Aw, DUMBO — our little neighborhood has finally grown up.
The traffic flow in the area down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass will change dramatically, thanks to the neighborhood’s first traffic light being installed at the corner of York and Jay streets.
But the debate has already begun about whether the new stoplight will curb the daily battle among pedestrians, cyclists and cars at the intersection, which is next to the exit of the busy F train.
“The cars here have always sucked — nobody stops at these signs,” said DUMBO resident Jeffrey Golden, standing below the half-finished light poles on Monday. “[But with these lights], cars are gonna speed up to get through before it turns red. It’s already dangerous here.”
A Department of Transportation study suggests otherwise — city officials found that the lights are needed due to increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic over the past few years. Officials couldn’t track down the exact stats by our lightning-fast deadlines, but noted that the intersection hit a “threshold” of traffic deemed necessary for the lights.
Indeed, on Monday, our staff witnessed people walking diagonally between curbs, 18-wheelers dodging cars that rolled through stop signs, and honk-and-go traffic at the intersection.
The study was done after the DUMBO Improvement District steered the city’s attention toward the potential for an accident, and the group broke the news last week on Twitter with the message, “Something very interesting is happening at Jay and York. We know what it is; do you? http://fb.me/sCNv0BLm.”
District officials refused to talk about the stoplight past the cutesy Twitter update, but did acknowledge that the neighborhood is changing — that is, that there are more residents — and straphangers — flooding into the neighborhood on a daily basis.
The lights are expected to start stopping cars and pedestrians next week.