City bans left turns at dangerous intersection

A new ban on left turns is intended to ease traffic woes at a dangerous Dyker Heights intersection.

A sign prohibiting turns from Bay Ridge Parkway northbound onto Fort Hamilton Parkway heading west was installed earlier this month, said Josephine Beckmann, the district manager of Community Board 10, after residents complained about the intersection during a meeting this spring.

There have been several high-profile traffic fatalities at the intersection, including the hit-and-run death earlier this year of a young woman who was crossing the street in the early morning hours. Another, earlier fatality involved an elderly woman walking to church.

The left turn ban was implemented, according to a Department of Transportation official, at the request of CB10 and Councilman Vincent Gentile, to help ease congestion that’s caused by cars waiting to make a left turn onto Fort Hamilton Parkway to get to the Gowanus Expressway.

The new regulations at the intersection mean that Staten Island-bound cars on Bay Ridge Parkway heading for the Gowanus must cross over and use Seventh Avenue to get on the highway.

For parents driving their children from Bay Ridge to PS 127, at Seventh Avenue and 78th Street, the change should be beneficial, said Maureen Landers, whose children attend the school.

“I often haven’t been able to make the right turn to go to the school,” she recalled, “because cars [heading on Bay Ridge Parkway toward Bay Ridge] are all backed up there waiting to turn, so it does seem to make sense to me.”

This is not the only traffic change planned for the area. city officials are working on a redesign of the intersection near PS 127, to reduce congestion and increase safety there, a spokesperson said. That intersection has been a hot spot since the agency redesigned it last summer, causing extensive traffic backups that residents say have resulted in aggressive driving behavior.

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