE


NC KV S
E 8 ST

E 1 6 ST

FO
E 15 S

R
RE PA
E 13 S

W
E 7 ST

49
E 12 S

4
ST
8
ST LA
Potential trade area
E 5 ST

T
T

50
T

ST
Online survey respondent home address (nearest cross-street)
E 1 4 ST

T H C
WALS
E 19 S

A
AV

E 18 S
E 16 S
E 15 S

E 17 S T
E 1 3 ST
E 12 S

51 Competitive retail areas


E 10 S
18

E 9 ST
E 8 ST

ST
A

E 7 ST

O D AV
T

ELMWO
19

52
AV I
T
T
T
E 5 ST
E 2 ST

ST
Subway Stations
T

Sources: Pratt Institute and Pratt Center stakeholder surveys, 2009 & 2010 0 0.05 0.1

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

15
RETAIL ANALYSIS

that they tend to shop in other competitive retail areas Park Slope as a shopping destination with much more
and mainly use Coney Island Avenue to catch the B68 frequency.
bus or to reach other destinations such as Prospect Park
or the subway station on Cortelyou Road. However, the Retail leakage occurs when members of a community
survey results show that if the avenue’s image improved spend money outside of it. Analyzing the amount of leak-
and there was more shopping variety, Coney Island age from the Coney Island Avenue commercial corridor
Avenue’s commercial offerings would appeal to a much provides an estimate of how much retail square footage
larger geography than it currently serves. -- by retail category -- the area could support. The Pratt
Institute graduate planning studio class conducted a pre-
The demographics of the broader potential trade area liminary leakage analysis which showed that there is un-
-- which include many of the neighborhoods directly to captured spending power from households living close to
the east of Coney Island Avenue -- hint at uncaptured Coney Island Avenue. It identified several retail categories
spending power. This correlates with a finding from an that are currently experiencing leakage from Coney Island
earlier Pratt Center study of Church Avenue that many Avenue. The largest categories were: a) restaurants (par-
households in Prospect Park South do not shop in their ticularly those with table service; b) convenience stores
immediate neighborhood. It is interesting to note that and bodegas; c) pharmacies; and d) clothing stores.
the opinions from both surveys -- the intercept survey of Future planning studies about the avenue should do
people walking along the avenue and the online survey further research into these retail categories, to better un-
which included people who do not shop there much -- do derstand why local residents are shopping elsewhere for
not vary considerably. The physical appearance of the these types of goods. This could help inform a future plan
avenue was the priority issue for both groups, followed by to strenghten the commercial offerings found on Coney
a desire for a broader range of retail. Island Avenue.

Coney Island Avenue’s status as a major traffic corridor


serves as a connection for drivers travelling between
northern and southtern Brooklyn. Some of these drivers
are customers of the auto repair shops that are concen-
trated on the avenue’s west side. They can be thought of
as an expansion of the local trade area since they draw
people from beyond the local neighborhoods.

Retail Leakage
The results of both surveys show that many people
frequent other nearby shopping areas. Both groups cited
Cortelyou Road as a common alternative shopping area.
However, respondents from the intercept surveys were
more likely to also shop on Church and Flatbush Avenues
than were the online survey respondents who cited

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

16
RETAIL ANALYSIS

Business Types
E 7 ST

IR
ARKC

P
Y Y
KW KW Auto-related
A N P AN P
E E
OC OC Construction equipment and hardware stores
PS

E 1 7 ST
OV
ED

BUCKING
HomeAVfurnishings and antiques
E8

P
N
TO
ST

L CA
Eating or drinking establishment
P
ON

E 1 8 ST
T

H
CA Deli / bodega

AM R D
Grocery / food market
P L
MIT Financial and printing services
KER
L
IT P
RM Hair salon, pharmacy, spa, or laundromat
KE
Other
E 1 0 ST

