City eighty-sixes 86th Street left-turn ban

City: Time to 86 left turns at Fourth Avenue
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The city has 86ed its controversial plan to ban all left turns on 86th Street at Fourth Avenue after a local panel scoffed at the notion that the intersection should be louie-free.

Members of Community Board 10 slammed the Department of Transportation’s plan to bar left turns at the Ridge’s busiest intersection when the city announced the scheme back in October, claiming that the proposal would cause major gridlock along neighboring roadways.

Now, the city has bowed to the pressure and says it will only ban left turns for drivers headed toward Shore Road, and will continue to let cars make the sinister turn where new left turn bays will be painted.

Most board members supported that plan, but some said that banning traffic from turning left there would be a mistake since left-hand turns are already banned at Fifth Avenue, leaving Fort Hamilton Parkway two blocks away as the only place within the commercial corridor where the turns will be allowed.

“Gridlock,” predicted CB10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann back in October.

City planners claim that the left turn ban still makes sense at that corner, and denied that gridlock would be an issue.

Drivers struck 36 pedestrians and five bicyclists at that intersection from 2006 to 2010, and 50 motorists were injured, according to the city, which claims that slowing down speeding cars — which are currently unencumbered by a wide roadway — is the only way to end the carnage.

“When there’s high capacity on a roadway, drivers tend to speed up,” Anne Marie Doherty of the Department of Transportation said in October.

Reach reporter Dan MacLeod at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow his tweets at twitter.com/dsmacleod.

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