Cheryl’s Global Soul

To Whom It May Concern:

I own Cheryl’s Global Soul, a restaurant I’ve been running on Underhill Avenue since 2006. I have felt a drop in business since they started closing Vanderbilt for the weekend and again now since they’ve made rerouting changes on Underhill.

The current Open Streets plan on Vanderbilt creates a street fair/beer garden atmosphere which has been a great draw for spots on Vanderbilt but has pulled a lot of business away from those of us on adjacent avenues. Closing off the street has also made it more difficult for customers to get to my business and has created crazy traffic congestion on Washington Ave, which discourages even more people to get to me.

The rerouting on Underhill, especially on my block between the service road and St. John’s Place, has only made things worse. I have no idea why they made one block one way and extended the corner so far out—I’ve never seen people speeding down that block—but it has messed up the ability for people to get to me. Because people can no longer take the right from St. John’s, people must drive all the way around to Washington to loop around just to get to me—not only does that add more pollution to the area, but with Washington so congested, that added hassle becomes a deterrent to coming to my place. Regular customers now find it difficult to drop off elderly family members who can’t walk further than the curb to my restaurant, food delivery trucks that need to unload, now block off the whole street so no one can pass by (before they could), parking has become limited, I’ve seen garbage trucks have a hard time—and how will emergency vehicles make that turn should they need to be called up to my area?

These decisions seem to benefit only one street over so many others, while small businesses are fighting for survival. This sort of favoritism and the lack of community engagement and thought put into the changes on Underhill is a slap in the face not only to people who live here, but to all the small business/establishments in the neighborhood.

I am asking that you rethink Open Streets on Vanderbilt and the bike boulevard on Underhill as my business and others are being adversely affected. We were not consulted and do not give our consent to the reworking of the neighborhood.

Thank you for your attention.

Cheryl’s Global Soul Restaurant
236 Underhill Ave.
Brooklyn,N.Y. 11238