The city will finally curb a controversial decision to allow motorists careening off the Manhattan Bridge to turn onto a residential Downtown street at all hours of the day — a situation locals believed to be so dangerous, one made the heartbreaking decision to move to New Jersey after a truck barreling off the span almost mowed her kids down.
“Since that frightening incident happened to us we have decided to move out of the area,” said former Downtown resident turned Garden Stater Leah Rosen, who used to live near Concord Street — the treacherous stretch in question — on Nassau Street and had to cross the thoroughfare several times a day.
The transportation department says it will return the turn onto Concord Street to its previous opening hours of between 3 pm and 7 pm on weekdays starting next month, after making it a 24-hour free-for-all in October last year.
Local residents had been demanding the transportation department reverse the all-hours turn since it was instated, arguing that it was only a matter of time before one of the drivers zooming off the span plowed into one of the thousands of kids who attend school along Concord Street.
The local community board voted in January to rescind its approval of the perilous traffic pattern after hearing their pleas — and extensive video evidence — with members saying they made a mistake in endorsing it in the first place.
Transportation officials then visited site in January, but originally opted only to replace the stop sign at the bridge with a turn signal.
The neighborhood crusaders say they’re pleased the city has now listened to their appeal and changed its decision.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Juan Salazar, who fought tirelessly against the 24-hour turn, writing to officials and attending every Community Board 2 transportation committee meeting since it was introduced.
Salazar says he would still like to see the city do something to keep large trucks and buses from turning down Concord Street, as it is designated for local deliveries only, but he realizes that is more of an enforcement issue.