Locals befuddled by doubled double-yellow lines

Double vision: Locals don’t know what to make of this double set of double yellow lines, but the city insists that it’s no mistake.
Community News Group / Julianne Cuba

Talk about seeing double!

The city painted a new pair of double-yellow lines down the middle of a stretch of Avenue U for what it claims is a pedestrian-safety improvement — but locals have never seen such a marking and were left scratching their heads.

“We had no clue what it is. I’ve never seen it before,” said Marine Parker Richard Farnum, who first witnessed the pair of double-yellows near Coney Island Avenue on Aug. 1. “It’s very confusing to people.”

The Department of Transportation laid down the fresh stripes of yellow paint along Avenue U between McDonald and Ocean avenues last month. The four parallel lines run along the middle of the pavement with more than a foot in between the two sets. And then mysteriously, on the same byway right outside of the Avenue U subway station, between E. 15th and E. 16th streets, the two sets narrow to just inches apart.

Most drivers know that a double-yellow line means no crossing over or passing, but no one could confidently say what two sets mean, and several pedestrians were just taking wild guesses at its purpose. One Sheepshead Bay man thought it could prevent cars from double parking, he said.

“I have no idea. I think they are doing that to make the lanes smaller, that’s what I think. If I were to have to guess,” said Andy Li. “I would say they are trying to make the lanes smaller so the cars will not double park. Obviously, that’s what I’m guessing.”

And one local restaurant owner said it means diddly squat, and was simply a waste of the bumble-bee yellow paint.

“Maybe the city’s got paint that they want to get rid of,” said John Mazzola. “I think it’s a mistake — I don’t think it means anything.”

Another Sheepshead Bay man agreed, saying he’d treat it as if it were just one set of double yellow lines.

“There should only be one. I’d ignore it,” said Bill, who declined to give his last name. “I know it’s a mistake.”

The Department of Transportation said it painted the new lines on purpose — “to enhance safety” — because Avenue U is in a Vision Zero Priority area and part of Sheepshead Bay’s Senior Pedestrian Focus Area, but it did not answer specific questions about its purpose or benefit.

“To enhance safety and reduce speeding along this corridor, we are currently installing painted flush medians and parking lane stripes from McDonald Avenue to Ocean Avenue,” said a spokeswoman for the city agency. “Installation will be completed by late next week.”

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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