Race to kill accidents on 86th Street

CB 10 votes for traffic-calming along 86th Street

Ridge at a crossroads: Community Board 10 member Bob Hudock, with his daughter Katia, complains that the just-approved plan to control traffic on 86th Street doesn’t go far enough to protect children.
for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

A Bay Ridge community panel slammed the brakes on speeding road hogs along 86th Street by approving some of the traffic-calming measures it rejected in the past, but the move was greeted by some as a roadblock to safety along the accident-prone artery responsible for 34 accidents in 2010 and 2011 — 17 of them involving pedestrians.

Community Board 10 voted overwhelmingly for a multi-faceted proposal that includes banning left-hand turns onto Third and Fourth avenues from 86th Street, stationing a traffic safety agent at Fourth Avenue, and installing a stop sign at the corner of Ridge Boulevard and 87th Street, in addition to placing countdown signs at crosswalks and staggering traffic lights between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

The changes would help bolster security for both people and vehicles along one of Bay Ridge’s main commercial corridors, Traffic and Transportation Committee Chairman Brian Kieran said.

“It will address the safety issues without a doubt, and bring safety to the corners with the most accidents,” he said.

But board member Bob Hudock, who voted against the effort, criticized CB10 for not backing the city’s entire plan, which was presented to them in August and would have axed a lane on 86th Street in both directions — from Shore Road to Fourth Avenue — to accommodate students from nearby PS 185, Adelphi Academy, Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis Parochial School, and Fort Hamilton High School.

“If there’s an accident by one of those schools, Transportation is going to install safety measures if we like them or not,” he said. “It would’ve been better if the board had been more pro-active.”

Community Board 10 struck down the city’s speed-reducing plan last October, and shelved discussion on another one in March.

Car advocate Allen Bortnick, who opposed the measures and said he preferred other options — such as a four-way, two-minute stop at Fourth Avenue — questioned the city’s blueprint.

“It is creating a roadblock on the side streets instead of solving the problem,” he claimed.

Kieran added that the Department of Transportation promised to grant a green light to all of the board’s measures, except for the traffic safety agent, which would require police approval.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Scott from Park Slope says:
It's hard to understand anti-safety advocates like Bortnick. 34 accidents in two years in the same place is a lot. Residential streets are not the place for high speeds, sudden maneuvers, or aggressive driving; drivers ought to be walking on eggshells where pedestrians and cyclists are present. Want to drive fast? Go to the Interstate. In North Dakota. Won't even have to turn, because the road is straight and flat for hundreds of miles. No risk of cops because nothing grows there and the only places they can hide are behind billboards and overpasses.
June 21, 2012, 9:26 am
Tru from Brooklyn says:
FINALLY! Someone who's against the safety of the majority of his neighbors who don't own a car or drive is referred to as a "car advocate."

Thank you, Brooklyn Paper!
June 21, 2012, 9:53 am
jay from pslope says:
they should install cameras and just keep em rolling so that every time a driver does something not legal, send em a ticket for it in the mail.
June 21, 2012, 10:57 am
trans alt from my bike says:
Close 86th Street to cars and make it a pedestrian mall. Then keep closing more streets until you have to leave your car outside NYC.
June 21, 2012, 12:05 pm
James from Bay ridge says:
They should rip out a car lane on 86th and extend the side walk. Of all the people are there to shop, eat, or getting out the R at 86 to wait for the bus at Staten island, 90% are not taking a car. A lot of cars double park to pick up people outside of century or other stores. The solution is simple: make it more amenable to walk in areas where the vast majority walk.
June 21, 2012, 4:25 pm
ty from pps says:
James -- That's waaaaay to reasonable.
June 21, 2012, 5:53 pm
Boris from Bay Ridge says:
Install back in angle parking on 86th St. This will slow traffic to a safe speed and create mores spaces for shoppers.
June 21, 2012, 9:27 pm
Boris from Bay Ridge says:
Install back in angle parking on 86th St. This will slow traffic to a safe speed and create mores spaces for shoppers.
June 21, 2012, 9:27 pm
Annoyed from REAL BROOKLYN says:
People do need to get places and whether you like it or not people do drive. Lets keep slowing cars though and admitting more pollution into the environment. Damn anti-car fools can't see the destruction thats right in front of em'.
June 21, 2012, 10:47 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
James, from your mouth to God's ears.
June 22, 2012, 1:33 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Annoyed from "REAL" BROOKLYN, cars are an essential component of the city's transportation mix, but only a part. The vast, vast majority of trips (that we can measure) in the city are made on public transportation. 70% of New Yorkers don't even own cars. I've never seen stats for walking, but I wouldn't be surprised if that dwarfs public transportation by an order of magnitude. So let's keep that in mind for proper perspective.

Right now cars dominate the street-scape. Every part of the city is choked with traffic every day. We can't move any more cars than we already do. Ridership on the MTA has grown dramatically in the last ten years, but service keeps getting cut back. So how are we going to move all the people in the city around? We don't have a magic pile of money somewhere to fund a whole parallel subway system or double-decker highways like they have in Tokyo (and yet their roads are still deadlocked too). Bike lanes only take paint, maybe a new curb here or there; they're cheap, really cheap.

Bikes also get you some exercise, are much easier to park than cars, are better for the environment, are cheaper to operate (no insurance, gas, expensive repairs), and are arguably even more fun than cars (less road rage, less traffic woes).

If your antipathy is rooted in hatred of newcomers, please say, "I hate newcomers" instead of directing it at bicycles when they have so many benefits.
June 22, 2012, 1:47 am
Rufus Leaking from BR says:
Traffic calming means creating a traffic jam where there wasn't one before.

Maybe people are stupider than ever, and can't watch where they are going, while they Twitter, and run into traffic while updating their Facebook!.
June 22, 2012, 3:06 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Why is that whenever someone is against traffic calming, they are considered anti-safety? I think some tend to misinterpret that. Can't we just fix the timing and the signals and crosswalks? It is much more cheaper and will probably even cost less compared to traffic calming? I do agree with those here who commented on saying that traffic calming will only create congestion and cause pollution, because that will most likely happen in the long run, plus that would have been the case in the South Bronx had the vote to take down the Sheridan Expwy happened, but fortunately didn't. Let's not forget that this 86th Street is a major thoroughfare, so it shouldn't be reduced to begin with.
June 24, 2012, 9:26 pm

Enter your comment below

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

You agree that you, and not 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 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.