April 8, 2015, 3:40 pm

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Giving more space to pedestrians at a busy transfer point between the bus and the subway? Brooklyn CB 3 isn’t interested. Image: DOT [PDF] Creating more space for pedestrians at a dangerous, crowded transfer point between bus lines and the subway — sounds like a no-brainer, right? Not at Brooklyn

Giving more space to pedestrians at a busy transfer point between the bus and the subway? Brooklyn CB 3 isn't interested. Image: DOT [PDF]
Giving more space to pedestrians at a busy transfer point between the bus and the subway? Brooklyn CB 3 isn’t interested. Image: DOT [PDF]

Creating more space for pedestrians at a dangerous, crowded transfer point between bus lines and the subway — sounds like a no-brainer, right? Not at Brooklyn Community Board 3, where the default position is to reflexively reject even the smallest street safety change.

Fulton Street and Utica Avenue are both dangerous streets that the de Blasio administration has targeted at Vision Zero priority corridors in need of safety improvements. There were 58 traffic injuries at the intersection of the two streets between 2009 and 2013, according to DOT.

DOT is proposing to replace “slip lanes,” which allow drivers to make quick right turns from Fulton Street to Utica Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard, with sidewalk extensions that would tighten turns and shorten crossing distances. The additional space would reduce exposure to motor vehicle traffic for people transferring between the B46, B25, and A/C trains [PDF].

Upon seeing the plan Monday night, CB 3 members recoiled, Camille Bautista of DNAinfo reports:

[C]ommunity members said it would bottleneck traffic coming from Atlantic Avenue. Other residents took issue with the elimination of turning lanes, which could add congestion on an already crowded Fulton Street.

“I know that you have your study, but your study really cannot compare to the study I have by using that intersection every day,” said board member C. Doris Pinn, who stressed the potential for more traffic jams and accidents.

The intersection tweaks complement the introduction of Select Bus Service on the B46, New York City’s second-busiest bus route, with nearly 50,000 passengers each day. Four miles of Utica Avenue would receive dedicated bus lanes in the plan, which also got panned at Monday’s CB 3 meeting. “To me it feels like you’re pushing this down the community’s throat,” one woman said, according to DNAinfo.

In the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Community District 3, more than two-thirds of households don’t own cars, according to the U.S. Census. The area is represented in the City Council by Laurie Cumbo, Robert Cornegy, and Darlene Mealy, who each appoint members to CB 3, along with Borough President Eric Adams.

Last year, CB 3 stonewalled a 20 mph Slow Zone requested by neighborhood residents. DOT eventually decided not to extend the slow zone into CB 3’s turf after board chair Tremaine Wright dismissed street safety as a real concern.

Select Bus Service is scheduled to start late this summer or this fall, with related pedestrian safety improvements to be phased in after service begins.


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4 Responses

  1. Su

    Why would someone who lives in a neighborhood where the vast majority of residents use the bus (instead of cars) reject the idea of a bus lane? Weird. But then some people object to any change. For me, having the buses travel more quickly is a wonderful improvement (even if it does make car travel a little slower).

    Reply
  2. Andrea

    This article is very one-sided and is missing very relevant facts, both about the current traffic issue and the Slow Zone issue. Hard to take the writer seriously.

    Reply
  3. Schellie Hagan

    I’m not familiar with the daily traffic at Fulton and Utica but am very familar with the traffic problems the DOT has caused at Fulton and Grand from a pedestrian plaza they put in three years ago on Putnam.

    The plaza takes away the last block of the B26’s straight run down Putnam. Now the bus has to make two tight turns, from Putnam to Grand and then from Grand to Fulton.

    The bus is longer than the snippet of Grand it turns on. It cantelevers waiting to get the green light and if conditions on Fulton aren’t perfect, the bus has problems.

    The DOT says the B26 is running smoorhly. What di you think?

    https://youtu.be/dWZOVLqfOUM

    Reply
  4. BedStyHeights

    CB3 is out of touch with the community and say no to everything. They need to take a tour of Bed-Stuy outside of the radius of the newly coined “historic” blocks they are clinging to for dear life. They simply object to change with grossly uninformed reasoning…seemingly for the sake of feeling empowered. Bed Stuy could be better, but in reality it is suffering from backwards leadership who are puffed up with entitlement. I am convinced that these very insular people who live in a “sleepy community” are really asleep and could care less about anyone who does not live on the “historic” blocks they live on.

    Reply

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