What’s in a name? Shakespeare asked that question in Romeo And Juliet.
The same question will also be asked about Fourth Avenue, the boulevard that has been getting plenty of attention in recent months by Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Seeking a major revamping of Fourth Avenue, Markowitz put together a task force several months ago to come up with ways to improve the thoroughfare that runs for several miles across the borough, intersecting with several neighborhoods, including Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Park Slope.
Trees, benches, wider sidewalks, medians with flowers, and safer crosswalks for pedestrians are some of the suggestions that have been made so far by members of the Fourth Avenue Task Force On Long-Term Planning. The task force chairman is Carlo Scissura, a senior advisor to Markowitz.
At a meeting of the task force’s Committee on Beautification, Median, and Co-Naming on Feb. 13, Committee Chairman Michael Cairl brought up the topic of what to re-name Fourth Avenue once the work to improve the avenue is done.
“I like ‘Marathon Way.’ Fourth Avenue is famous for being the location of the New York City Marathon,” Cairl told fellow committee members at the meeting, which took place at the Community Board 10 office at 8119 Fifth Ave.
Cairl added that “Marathon Parkway” is another possibility.
Susan Pulaski, a Community Board 10 member and an historian, had a different suggestion.
Pulaski said she’d like to call it, “Park Avenue.” Pulaski said there was a tradition, which began when Brooklyn first became a part of New York City in the late 19th Century, of carrying over names of Manhattan into Brooklyn. “Fulton Street is an example of this,” she said.
Cairl pointed out, however, that there’s a problem with Pulaski’s idea. “There is already a ‘Park Avenue’ in Brooklyn,” he said.
Eleanor Petty, another Community Board 10 member, said she liked the idea of calling Fourth Avenue a boulevard. “I like boulevard. I think it captures what Fourth Avenue is,” she said.
Any name change would have to win the approval of the City Council.
Markowitz’s suggestion? “He wants to call it ‘Brooklyn Boulevard,’” Cairl said.
By Paula Katinas
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