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.