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Seeing red: Pedestrians still dodging Atlantic Ave traffic to get to Pier 6 • Brooklyn Paper

Seeing red: Pedestrians still dodging Atlantic Ave traffic to get to Pier 6

Cars and trucks still make illegal right turns on the red light at the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway entrance ramp on Atlantic Avenue, endangering people heading to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Community Newspaper Group / Kate Briquelet

Size apparently does not matter.

Motorists heading to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on-ramp on Atlantic Avenue are blatently ignoring a massive “No turn on red” sign installed earlier this summer by the city — putting families in a deadly game of “Frogger” just to get to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s popular Pier 6 playland.

Such suburban-style “right on red” turns are only allowed between 7 and 10 am on weekdays — but the city isn’t writing enough tickets to enforce the 21-hour-a-day ban, residents said.

“It’s a beautiful park, but it’s dangerous to get there,” said Brooklyn Heights mom Tracy Lantz, as she cautiously pushed her 2-month-old son past the on-ramp on Monday. “Unless people know they’re going to get caught, they’re going to keep driving the way they do.”

Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, slammed the new sign as a poor solution. Her group is lobbying the city to come up with a new plan.

“We’re becoming impatient that more hasn’t been done for the sake of pedestrians,” Stanton said. “The Transportation Department’s first mission is to move traffic, but it’s too scary to be allowed to continue in this fashion.”

Locals have clamored for a traffic fix to the area since the park opened with a dog run and mega-playground in the summer of 2010 and attracted hordes of families to the park.

The city took up the cause this summer, beefing up bike access on nearby Columbia Street, but Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill residents griped that the changes didn’t go far enough, and demanded a ban on right turns on red.

City officials said that they couldn’t do that because traffic would back up on Atlantic Avenue in the morning rush. And the city says it can’t even install a red-light camera because of a 150-camera cap instituted by the state Legislature.

A bill to raise the number of traffic cameras to 225 is stalled in the Assembly.

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