'Don't ignore us' - Williamsburg's Puerto Rican community still wants answers about removed street sign

Although the DOT has since returned the sign and thanked the community for their outreach, protesters vowed to return if they did not get answers to their questions.

News 12 Staff

Jan 28, 2023, 11:12 PM

Updated 476 days ago

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Puerto Rican residents in Williamsburg gathered to demand an explanation about why a historical street sign was removed.  
Two weeks ago, the “Avenue of Puerto Rico” sign at Graham Avenue and Moore Street was removed in what the city's Department of Transportation called a “mistake”. The removal received backlash from the community, who view the sign as a symbol of Puerto Rican pride. Neighbors in the area rallied on the street in protest.  
Although the DOT has since returned the sign and thanked the community for their outreach, protesters vowed to return if they did not get answers to their questions.  
Mayor Eric Adam's office has stated that as long as he is the mayor, the sign will not come down. However, demonstrators say the answers they received are not sufficient. Some neighbors also believe the removal was an effort to push them out.  
"You can say it was a mistake 1,000 times...we're going to say it was bigotry,” said one rallygoer.   
"Don't disrespect us, don't ignore us. If you ignore one Puerto Rican, you ignore them all,” a resident said.  
The group also told News 12 that a circular medallion representing Puerto Rico is scheduled to be placed along Sixth Avenue this week, months after they say the DOT did not include it in its original unveiling last fall.  
News 12 reached out to the DOT for comment and clarification but have yet to hear back. 


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