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Cuomo ignores DeBlasio’s plea to put brakes on unpopular traffic changes, pol says - Brooklyn Paper

Cuomo ignores DeBlasio’s plea to put brakes on unpopular traffic changes, pol says

Speaking out: Assembylman Dov Hikind and Public Advocate Tish James join the community in protesting the state’s plan to eliminate right turns off of Ocean Parkway.
Photo by Joshua Winata

Gov. Cuomo steam-rolled Mayor DeBlasio and the city’s Department of Transportation by ignoring their request to postpone unpopular traffic changes to Ocean Parkway, a local pol says.

City officials asked the state, which controls the parkway, to hold off banning turns onto select avenues until it could take feedback from locals, but Cuomo paid the pleas no heed, according to Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D–Midwood), who kvetched about it on Twitter last week.

“Was just told that @NYCMayor & @NYC_DOT Commissioner requested to postpone Ocean Parkway traffic changes BUT were ignored by Gov! Not right!” he tweeted on Dec. 16.

Cuomo is rolling out an $8.5-million upgrade to Ocean Parkway that includes new pedestrian ramps, crosswalks, and traffic signals — but the plan also forbids drivers from turning onto Avenues J, P, and Kings Highway or making left-hand turns onto Avenues I and U. Residents and local pols rallied against the state’s Department of Transportation earlier this month demanding it take another look before moving forward. The city also made formal requests, a spokesman for the transit department confirmed.

“NYC DOT asked State DOT to not begin immediate implementation during the holiday season to allow for more community dialogue,” said rep Scott Gastel.

But Albany went ahead and implemented turn bans on Avenue I and Kings Highway — much to the chagrin of area residents, according to a rep for Hikind.

“We’ve been getting calls everyday from people complaining about the changes. We just asked the Department to hold off on making any changes just until he can review it further,” said legislative director Dov Cohen. “Kings Highway and Ocean Parkway has gone into effect — the no right turns from the main road onto Kings Highway, and no left turns from Avenue I.”

It is the latest power struggle between the city and state. Last week, a captive deer died in the city’s hands while DeBlasio and Cuomo privately sparred over how to deal with the errant buck, according to the New York Post. And days later, Cuomo announced he was sending more state troopers into New York City — apparently because the governor does not think DeBlasio is doing well enough on anti-terror measures, the paper reported.

The state did not return to multiples requests for comment regarding Ocean Parkway.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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