Dumbo locals are suffocating under constant pressure for tourism

Locals said one of Brooklyn’s trendiest and most expensive neighborhoods is suffocating by tourists.

Residents of Posh Dumbo Say Locals business improvement district Leaving tourists has been ravaging the area for nearly a decade – inexplicably closing roads for events and creating a congested day-tripper environment without input from people living in the Historic District.

“We cannot accept the excess of Dumbo bidding and the continued disrespect of residents by that organization,” A petition signed by about 150 local states.

Critics say the biggest problem area is Washington Street, which serves as the main artery in and out of DUMBO.

It is closed between the front and water streets for 10 hours every day to make room for endless spectators in line with the city’s Department of Transportation’s open roads initiative. It is nicknamed “Selfie Street” because of the way visitors pack the roadway and take snapshots with the Manhattan Bridge in the background.

Dumbo residents have few parking options in the area.
Helen Seidman

Locals say the result is a severe lack of parking, and fire engines and delivery vans are forced to navigate narrow streets, sometimes jackknifing and vandalizing cars.

“I didn’t sign up to be at Disneyland,” said resident Daniel Meek.

Established in 2005, the non-profit Dumbo Improvement District operates on a budget of $1.2 million, according to its most recent available tax forms from 2021. Its funds come largely from special assessments paid by commercial property owners in the area.

A Woman Takes A Picture Of A Friend In Front Of The Manhattan Bridge On Washington Street.
A woman takes a picture of a friend on Washington Street with the Manhattan Bridge in the background.
Helen Seidman

Tara Quinn, who co-wrote the petition and helped set up a public discussion with City Councilman Lincoln Restler on Thursday, said the bid is not being heard.

“Many of us are asking for a change or at least communication with this group, and it falls on completely deaf ears,” she said.

Delighted to facilitate the meeting, Restler, a progressive and once an adviser to ex-mayor Bill de Blasio, continued to show his support for so-called “open roads” and called the bid a “strong partner”.

Delivery Trucks Have To Pass Through Narrow Streets At Dumbo.
A delivery truck driving through a narrow street in Dumbo.
Helen Seidman
Tourists Are Considered Disruptive And Annoying To Dumbo Residents.
“I didn’t sign up to be at Disneyland,” resident Daniel Meek said of the continuing tours.
Helen Seidman

“Washington Street is like a circus,” Arlene Blitz said during the meeting.

Magdalena Levy, who owns La Caterina Flower Studio on nearby Water Street, said the open road makes it impossible to efficiently fulfill orders.

“It might take us forty minutes, to make a heavy delivery just four blocks away,” she said. “We have world class [Brooklyn Bridge Park] only one block away. I don’t understand why they need to close the street.”

Residents Flock To Dumo'S Washington Street As Tourists Flock To Take Pictures Of The Manhattan Bridge
Residents dub Dumbo’s Washington Street as “Selfie Street” as tourists flock to snap photos with the iconic view in the background.
Helen Seidman
City Councilman Lincoln Wrestler Of Dumbo For Tourism
City Councilor Lincoln Restler has supported Dumbo’s open roads program.
Helen Seidman

On Friday, The Post noticed that Sweetgreen employees removed a 20-person tour group from the restaurant’s outdoor dining area on Washington Street because they weren’t ordering anything — just taking up space.

However, there is some love for the open roads.

“It makes it safer and easier to move around with a young child, and it helps reduce slow traffic, which I think is a benefit for contained neighborhoods like Dumbo,” said resident Brian Steinwasher.

Flower Shop Owner Magdalena Levi Is Angry At Citibikes Taking Over The Entire Street In Front Of Her Business.
Flower shop owner Magdalena Levy said she was not in favor of open roads.
Helen Seidman
Magdalena Levy, Owner Of La Caterina Flower Studio On Water St., Struggles To Meet Large Orders Due To Closed Roads.
Levy said she struggles to meet large orders because of the closed roads.
Helen Seidman
A Sweetgreen Worker Begs Tourists To Leave Their Dining Area For Not Buying Food.
A Sweetgreen worker tells tourists to leave the dining area of ​​the store after not buying food.
Helen Seidman

Asked if they plan to reduce open road hours or how they will address traffic concerns, Alexandria Sica, executive director of Dumbo BID, instead said pedestrian traffic at local shops and local Focused on the “magical moment” created by.

“It’s a destination for the photos that New Yorkers take to celebrate life’s major moments – like graduation, engagements or quinceanera, and a must-see photo for visitors, bringing people to Brooklyn – that are part of the city’s downtown.” It’s great,” she said.

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