Panel begrudgingly approves city’s ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ plan

If they could leave it, they would.

A Bay Ridge panel voted to approve the city’s take-it-or leave it plan to fix a congested off-ramp and service road of the Gowanus Expressway in Dyker Heights — but it said it did so only because a gun was held to it’s head.

Members of Community Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation committee made it clear that they would have held off on approving the plan — which forces all local traffic on Seventh Avenue onto Fort Hamilton Parkway at 78 Street while allowing all traffic coming off the expressway to go straight or turn — if they felt that the city would consider other options.

“The plan is not that good, but we are being told it is going to be jammed down our throats,” said board member Allen Bortnick. “We are being asked only if we want bad, badder or baddest.”

The biggest sticking point for the panel is the fact that trucks will once again be allowed — in fact forced — to travel on Fort Hamilton Parkway, something some residents have been fighting for years.

“We don’t want to give them the okay to run trucks onto Fort Hamilton Parkway,” said Bob Cassara.

Committee members also voted to recommend that the city add a left-turn signal at Bay Ridge Parkway, as well as signs telling trucks to turn there, to encourage truckers to return to the truck route on Seventh Avenue.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation did not address the truck issue, saying only that the agency was looking forward to hearing the recommendation of the full board.

If the new plan is put in place, the city said it will only revisit the matter if the changes do not solve the problem, according to Dorothy Cruz, the chairwoman of CB10’s traffic and transportation committee.

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