Sections

Exit strategy: City plan for Dyker ramp traffic falls flat

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

A long-overdue city plan to fix the disastrous Fort Hamilton Parkway exit from the Gowanus Expressway is heading back to the drawing board after residents gave it a thumbs down this week.

City officials have promised that they would remedy a congestion and safety problem they created when they redesigned the exit last summer, but when they finally presented the blueprints for the intersection of Fort Hamilton Parkway, Seventh Avenue and 78th Street on Monday night, Dyker Heights residents were disgusted.

The anger mostly boiled over at the agency’s plan to allow traffic exiting the expressway to go in any direction, while restricting local traffic by barring left turns onto 78th Street from Fort Hamilton.

”You’re telling me that people from Staten Island can go anywhere and I live in the neighborhood and I can’t,” complained Joe de la Cruz, one of dozens of residents who flocked to McKinley JSH to hear a briefing about how the city would correct the extended traffic backups and aggressive driving behavior that resulted from last year’s construction.

Residents also strongly objected to the idea that trucks exiting the highway would be able to go along Fort Hamilton Parkway, rather than being steered onto Seventh Avenue, which is the truck route.

“The trucks have to go that way anyway,” Carol Kidney pointed out, asking agency officials to “spread the pain around a little bit.”

Lisa Herbert agreed: “The people who live on 78th Street have been totally disenfranchised by this plan. Now, you’re telling us we can’t even turn into our own block. That’s a problem.”

City designers initially defended their plan, which includes:

• Reducing the number of traffic movements at the intersection from four to three.

• Reconfiguring a barrier to allow for an extra lane of car traffic.

• Creating a diagonal pedestrian crosswalk near PS 127.

• Adding crossing time for pedestrians.

• Adding a new barrier to prevent pedestrians from going where they shouldn’t.

Residents did cheer the increased crossing time, the relocated crosswalk and the added lane of car traffic to prevent backups.

But most were still concerned.

“People are going to drive backwards down that street even more,” said Christine Kennedy, who had complained at an earlier meeting that congestion was sending cars backwards down 78th Street. “You’re fixing one little problem at a time and it’s dominoing into another problem.”

In the end, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge) told agency officials to go back to the drafting table and come up with something better.

“Don’t do anything until you consider what you have heard here tonight,” he said.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

nostradamus from bay ridge says:
Simple solution: Traffic exiting expressway can either go straight onto 7th Ave, or turn left onto 78 st. Traffic on Ft Hamilton Pkwy (7th ave) gets a separate green and can go in any direction. Add in longer lights for pedestrian crossings.
May 12, 2010, 1:14 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.