Undetermined
E8

PL
ST

IEL
FR
A RL E RD
ALBEM
PROSPE

STRA TFO

LE RD
ALBEMAR
CT EXWY

RD RD

WESTMIN

A V
CH
UR PL
CH TURNER
S
TER RD

E 1 7 ST
Y PL
HINCKLE
OCEA N P

MA RLBO
RD
BEVERLY
KWY

ROUGH R

L
LEWIS P
D
RUGBY R
E 7 ST

W S CT
MA TTHE
E 8 ST

E 1 6 ST
D

PL
CONE

SLOCUM
ARGYLE
Y IS
OCEA N P

L AN D
E 9 ST

RD

AV C
E 5 ST

AV

RD
KWY

OU
E LY
RT
CO
OCEA N P

D
K

RR
WY

S TE
HE
O RC
D
OU RD
CORTELY

Source: Pratt Institute Studio Class, Field Observation, Fall 2009

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

17
WHAT WE HEARD

Using different outreach tools, we heard the voices of people visit the corridor: one-quarter of respondents use
current shoppers and other Coney Island Avenue “users,” it to catch the B68 bus, and people commonly use to
people who use the corridor minimally if at all, and a few reach other nearby neighborhoods.
handfuls of business owners. While perspectives of what • Nearby shopping areas compete with Coney Island
the avenue has to offer diverge, there are also several Avenue: Cortelyou Road and Park Slope are the most
common threads of opinion. One of the most significant popular alternative shopping areas. (In contrast, the man-
ones is that whether one talks to current shoppers or on-the-street interviews found that in addition to Corte-
those who barely shop there at all, people would like to lyou Road, Church Avenue and Flatbush Avenue were
see its physical conditions improved and its shopping common alternative shopping areas.)
possibilities expand.

From Shoppers and Other Users


Members of this project’s advisory committee asked us
to gather opinions aasbout Coney Island Avenue from a
broader set of stakeholders, including those who were un-
able to attend evening meetings. Therefore, we designed
and implemented a short survey questionnaire to better
understand how people relate to the avenue. Thanks to
help from advisory committee members -- in particular,
Liena Zagare of the Ditmas Park Blog -- in disseminating
the online survey, 375 people filled it out. The following
Photo: Liena Zagare
are the main findings:

How people relate to the corridor Opinions about current retail offerings
Coney Island Avenue is a highly visible corridor that is While there is a significant degree of ignorance about the
a large presence for the neighborhoods that flank it. types and quality of goods and services sold on Coney
Whether they actually shop there or not, people who live Island Avenue, most people are of the opinion that the
close to the corridor tend to have some type of relation- variety of businesses is poor. To a lesser degree, respon-
ship to it. Even those who often shop in competing retail dents complained about the poor quality of merchandise;
areas go to the corridor to get the bus and/or reach other however, food and restaurants were rated higher than
neighborhoods. non-food merchandise.

• Almost 75% of respondents go to Coney Island Avenue • Business diversity is lacking: a large proportion of
at least twice a month. respondents (70%) think that the variety of businesses is
• People tend to reach the avenue by foot: over half of poor.
respondents walk to get there. • The quality of goods is another complaint, though
• Restaurants, food shopping, and auto-related busi- less commonly cited than the lack of business diversity:
nesses are the most common commercial destinations. almost 50% of respondents think that the general quality
• Patronizing businesses is not the only reason why of merchandise is poor.

