Bi-sectional! Hanson Place now goes both ways

Bi-sectional! Hanson Place now goes both ways
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

A one-way street in Fort Greene was quietly converted into a two-way road last week, wreaking havoc on pedestrians and drivers.

Until last weekend, motorists could only go eastbound on Hanson Place, a three-block stretch between Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Street. They proved to be creatures of habit behind the wheel this week as numerous drivers disregarded the freshly painted yellow stripe in the middle of the street and often veered into what is now the oncoming lane.

Local politicians and residents said the city has forced pedestrians to live out a real-life version of the arcade game Frogger because no one alerted people to the new traffic direction.

“There is mass confusion on Hanson Place that is putting people at risk,” Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) said on Thursday.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene) added that, “Whenever changes are made, the community deserves notice,” such as signs or traffic agents to acquaint people with the new system.

The Department of Transportation disputed that it had pulled a fast one on the neighborhood.

“In preparation for this important change to enhance mobility and safety in this congested area, DOT last month made notifications and presentations to local elected leaders and to the community board,” said Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the department.

Though it’s only a squib on a Brooklyn map, James said Hanson Place is “major” because it links with Flatbush Avenue, runs behind the Atlantic Terminal mall and in front of a state office building.

Turning most of Hanson Place into a two-way street is part of a larger series of measures to improve conditions around the snarling intersection of Atlantic, Flatbush and Fourth avenues.

Those improvements don’t end at the curb, Gastel said.

“Pedestrian crosswalks in the area will be enhanced,” he said.