Maybe the third time will be the charm for opponents of the Fresh Pond Road Street Festival.
For the third consecutive year, Community Board 5 (CB 5) has voted to deny the application for the controversial four-day street fair along a five-block section of the important Ridgewood roadway during September.
As in years past, the board’s Executive Committee recommended against the festival, and the full board agreed, voting 24-6 in favor of denying the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens’ application for the festival during Wednesday night’s board meeting in Middle Village.
Board members again cited the length of the festival — requested for Thursday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 10 — as a reason for denial, as well as the traffic jams it causes by blocking off the strip of Fresh Pond Road between Woodbine and Menahan streets.
Another major concern with this year’s festival is the current Department of Transportation (DOT) construction work to rehabilitate the deck of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge. The construction was named as a reason for last year’s festival being shortened to two days from the original four.
“We also reached out to DOT Bridges for any comments due to the construction work going on at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road, whether that will have an effect,” said Vincent Arcuri, chairperson of CB 5. “We have not yet had any feedback from that.”
Although the board voted to recommend the denial of the yearly festival, the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office is the deciding factor for the festival. The office approved permits for the festival the last two years even though the board voted against it both times.
CB 5 did recommend the approval of four other festivals across the neighborhoods:
- Ridgewood LDC Myrtle Avenue Festival along Myrtle Avenue between Wyckoff Avenue and Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood on Sunday, April 9.
- Myrtle Avenue Festival on Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Forest Avenue in Ridgewood on Sunday, July 23.
- Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) Myrtle Avenue Festival on Myrtle Avenue between Wyckoff Avenue and Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood on Sunday, Sept. 17.
- Maspeth Chamber of Commerce-Lions-Kiwanis Grand Avenue Festival on Grand Avenue between 65th and 72nd streets in Maspeth on Sunday, Oct. 8.