Winter 2001, p.8

DOT Recalcitrance Places Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project In Doubt

The downtown Brooklyn traffic calming pilot projects are finally going into the ground, but they are so diluted that community groups wonder whether the projects will do anything to slow speeds and reduce through traffic. Community disappointment stems from the Department of Transportation's refusal to use temporary, cost-saving treatments that would have allowed for a much more extensive group of pilot projects. DOT also rejected the use of more aggressive traffic calming devices, despite unanimous requests from all the participating community groups. For example, the raised crosswalk and intersections in the pilot projects are a mere two inches high, rather than the international standard of four inches. Two-inch traffic calming platforms have been shown to have no effect on speeds. In many of the pilot projects, DOT has not placed neckdowns (sidewalk extensions) on the turning corners where they are most effective. They have also refused to place bollards on the neckdowns, citing the potential dangers to "speeding motorists" who might crash into them.

This spring, DOT and project consultants will once again hold public meetings to discuss the pilot projects and to get input on the final project recommendations. T.A. will continue to fight to make sure that the downtown Brooklyn community gets as much as it can from the traffic calming project, but we need your help. If you are a Downtown Brooklyn resident, we need you, your friends and neighbors to attend these meetings. Let the consultants know that Brooklyn deserves the best possible traffic calming to reduce speeding and through traffic. Check the website www.transalt.org for meeting dates, or call T.A. for more information.

Downtown Brooklyn Pilot Projects

  • Curb extensions on Lafayette Avenue at Carlton Avenue and Adelphi Street., and at the intersection of Hicks Street and Atlantic Avenue.
  • A raised intersection at Hicks Street and Pierrepont Street.
  • A neckdown and raised crosswalk on South Oxford Street at Fulton Street.
  • Widened median refuges on Tillary Street at Adams, and lengthened pedestrian signal phases.
  • A pedestrian refuge on Atlantic Avenue at Bond Street, and neckdowns on Bond Street at Atlantic Avenue.
  • A colored bicycle lane on Henry Street south of Atlantic Avenue.
  • A leading pedestrian interval at Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street.
  • An exclusive pedestrian phase at Remsen Street and Court Street.

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