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

18
WHAT WE HEARD

• Many people are simply unaware of what stores are • Food stores, restaurants, clothing, a bank, and other
selling on the avenue: over 25% of respondents had no neighborhood-serving retail (e.g., book stores, hardware
opinion about the general quality of merchandise. stores, bakeries, ice cream shops) were common busi-
• People rate food and restaurants higher than non- ness types that respondents would like to see on the
food merchandise, but only about 33% of respondents avenue.
regarded their quality as good. • Improving the physical quality of the corridor (street
trees, pedestrian safety and comfort) was the second
most commonly desired change.
Opinions about streetscape conditions
Perspectives about the physical condition of the street Notable quotes
and sidewalk are fairly straightforward: there is wide- The survey asked some open-ended questions where
spread agreement that much improvement is needed to respondents could express themselves freely, and these
make the streetscape more pleasant. are some of highlights that nicely evoke some very com-
• Pedestrians tend to not feel safe when they cross the mon sentiments about Coney Island Avenue.
avenue.
• The sidewalks tend to be dirty and in disrepair. “I think a combination of more efforts to make it
• 90% of respondents reported that they do not enjoy look less like a highway and more like a neighbor-
walking along the avenue. hood street would be useful--trees, bike racks and
more and better shopping options.”

“The biggest problem is that it is horrible to walk


along. In the summer there is NO shade, making
it very unpleasant to stroll along on the way to
the park or for shopping. Adding new businesses
is a great idea, but I still wouldn’t walk along CIA
because it is gross. No trees, lots of eyesores,
poorly cleaned/maintained spots that make it very
unpleasant.”

Photo: Justin Bland “It’s the only part of my regular day in New York

Aspirations for the future City that feels swamped by commercial blight and

This is where the interests of various stakeholders suffers from an absence of community involve-

converge. Both the interception survey and the online ment.”

survey found that increased business variety and physical


enhancement of the streetscape were the most urgently-
needed changes for Coney Island Avenue. From Business Owners
• More shopping options is the most popularly desired We had conversations with 15 merchants, which yielded

change (the same was true for the man-on-the-street some feedback about the corridor as a place to do busi-

survey respondents). ness. While limited resources prevented us from talking

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

19
WHAT WE HEARD

to more business owners, the general consensus is that • None of the merchants indicated that they have
Coney Island Avenue is a good place to do business: recently considered relocating their business off of the
many have been there for more than ten years, and none avenue.
of the people with whom we spoke have plans to relocate • While some of the merchants’ complaints echo those
or close. of shoppers and users (e.g., poor streetscape conditions),
their negative sentiments tend not to be as strong as the
A significant proportion of business owners and opera- latter group.
tors on Coney Island Avenue appear to be immigrant
entrepreneurs. This is particularly apparent in the small
food, eateries, and household goods stores that cater to

Photo: Liena Zagare

Photo: Justin Bland

members of the South Asian community; many business


signs are in Urdu, a language spoken by many Pakistani
immigrants. Any future efforts to organize the avenue’s
merchants should take cultural and language differences
into account.
• Auto-related businesses tend to have larger geographic
customer bases than other business types.
• Some of the auto-related businesses complement
eachother; for example, customers from the Hollywood
Car Wash are known to patronize Mr. Customs next door.
• Despite a longtime presence on the avenue, many
businesses rent their space.
• Unlike many shoppers and other users, some business
owners feel that there is adequate enforcement of traffic
and parking regulations.

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

20
VISION STATEMENT

Coney Island Avenue is a place that generates distinct The potential of Coney Island Avenue to better
opinions. For many merchants and business owners serve and connect people and neighborhoods
(and people who frequent businesses there), this corridor should be unlocked, by fostering stewardship
is a convenient and relatively affordable place for small through which stakeholders can work toward a
businesses. It works for them, at least to some mean- set of short-term improvements while laying the
ingful degree. However, in the eyes of many people who foundation for future planning efforts.
live in the neighborhoods that flank the avenue, it is a
street that is failing miserably, both as a shopping area The next section of the report will describe a set of short-
and even simply as a street for walking or reaching other term and long-term recommendations for tapping into the
nearby neighborhoods. potential of Coney Island Avenue so that it can meet the
needs and aspirations of a broader set of stakeholders
than it currently does. The recommendations are based
on five main goals to pursue in order to realize this vision:

