Ridge board committee hints it wants to slow down Fourth Avenue cars

The Brooklyn Paper
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Community Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation committee wants a slower, safer Fourth Avenue — but they seem to have a fear of closed spaces.

The panel voted to approve the entire city proposal for reforming the corridor — except for the elevated concrete island and suggested pedestrian fence at the 86th Street intersection.

Board members argued that the fence — which would stretch from the corner nearest Third Avenue and the Verrazano Bridge to half the way to 87th Street to discourage people from jaywalking or leaving idling cars nearby — could potentially become an obstacle for people disembarking from the bus that stops nearby. Others felt that the area isn’t densely populated enough to call for the barriers, which the city uses to control foot traffic in places like Herald Square and Jay Street near the Manhattan Bridge off-ramp.

“This just doesn’t belong,” said committee member Lawrence Stelter.

On the concrete island, which would also sit on the side of the 86th Street intersection nearest 87th Street, the vote ended in a stalemate. Opponents feared the island would leave too little space for wide-turning vehicles.

“I’m really not feeling the island,” said CB10er Jon Yedin.

But the committee voted to support stripping away a lane between 95th and 101st streets on the Sunset Park-bound side to slow down drivers coming off the Belt Parkway. It also voted for relocating eight parking spots from Fourth Avenue between 65th and 66th streets to Shore Road Drive in order to form a new lane and reduce congestion. They also backed shaving the thoroughfare down to a single lane in each direction for 13 blocks between Ovington Avenue and 86th Street, widening parking lanes, and creating a left turn bay at 75th Street.

But the vote did not come without a fight. Some board members argued that Fourth Avenue is a vital lifeline to the rest of Brooklyn — one that should not be constricted.

“I don’t see why you would take a thoroughfare like Fourth Avenue and choke it to death,” said Greg Ahl.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at

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Reader Feedback

Michael from Bay Ridge says:
Thanks for the 30th article on the very same topic.
June 13, 2013, 8:13 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I wish the Brooklyn Paper had a reporter who lived in north Brooklyn to breathlessly report on what goes on at CB1 meetings.

I'm glad that Bay Ridge is deciding to become safer though too.
June 13, 2013, 8:20 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Sure. They wrote about Urban Outfitters applying for a liquor license, but I knew that because I looked up the agenda online beforehand. I want someone to go and tell me about the fights.
June 13, 2013, 9:51 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
This should work as well as the bottlenecks created with a paint line at the exit from the Belt Pkwy at 4th and 65th Street. Turns only from the left lane, quick everybody slide to the right, and spill back into the exit!

Utopians making the world safe!
June 13, 2013, 10:52 am
Ben from Greenpoint says:
so what really happen with the idea its about time city should implementing a carriage lane....
June 13, 2013, 11:13 am
ty from pps says:
Wow, Or... your life is really hard, isn't it?
June 13, 2013, 3:15 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Wow, Or ... ty from pps is about to pull out his jerk in a hat routine, again.
June 13, 2013, 8:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
There is no need to get some fancy design to help make Fourth Avenue better, just fixing the timing of the traffic signals. This would cost a lot less than this so-called traffic calming. Nobody will argue that cars do speed and run red lights, but that's more of a straw man argument that I can easily refute back at pedestrians and cyclists that do almost the same in ignoring traffic laws as well. If you don't think that the road is safe, then don't jaywalk to begin with. Is it so important to place yourself into harm's way? Then again places like Streetsblog, Transportation Alternatives, or even the Gothamist will probably call these people martyrs for what they are doing.
June 14, 2013, 4:31 pm
pat d from bay ridge says:
Please give this a simple solution. Give it to the commanding officer of the 68th precinct. Put patrol out in full force and make an example of the offenders. Speed demons, jay walkers, double parkers along the avenue, etc. Enough. All this hype about barriers. I have lived here over 5 decades and can't believe this can't be stopped without the intervention of authority and when it starts up again, then start the intervention again.
June 14, 2013, 8:58 pm
WeightLossNYC from 4th Ave, Bay Ridge says:
It strikes us that what is needed more is street parking not pedestrian islands. With the new school at Ovington to launch, if any changes must be made, would be to alter parallel parking to angle-in, yielding a significant increase in free onstreet parking for residents and visitors alike.
Aug. 3, 2013, 9:48 am

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