Brooklyn Councilman David G. Greenfield last Friday led Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and several high level staff members from the New York City Department of Transportation on a problem-solving tour of several locations in Flatbush and Boro Park where traffic congestion and safety issues have long made travel more difficult for thousands of families across our community.
“Traffic congestion and safety are the number one quality of life issues in Boro Park and Flatbush,” said Councilman Greenfield. “I thank DOT Commissioner Trottenberg and her leadership team for joining me in my district to see firsthand what my constituents have to go through on the way to work, to school and to our parks. I look forward to continuing the partnership strengthened here in Brooklyn in the coming months as we pursue critical changes to make our streets safer and better for all of us.”
Councilman Greenfield began his tour on Ocean Parkway, the central traffic artery through his southern Brooklyn district, highlighting the difficulties that drivers face turning onto and off of the main highway, service roads and intersecting streets because of new turn regulations. Commissioner Trottenberg and her chief engineers observed the long waits and frustrations that drivers face, especially as a result of new restrictions on the roadway. At the conclusion of that stop, the DOT officials agreed to reconsider some of the regulations that prohibit turns from the service roads onto the main road, particularly near large shuls and yeshivas and where requested by leaders from the Hatzalah volunteer ambulance service.
In addition to reevaluating rules on Ocean Parkway, Councilman Greenfield also secured a commitment from Commissioner Trottenberg to examine ways to ease congestion onto and off of Ocean Parkway along 18th and Foster Avenues, both critical links between Boro Park and Ocean Parkway. The study will also include the area around the 70th police precinct station house on Lawrence Avenue, where police vehicles must negotiate a narrow street while competing with pick-ups and drop-offs at nearby institutions including United Cerebral Palsy.
The tour continued at difficult intersections with unique safety challenges. At 13th Avenue and 60th Street, two-way traffic becomes one-way traffic, yet many drivers don’t realize and go the wrong way down a one way street in front of a yeshiva and a senior center. At 18th Avenue and 56th Street, thousands of children cross to enter the 18th Avenue Park but there is no traffic light or stop sign to permit them to cross safely. Similarly, at 21st Avenue, Dahill Road and 53rd Street, cars often round a blind turn down a block with two schools and a baseball field. For each of these locations, Commissioner Trottenberg and her team examined conditions closely and promised to return to the community with recommendations for improvements.