Proposed traffic changes to the Broadway corridor
by Andrew Shilling
Jan 29, 2013 | 1441 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Broadway corridor project marks improvements between Driggs and Myrtle Avenues
Broadway corridor project marks improvements between Driggs and Myrtle Avenues
The DOT will look at sign placement, traffic signal patterns and suggested the installation of “muni-meters” to better regulate the parking.
The DOT will look at sign placement, traffic signal patterns and suggested the installation of “muni-meters” to better regulate the parking.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Councilwoman Diana Reyna have proposed a number of improvements to several intersections along the Broadway between Driggs and Myrtle avenues in Williamsburg.

Their plan is to reduce some of the traffic congestion along the busy street.

Key regions, within the boundaries of the study, have focused on several intersections including Flushing and Myrtle avenues, which are viewed as “congested areas” in their report, and plan to reduce some of the chaos with a number of projected solutions.

They will be looking at traffic sign placement in the area, the current traffic signal patterns for better coordination, and have suggested the installation of “muni-meters” to better regulate the parking in the narrow passage under the J/M train lines.

Some of the overhead-mounted traffic signs in the corridor are simply too difficult to see for oncoming traffic in the commotion during peak hours.

Reyna gave her support for the project in her third meeting on the proposal at the St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development Center in Greenpoint, calling out to the community for additional voices to make this plan a reality.

“Participating in the DOT’s Congested Corridor program is exciting because Broadway is about to get the attention it deserves,” Reyna said. “The DOT will continue its public outreach to ensure that the city creates a plan that truly benefits the community. What is needed now, however, is greater public participation and input.”

Currently, a typical street scene is packed with parked cars on either side, often double-parked. The constant flow of city buses, coupled with narrowing subway columns and a growing number of bicyclists and pedestrians is an issue as well..

“As was presented last week, there is much we can do to improve the traffic conditions for the people that live and commute along Broadway,” she said.

“In conjunction with the councilwoman’s office, DOT is preparing a range of parking and circulation improvements for the Broadway corridor, and has held several public meetings on the topic to receive community input,” read a statement from DOT.

They pointed out some of the negative sides to peak hour parking regulations, ultimately resulting in the loss of over 100 parking spaces along the corridor during morning and evening rush hours.

Omar Ali, daytime manager at Stay Fresh Grill and Deli on the corner of Belvidere Street and Broadway, explained that parking along the street is already tough enough to come by, and any loss of spaces will hurt business.

“Parking is really horrible on the weekdays,” Ali said. “You’ve got truckers and vendors, and they have the moving people coming in and taking up a whole three or four block radius for parking.”

While the weekends are usually pretty clear, Broadway shows a different face from Monday through Friday, during the rush hour in the middle and end of the week, according to Ali.

Although he agrees that businesses are in need of parking spaces to support his customers, he does, however, understand the need for safer streets, first and foremost.

“There’s always way too much traffic around here,” he said, recalling just last week when a car sideswiped a biker in front of the deli. “He didn’t see the car coming, the car was turning and he just hit the car.”

While DOT hopes to reduce the amount of accidents and problematic conditions in the area, they are still looking to the community for additional input for their study.

“The agency continues to revise the proposal and plans to present the package to community boards in the coming months, and are currently planning on conducting surveys with local businesses, residents and stakeholders in regards to the proposed parking changes,” a spokesperson from DOT said.

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