Greenpoint takes Manhattan!

Several concerned Greenpoint residents, alongside North Brooklyn and city-wide elected officials alike, gathered in front of City Hall on Thursday morning. The goal? To call out Mayor Eric Adams’s recent decision to block the long-awaited redesign of McGuinness Boulevard.

The redesign plan counts the support of every North Brooklyn elected official, several of whom joined in person. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and a representative from Comptroller Brad Lander’s office also appeared at the event.

“When Mayor Adams ran for office, he told us he cared about safe streets. He told us he wanted to make Vision Zero a reality. He told us that public safety was paramount,” City Council Member Lincoln Restler told the crowd. “This is a plan about public safety. We suffer a crash a week, an injury a week, on McGuinness Boulevard. Our community is dying from the traffic on McGuinness Boulevard. This is a plan to actually make us safe.”

A lone heckler temporarily halted the day’s proceedings, interrupting Antonio Reynoso, though the crowd eventually drowned him out with a chant of “Safe streets now!” The heckler continued to yell through a megaphone for the rest of the event.


Dan Wiley, a staffer from Representative Nydia Velázquez’s office, also spoke. “Removing one lane of traffic will make it safer and it’s only a one mile stretch. Why are we maintaining extra lanes for cut through traffic that want to shave off a few minutes by getting off of one highway and get on the Long Island Expressway, or the Lincoln Tunnel, or take the other exits into this borough? Why are we accommodating that?”

Supporters gather outside of City Hall. Photo credit: Brad Hanford.

Council Member Lincoln Restler delivered the petition to the Mayor’s Office, alongside a few other supporters.

After the tragic death of beloved teacher Matthew Jensen in 2021, the City’s Department of Transportation spent several years collecting community feedback and studying traffic patterns on McGuinness Boulevard with the goal of redesigning the notorious thoroughfare. After the DOT narrowed down a redesign plan this past May, an oppositional campaign mounted in full force, partially spearheaded by the Argento family, Adams donors who own the local film and TV production company, Broadway Stages.

Reporting from Streetsblog NYC and THE CITY reveals that Adams specifically turned to close advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin, who has previously attempted to block other Open Streets and congestion-pricing measures, to make his final decision. Lewis-Martin told Adams that the plan’s supporters were all from outside of the community, though Make McGuinness Safe says that 66% of their petition signers reside in Brooklyn Community Board 1 and are residents of Greenpoint or Williamsburg.

At a recent press conference, Adams told reporters that he was swayed by the response from an oppositional town hall hosted at Broadway Stages, though he deflected when pressed on the thousands of petition supporters in favor of the redesign, making a face at the mention of Council Member Restler before asking “Next question!”

Both the campaign to Make McGuinness Safe and Keep McGuinness Moving tout the support of local residents and businesses. The Make McGuinness Safe petition collected over 7,000 names, at last count, and the Keep McGuinness Moving petition is just shy of 6,000 names.

It is unclear what the next steps, or a potential new timeline, are for the plan.

Join the Conversation


  1. This is nonsense. The plan doesn’t make Greenpoint safer. It guarantees more traffic on local streets, more dangerous evacuation and emergency situations, and a burden on local businesses. But it sure does make for a good photo op and donations from lots of corporations who want it to be harder to drive or do business and force you to use their ride-share services. Every other north-south road in Greenpoint already has bike lanes. It is hypocritical of this group to say they are doing it in the name of safety and fairness. Share the damn road.

  2. As a 1-mile, 4-lane highway, McG draws a huge volume of non-local vehicles off of the BQE into Greenpoint at rush hours. Off-peak, it encourages highway-level speeding when the 4 lanes are empty, especially at night.

    The key point of the redesign is to reduce the 50% of traffic using McG as a shortcut between the BQE and LIE during rush hours and calm excessive speeding at off peak times.

    It maintains McG as a truck route, keeps free parking for the minority of locals who own cars and adds business loading zones on every block. The bike lanes are specifically designed with FDNY approval to operate as emergency access lanes.

    The design was developed through DOT physical outreach at 249 intersections, 6 public design meetings and more than 750 public comments to the DOT. The DOT also surveyed 46 local businesses and conducted private meetings with the industrial business zone.

    The benefits are improved pedestrian safety, more foot traffic for local businesses, less air pollution and less non-local traffic short-cutting through the neighborhood.

    No wonder more than 7,000 locals and Greenpoint’s entire elected delegation supports it!

  3. Privilege sea of karens and over paid government officials.

    Lincoln Restler- 2018 Annual Wage $132,671
    Jumaane Williams D- 2020 Annual Wage $183,801

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