The proposal is part of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, the planned 14-mile-long waterfront park that would stretch from North Brooklyn to Sunset Park.
Traffic conditions along connecting roads to West Street, between Eagle and Quay streets, have sparked the interest of the
Local design team RBA Group presented plans to convert West Street between Eagle and Quay street from a busy two-way to a more relaxed northbound one-way street.
Linda Reardon, vice president and chief engineer on the project, explained that the current model, a two-way street with parking on either side of the road, does not provide the required lane widths to accommodate both parking and travel on the street.
“Currently the street is in pretty poor condition from an infrastructure standpoint and a crowding standpoint,” Reardon explained. “The project is going to correct all of that, upgrading sewers, water mains, sidewalks and roadway surface.”
The design includes a 15-foot pedestrian sidewalk and landscape buffer zone on the west side of the street, a raised 10-foot bikeway and a 12-foot parking buffer on the east side of the street.
“In addition to providing a beautiful facility for bicyclists and pedestrians and residents in the area, it also brings a wider road bed which facilitates easier truck movement,” Reardon explained.
Although several residents at the meeting expressed concerns for getting in and out of their driveways under the new plan, Ted Wright, DOT project manager, is confident the plans presented by RBA are overly cautious when it comes to traffic safety and acclimation.
“The street is actually over-designed from a vehicular standpoint,” Wright explained. “It’s designed for 50-foot-trailers, and that’s as big as you’re allowed in this city.”
Both Wright and Reardon are currently looking at a loose completion date within the next two years.
“It (DOT) always has to be flexible with these things given construction schedules with the city,” Wright said. “We are hoping to start construction by the end of 2013.”
He added that high level sewers are also expected to be installed on the street to reduce the possibility of overflow.
Amir Rasty, DOT director of Capital Project Engineering, is confident in the plan for the greenway and, perhaps, overly optimistic in his analysis for an estimated completion date.
“We were pleased with the feedback that we got, and we are doing the right thing,” Rasty said. “Hopefully we can go ahead and have it done in a year's time.”
Chair Wilfredo Florentino and the committee voted unanimously to support the project.