Photo credit: Councilmember Mark Gjnoaj / Twitter

The mayor’s ‘Clear Curb’ program, designed to ease city congestion by limiting curbside access, is deterring customers of small businesses, owners say.

Councilmembers and small business owners want to curb the mayor’s “Clear Curb” program, an initiative aimed to ease city congestion by limiting curbside access in crowded corridors during rush hour. The program has been controversial since its implementation in March, as business owners fear it would not only affect traffic but also impact their business.

City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo joined Councilmembers Mark Gjonaj and Francisco Moya to announce the Protect NYC Jobs and Businesses Act, alongside small business owners and workers, at a rally at City Hall today. The new legislation will mandate the Department of Transportation to consider the concerns of residents and business owners regarding traffic initiatives that could threaten their respective livelihoods. The bill comes in response to the rollout of the Clear Curb initiative, which was implemented with little input from residents in affected areas and has all but crippled small businesses, according to a statement by Cumbo.

De Blasio introduced the initiative as a pilot program last October in an effort to manage traffic congestion. Since March, the city has banned curbside loading on selected pilot corridors from 7:00am to 10:00am and 4:00pm-7:00pm. In Brooklyn, the Clear Curb pilot program is in effect in Prospect Heights, Park Slope and Downtown Brooklyn, stretching along Flatbush Avenue, Grand Army Plaza to Tillary Street.

Opponents of the program claim that initiative turns out to be a business killer and state that they have suffered a 20 percent hit, reports ABC 7. Not only is the program impeding the businesses’ deliveries, it is also deterring customers who are afraid of being ticketed or towed.

If the Protect NYC Jobs and Businesses Act passes, the bill would increase transparency and accountability and require the department to be more mindful of the consequences of its initiatives before implementation, according to Cumbo.

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