Flatbush to get ‘narrow’ minded during arena construction

The area around the new home of the Brooklyn Nets will be anything but a slam dunk for drivers next month as Flatbush Avenue will be narrowed to accommodate construction workers.

The six-lane road will be squeezed to five lanes between Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street, and the center track will run in the peak direction — towards the Manhattan Bridge during the morning rush, and away from it the rest of the day.

The new traffic pattern will go into effect on Aug. 1, and will remain in place until 2012, the Empire State Development Corporation said.

The lane is being eliminated to allow construction workers to move subway structures and make way for a new loading zone at the Barclays Center site, which is just southeast of the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.

ESDC spokeswoman Beth Mitchell said that traffic agents will be dispatched to make the three block lane loss as painless as possible.

“Traffic agents will be there as long as the [city] Department of Transportation determines they are necessary,” Mitchell said.

Expect those agents to keep busy. The area is constantly jammed, mostly due to car traffic, but congestion has also been exacerbated since the one-block portion of Fifth Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic avenues was eliminated. That roadway was a key part of the B63 bus line. Now, Downtown-bound buses must turn from Fifth Avenue onto Flatbush Avenue and then block traffic as they wait to turn left at Atlantic Avenue.

But Mitchell said that buses won’t make traffic any worse once the Flatbush Avenue constriction goes into effect.

“The Department of Transportation did not foresee a significant impact to the traffic flow,” she said.

A southbound bus stop for the B41 and B67 will also be eliminated at Fifth Avenue as part of the construction.

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