By COLlive reporter
New York City is being asked to create a pedestrian plaza in front of 770 Eastern Parkway, the bustling home of Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.
In letters to city officials and the New York Police Departement, local community leaders said that along with the growth of the Crown Heights Jewish community, there are growing safety concerns as well.
According to one estimation, 770 Eastern Parkway and its adjacent synagogue at 788 Eastern Parkway hosts approximately 100,000 people a year from around the country and the world.
“770 creates a unique and challenging situation for the Police Department to protect and serve,” one community leader wrote. “For the past 30 years, the NYPD, specifically the 71st Precinct has dedicated tens of thousands of hours of manpower to provide appropriate security to this location.”
In the proposal attached to the letters, community leaders suggested the traffic at the end of the service lane intersecting Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue be merged through the island to the main lanes of the parkway.
Instead, a plaza will be installed in front of 770 and 778. It will be protected by anti-ramming barriers, allowing for greater foot traffic and blocking off access to vehicles to be in close proximity to the buildings.
Local community organizations who have written support letters in support of the plaza include heads of Brooklyn Community Board 9, Jewish Children’s Museum, Beis Din of Crown Heights, Vaad Hakohol, COLlive.com, Crown Heights Bikur Cholim and schools.
Mendel Mintz, one of the organizers, said such a plaza will also allow the community to gather, without closing traffic on the service lane.
Organizers are in the midst of gaining support from elected officials, both city, and state.
Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director of The Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, said, “this won’t happen overnight but if all goes well, we can expect construction to begin by 2020,” he said.
The Crown Heights community is encouraged to share their ideas and suggestions, by emailing [email protected] .