1) Encourage community-building efforts through an


advocacy group

2) Build the capacity to to plan for future development

3) Make the corridor more functional for all users,


including pedestrians, bus riders, and drivers

4) Improve streetscape conditions

5) Create a gateway to Coney Island Avenue

Photo: Justin Bland

By examining the avenue’s existing and emerging condi-


tions and listening to the voices of local stakeholders, it
is clear that the potential of this commercial corridor is
currently unmet. In order to move forward, a vision state-
ment for the future is helpful to begin organizing around
and inspiring a new path forward for the corridor:

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

21
RECOMMENDATIONS

1) Engage in community-building efforts tion for creating a “Friends of CIA”-type group that could
through an advocacy group spearhead efforts to revitalize the corridor. Most of these
people are already civically engaged (e.g., via block as-
1a) Promote stewardship of the avenue through
sociations, Community Board 14, etc.), and they could
the creation of a “Friends of CIA” group
tap into their local networks to bring even more people on
Currently, there is not a single entity that acts as a stew-
board. Ideally, this new group should form an affiliation
ard for this section of Coney Island Avenue. There are no
with one or more existing small business advocacy orga-
tenant groups, merchant organizations, or BID’s on this
nizations such as the Church Avenue BID or the Flatbush
part of the corridor. It doesn’t even fall within the jurisdic-
Development Corporation.
tion of a single community board since the east side of
the avenue is part of Community District 14, and the west 1b) Organize a public launch for the new “Friends
side is part of Community District 12. While there are of CIA” group
clearly many individual private actors with a strong stake The group’s members should organize an public event to
in the avenue and its future (e.g., property and business introduce itself to the community at large and publicize
owners), ultimately their interests tend to be very narrow. its existence and mission. Local elected officials should
Even in the case of small business owners who want to be invited, and it should be used as an opportunity to
contribute to broader efforts to improve the corridor and recruit more stakeholders.
the business climate there, a serious lack of extra time
1c) Work towards short-term improvements
prevents them from actually doing so.
Once a core group comes together, they could begin
organizing around their aspirations for bringing change to
The lack of a group whose mission it is to revitalize, or
Coney Island Avenue. The group should prioritize actions
even oversee, the corridor is a
to take in the short-term to build community and strenght-
major obstacle to seeing any
en networks of people who want to work on improving the
real change there. The multi-
avenue. Here are examples of such actions:
layered nature of the chal-
lenges facing the avenue (e.g.,
• Advocating for the NYC Department of Transportation
rampant double-parking and
to make needed changes and improvements (please
sidewalk obstruction, intersections that are difficult to
refer to goal #3 for more about this.)
cross, lack of a retail mix) requires collective action to ef-
• Creating community murals to beautify neglected
fectively call on the appropriate city agencies to help local
spaces
stakeholders implement desired improvements. In order
• Activating underutilized spaces for the community to
to address the current conditions and lay the foundation
use and enjoy (please refer to Recommendation 4a
for attracting new businesses and development to Coney
for more about on this).
Island Avenue, a group of local stakeholders should come
together to collectively implement short and long-term
actions. 2) Build capacity to plan for future
development
The advisory committee with whom we consulted during
2a) Affiliate with an existing organization and/or
the process of preparing this report is an ideal founda- create a new organization

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

22
RECOMMENDATIONS

After the Friends of CIA group organizes some activities stakeholders in a participatory planning process.
and/or events for the short-term, a permanent non-profit
organization should be established to plan for the long- The findings and recommendations of a formal planning
term development (i.e., two to ten years) of the avenue. study could lay the foundation for the organization’s
Such an organization could decide to do things like a future programs. Depending on the nature of the recom-
formal retail market study and/or a marketing strategy to mendations, they may lead to the implementation of a
develop a long-term plan for the corridor. retail marketing strategy. Activities related to such an
effort could include:
2b) Seek out funding
• Conducting merchant retention and improvement
In order to be eligible for many available funding sources,
• Encouraging local entrepreneurs to consider Coney
the Friends of CIA group should file the apporpriate paper-
Island Avenue as a place to do business
work with the Internal Revenue Service to incorporate as
• Creating communication channels among merchants
a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization.
• Assisting retailers in diversifying their offerings
• Publicizing existing businesses

