City to study Flatbush Avenue traffic

The city will soon be taking a close look at congestion on one of Brooklyn’s busiest thoroughfares.

The Department of Transportation is in the first stages of a traffic analysis of Flatbush Avenue, between Empire Boulevard and Nostrand Avenue, as part of its citywide Congested Corridors study.

“We want to reduce congestion, improve air quality, make it safer for everybody, not just drivers, but pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Gregory Haas, a project manager with the agency’s Traffic Planning division during a meeting of Community Board 14’s Transportation Committee. “And we want to make it beneficial for people who live, work and shop in the area.”

The analysis is long overdue, said Jack Katz, the executive director of the Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District, who said business has been suffering for year.

“People can’t find parking spots,” he said. “If you don’t want to double-park, are you going to stop? So, they continue along.”

The agency has previously studied Church Avenue between McDonald Avenue and Utica Avenue and is now in the process of implementing changes to that street that were developed based on the study.

During the new study, several key intersections along the 2.5-mile stretch of Flatbush Avenue will be analyzed, including Nostrand Ave and Hillel Place, Farragut Road and Rogers Avenue, Foster Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Cortelyou Road, Church Avenue, Linden Boulevard, Caton Avenue, Parkside Avenue, Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue, and Empire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.

The process will be an exhaustive one, with a series of public meetings designed to elicit input from residents and businesses in the area as it progresses. “We don’t want to do it unilaterally,” Haas said.

Among the issues that will be studied by agency officials are the volume of traffic at various times of day, and on weekends and weekdays, as well as where, when and how often vehicles turn onto and off the strip. The average speed of vehicles going along Flatbush Avenue at different times will be determined, as well as the number of pedestrians who utilize the avenue. Parking and truck delivery issues will also be analyzed, as will existing signs and road markings.

The goal of the study is to develop a menu of changes, both short and long-term, that can improve conditions on the thoroughfare.

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