The Department of Transportation’s Clear Curbs pilot program, which was meant to ease congestion but stirred frustration among local businesses, is terminating five weeks earlier than planned.
The initiative was supposed to run for six months.
“In practice, it left small businesses decimated and put nearby residents at risk as delivery trucks pushed off the main roads flooded residential side streets,” Moya said in a statement. “This is welcome relief for the affected residents and small business owners. Time after after time, small business owners told me they feared they wouldn’t survive the six-month pilot period.”
Three months into Clear Curbs, Moya, along with Councilman Mark Gjonaj from the Bronx and Assemblywoman Ari Espinal, toured Roosevelt Avenue with DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and the NYPD to understand how the initiative affected businesses.
In response to the Clear Curbs initiative, the City Council introduced the Protect NYC Jobs and Businesses Act, which would require city agencies to notify community boards, business improvement districts, and local elected officials if any project significantly disrupts street usage.
Lawmakers say those actions were not taken prior to the implementation of the initiative on Roosevelt Avenue. The legislation is currently in committee.
“When decisions are made that affect the small businesses of our district, the community needs a seat at the table,” Espinal said.
Leslie Ramos, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership and an avid opponent of Clear Curbs, said the last few months have been “extremely difficult” for small businesses.
“Not only are these businesses essential for local residents, but they also serve Latinos living throughout the city and tri-state area,” she said. “Now that the program is over, we look forward to working with the city to help this once-vibrant corridor bounce back.”
Philip Papas, chair of Community Board 3, added that the impact on local shops was “devastating.”
“Several businesses closed or were on the verge of closing,” he said. “The negative effects of the project outweighed any potential positive outcome.”