3) Make the corridor more functional for all


users, including pedestrians, bus riders,
and drivers

3a) Petition the NYC Department of Transpor-


tation to study the avenue and make needed
changes
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC-
DOT) has flagged Coney Island Avenue as a candidate
for a 2011 traffic-calming study. Such a study could
Photo: Liena Zagare ultimately point to various measures that DOT could take
to make Coney Island Avenue easier and safer to cross
2c) Conduct planning studies to explore the
potential for commercial development (e.g., painting intersection lines onto the street, adjusting
Especially in light of new, geographically fine-grained data the timing of traffic signals).
from the 2010 Census, it will be important to follow up
this report with an updated analysis of local demograph- It will be important for local residents and other stake-
ics. This would be an important component of a formal holders to establish community buy-in for pedestrian and
land use/retail study that a new organization could un- traffic improvements. Here are some ways to help make
dertake to help identify which types of commercial -- and the case to the NYCDOT that the community has strong
non-commercial -- development would be most appropri- aspirations to make the corridor more friendly to pedes-
ate and beneficial to surrounding communities. When trians:
planning for the future of Coney Island Avenue, it will be
important for a new organization to actively engage pri- Document challenging conditions for pedestrians
vate landowners, neighborhood residents, and other local Create a simple document (with visuals) that describes

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

23
RECOMMENDATIONS

which conditions make it difficult for pedestrians to safely nesses that are closed during after-hours, the lack of light
cross the avenue, intersection by intersection. In addi- detracts from pedestrian activity. Survey respondents
tion to submitting the document to the NYCDOT, it can specifically called out the Cortelyou Road intersection and
be publicized and used as an organizing tool to encour- the section between Church Avenue and Prospect Park as
age more impacted people to advocate for pedestrian being particularly dark and desolate at night.
improvements.
Conduct a street light inventory
Create a simple document that shows where street lights
currently exist. (This could be integrated into the docu-
ment of pedestrian issues on the corridor.) By showing
their location in relation to areas that are currently well-lit
at night, the document could begin to prioritize areas that
need street lights.

Request that DOT conduct a street audit


Use the inventory of existing street lights as part of a
formal request to DOT to study the feasibility of installing
Photo: Justin Bland
additional street lights.

Conduct a walk-through tour with NYCDOT staff- 3c) Improve conditions for people waiting for the
ers bus
NYCDOT staffers are available and willing to take a tour As an important bus route, local passengers wait on
of pedestrian (and traffic) conditions on the avenue, and Coney Island Avenue for the B68 to connect them to Pros-
local stakeholders should use this opportunity to show pect Park or for the X29 for express service to Manhattan.
the agency an on-the-ground perspective in advance of DOT recently installed one of its new modern shelters at
its tentative traffic-calming study. northeast corner of Church and Coney Island Avenues,
but additional ones are needed.
Lobby NYCDOT to complete a traffic-calming
study Submit suggestions for new bus shelters to DOT
Even though DOT has identified Coney Island Avenue as After documenting locations where a critical mass of bus
the subject of a future traffic-calming study, local stake- riders wait, submit a request to DOT to consider installing
holders need to show that they support such a process. bus shelters there.
The survey results show that there is widespread senti-
ment that vehicles on the avenue are too fast and unruly 3d) Make it easier for people on bikes to patron-
and that this behavior makes the corridor highly unpleas-
ize businesses
There are almost no bike racks on the avenue’s side-
ant.
walks. According to many survey respondents, the lack
3b) Improve illumination at night of them is sorely felt. More bike racks could encourage
The lack of streetlights makes for a very dark corridor people to patronize businesses on the corridor that they
at night, which is part of the avenue’s lack of appeal for currently avoid in favor of other retail areas with adequate
pedestrians. Coupled with the large number of busi- bike parking.

