Bay Ridge Parkway residents want a better block

Concerned Bay Ridge Parkway residents are fighting to preserve the safety and beauty of their neighborhood with the formation of an association.

The Bay Ridge Parkway 400 Block Association held its first meeting on Wednesday, October 19 at 6 p.m. The inaugural meeting took place at the Community Board 10 office at 8119 Fifth Avenue.

About 13 people showed up for the meeting and over 20 people confirmed they were still on board with the association even though they could not make it, according to Linda Assini, who contacted Brooklyn Reporter about the association launch.

“It was a good turnout considering that it was our first,” she said. “We’re still compiling a mass e-mail list.”

The association’s goals are to “preserve the safety, cleanliness and beauty of one of Bay Ridge’s oldest and most well-known streets: Doctor’s Row,” Assini said in an e-mail.

Bay Ridge Parkway between Fourth and Fifth Avenues is known colloquially as “Doctor’s Row” for the row of medical offices on the block. The neighborhood features limestone homes dating back to the late 1890s.

However, residents are not happy about the block’s condition.

“The litter is out of control,” Assini said. “It’s filthy. People constantly walk around and throw garbage on the streets.”

In addition, residents are still waiting for the city to respond to their request and  plant trees in the five vacant tree wells on the block.

“We haven’t been making enough progress,” Assini said.

She also said speeding in the area is a big issue for residents.

“Isn’t it time that we do something to slow down the vehicles that zip through our block at dangerous speeds at any time of day?” the Bay Ridge Parkway 400 Block Association said in a notice to its neighbors.

Some of the association’s members have already met with the precinct about the traffic, Assini said.

She added that collaborative effort made the association possible. She expressed gratitude towards Luca and Wendi Balestra and Susan Brown for being so helpful.

“Our vision is to have collaboration and to have a collaborative forum so everyone can participate,” Assini said. “So there’s not necessarily a president.”

In addition, Congressmember Daniel Donovan, his Brooklyn District Director Fran Vella-Marrone, and Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann helped guide the formation of the association, said Assini.

“They were invaluable in helping the Association get started,” she noted.



  1. Elsie Maio

    Doctor’s Row is an icon of beauty and charm in the midst of urban bustle. Even in the years since I moved away — to Santa Fe, NM, and now LIC — I have always enjoyed the trips back to Doctor’s Row for visits with my dentist, Thomas Ischia, and to enjoy the nostalgia of my youth growing up in Bay Ridge.

    Great to see the local politicians appreciate the enduring value of this anchor community and are supporting the commitment of the local residents to preserve it.

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