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

24
RECOMMENDATIONS

Encourage property owners to install bike racks understanding of how such enterprises currently use their
The recent demand for bike racks across the city has space, design solutions may emerge that point to ways in
outpaced DOT’s ability to provide them, so in response, which they can use existing space more efficiently.
the agency has allowed individual property owners to
purchase and install their own bike racks. Local stake- Request increased police enforcement
holders who own property should request the appropriate Local stakeholders should lobby their local police pre-

permits for installing a bike rack, and those who do not cincts to enforce existing double-parking and sidewalk

own property should encourage those who do to consider regulations.

this idea.

Submit a bulk request for bike racks to DOT 4) Improve streetscape conditions
Another way for local stakeholders to get more bike racks
4a) Improve cleanliness
on Coney Island Avenue is for local community groups to
Garbage strewn on the sidewalks is another commonly
submit bulk requests, which DOT prioritizes.
cited problem that detracts from the avenue’s image.

3e) Address the conditions created by dangerous Apart from calling 311 to report egregious violators to
and traffic-clogging vehicles the city, there are several actions that local residents and
One of the most commonly heard complaints about Co- business owners can take--both alone and in conjunction
ney Island Avenue is the headaches caused by vehicles, with the city--to address this complaint.
both those that are stationary (i.e., double-parked) and
moving along the avenue. Many auto-related businesses
use the sidewalk as space to park vehicles that are either
drying (in the case of car washes) or are being stored
before or after maintenance work is done on them. This
creates significant obstacles for people who are simply
trying to walk along the sidewalk.

Engage in “shuttle diplomacy”


Local stakeholders should create channels of commu-
nication between auto-related businesses who violate
sidewalk obstruction codes and those affected by their
operations. This could include outreach to auto business- Photo: Justin Bland
es to persuade them to curb their behavior or a postcard Encourage property and business owners to
campaign to demonstrate that community members “adopt-a-basket”
would like them to be better neighbors. Any person, group, store building manager, etc. can
participate in this program sponsored by the NYC Depart-
Explore design-oriented solutions ment of Sanitation. One can apply for and receive a litter
A community task force should be assembled to assess basket (and plastic liners) by agreeing to monitor it for
the space needs of auto-related businesses that consis- usage and remove the liners regularly for pick-up.
tently obstruct the sidewalk with vehicles. With a better

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

25
RECOMMENDATIONS

Conduct public education about sanitation pick- Encourage business and property owners to plant
up schedules and procedures street trees
Anecdotal evidence suggests that some people are In addition to asking the city to plant trees, property
unaware of Department of Sanitation regulations that owners can take matters into their own hands by planting
dictate when and exactly where to put out household their own after submitting a free permit application to the
and business refuge. A simple public education pam- Parks Department. (If the sidewalk must be broken in or-
phlet to educate property owners and managers could der to create a tree pit, a property owner must also apply
be disseminated to outline procedures and local pick-up to the Department of Transportation for a permit.)
schedules.

Explore design solutions for unsightly garbage 5) Create a gateway to Coney Island
containers Avenue
Around New York City, one can find examples of small The northern part of the study area, located just south of
structures for garbage cans where recycling and garbage Prospect Park and the Parade Ground and intersecting
can remain out of sight before trash pick-up day. Property the Church Avenue retail corridor, represents an area that
owners whose buildings produce a lot of garbage should if reimagined and ultimately redeveloped could greate a
be encouraged to use these. “gateway” to Coney Island Avenue and better connect the
vibrant residential neighborhoods of Caton Park/Pros-
4b) Provide shade, cooling, and improve aesthetic psect Park South/Ditmas Park, and Kensington/Parkville
conditions by planting street trees
to eachother. A number of underutilized sites in this area
It is a very common sentiment among local stakeholders
present an opportunity for developing temporary and
that the avenue is seriously lacking in street trees. The
permanent uses that would help draw more people from
paltry amount of trees on the stretch of Coney Island
surrounding neighborhoods to Coney Island Avenue.
Avenue from Parkside to Cortelyou is sorely felt: when
forced to choose one thing they would like to see different
5a) Organize community-oriented events for key
here, more than 20% of survey respondents said trees.
underutilized spaces
Moreover, there is a strong body of evidence that shows
The southwest section of the Parade Ground near the
that urban street trees provide numerous health, comfort,
Bowling Green cottage and the parking lot at the south-
and environmental benefits to surrounding residential
east corner of Church and Coney Island Avenues1 are two
and business communities.
underutilized spaces that could be activated by putting
on community-oriented events such as an outdoor film
Request street trees from the city
screening or a flea market. With some short-term organiz-
Through the city’s One Million Trees program, any prop-
ing by the Friends of CIA group, such events could take
erty owner can request that the city plant a tree at a
place as soon as Summer 2011.
particular address or several along a whole block. It is
important to note that not all requests can be filled im-
mediately, and there may be up to one year’s wait before
the city may actually plant new trees.

1 The parking lot, which is owned and used by the Preferred


Health Partners health clinic during office hours, is unutilized most
evenings and on the weekend.

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

26
RECOMMENDATIONS

5b) Study the needs of people who use the Parade


Ground
Interview and/or survey the various sets of Parade Ground
Key Vacant and Underutilized Sites
users to better understand the types of businesses that
they might patronize nearby if they existed. The season-
al nature of the Parade Ground should be considered
when assessing the viability of developing retail options
n d
geared toward this user group. G rou
PL r ade
CA
TO
N
Pa

N AV
TO
CA

ARGYL E
E8
PL
MIT

ST
KER

RD
E 10 ST
PL V
IEL HA
FR U RC
CH

Preferred Health Partners parking lot


LE RD
ALBEMAR

PL
TURNER

Stalled development
Preferred Health Partners parking lot Photo: Justin Bland Y PL
HINCKLE
Vacant site
(former auto repair business)
5c) Explore options for developing key
RD
vacant sites BEVERLY

STRATFO

WESTM IN
There are two large, privately-owned vacant sites on the
E 7 ST

LEWIS PL
RD RD

northern stretch of Coney Island Avenue that should be


STER
E 8 ST

S CT
developed. A future organization that is founded for the MATTHEW RD

purposes of acting as a steward of Coney Island Avenue PL


SLO CUM
CON E

(see Goal #5) should consider how to redevelop these


Y ISLA
E 9 ST

sites in ways that benefit the surrounding community. The AV C


ND AV

sites in question are:


OCEAN PK

1) Stalled development site at 527 Coney Island Avenue


WY

U RD
YO
EL
2) Vacant site across from 39 Turner Place that was CO
RT

a car repair business (which is being considered for a


new public school)

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

27
CONCLUSION & NEXT STEPS

Moving forward, Coney Island Avenue has the potential


to be less of a divider and more of a connector for the
people who live and work on the avenue as well as for the
communities that surround it. With increased attention
and concerted efforts by local stakeholders who envision
it as a more functional corridor, improvements can be re-
alized in the short-term. These could include issues that
are not necessarily tied to future development, such as
introducing traffic-calming measures and beautification
initiatives. In the longer-term, such efforts could expand
to include a community-based planning process to guide
development on the avenue.

In the near future, a core group of people who were part


of this study’s advisory committee should come together
and brainstorm about actions they could collectively take
in the next six months to a year. Immediate actions could
include planting trees on the avenue and reaching out to
the NYC Department of Transportation to express support
for a traffic-calming study. Simultaneously, this core group
of people should reach out to more local stakeholders
– with a particular emphasis on business owners – and
encourage them to participate in a fledgling “Friends of
CIA”-type group.

A New Road Forward: Unlocking the Potential of Coney Island Avenue

28