Fighting for their rights: Rally opposes right-turn ban on Ocean Parkway

Speaking out: Assembylman Dov Hikind and Public Advocate Tish James join the community in protesting the state’s plan to eliminate right turns off of Ocean Parkway.
Brooklyn Paper
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The state must put the brakes on a plan to ban turns on portions of Ocean Parkway, drivers are demanding.

Gov. Cuomo announced $8.5 million in upgrades to the busy road between the Prospect Expressway and Belt Parkway this past spring — including improved pedestrian ramps, crosswalks, and traffic signals. But the plan also forbids drivers form turning onto Avenues J, P, and Kings Highway or making left-hand turns onto Avenues I and U as a safety measure — instead requiring motorists to make the turns from the parkway’s service road.

Local leaders organized a protest on Sunday, claiming that sending cars onto the service road will backfire by exacerbating traffic and putting more people in harm’s way.

“It will create havoc,” said Assembly Dov Hikind (D–Midwood), who organized the protest. “If you want to make that right turn, you have to get off a block before and go onto the service road, which is a narrower street with cars parked on both sides and school buses. When do we create a service road and turn it into a highway? We’re making things less safe, because we’re sending more traffic to the service road with synagogues, schools on all of these streets. This is nuts.”

But the state contends its plan will improve safety — the thoroughfare is actually three roads in one counting the service roads, and throwing an intersection into the mix makes a dozen chances for a crash, according to a spokeswoman from the state.

Public Advocate Tish James joined the protest and is demanding the state review the project before its slated completion date of fall 2017.

“Whenever we embark on major infrastructure projects, we must ensure we listen to the concerns of the community. There is a way to make Ocean Parkway safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers and we must do it with the input of New Yorkers who use the road on a regular basis,” said James. “Government works best when it listens to the people, and that’s what we need right now.”

But the state already reviewed the proposal — it was thoroughly analyzed and thoughtfully planned — and has no plans to delay the work, a spokesman said.

“DOT is meeting with community leaders on this issue. Safety is our top priority and we look forward to a productive conversati­on,” said Gary Holmes.

The state is also replacing the service road’s stop signs with traffic lights to more tightly control the flow of cars and sync up the traffic on both streets, according to the plan.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sid from Boreum hill says:
Most roads like this hAve ramps off to the Service road to make the right turn but that would take parking and some of the park divider. Would the lights on the Service road run opposite to the main road?
Dec. 7, 2016, 7:19 am
Tyler from pps says:
Lord have mercy... Is there any irrational cause Dov Hikind doesn't get behind?

What he says in his quote is just stupid. I know, I know. Change is sooooo hard. Especially when it means the horrible horrible burden of exiting the main part of a road a block ahead of time and then driving a little slower as you approach you turn. Oh the humanity! How will the drivers of southern Brooklyn ever recover!?!?
Dec. 7, 2016, 9:32 am
Mike from Brooklyn says:
The overprivileged people who can afford cars and who use them to give kids asthma and mow down pedestrians need to stop whining.
Dec. 7, 2016, 9:40 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
First rule of traffic safety projects - the opposite of what Dov Hikind says is probably the right thing to do.
Dec. 7, 2016, 10:44 am
Morris from Mill Basin says:
These people who have nothing better to do should just stop living.
Dec. 7, 2016, 11:30 am
Phil from Brooklyn says:
This year, Tish James has spoke out against Clinton Hill bike lanes, and now this. She's proving herself to be quite the defender of politically-connected loudmouths who like to speed and double park.
Dec. 7, 2016, 12:43 pm
AMH says:
Driving is a privilege, not a right, and that includes making potentially dangerous turns.
Dec. 7, 2016, 1 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Lord have mercy... Is there any irrational cause Dov Hikind doesn't get behind? - Dov is Sharpton with a skull cap. He is always sticking his nose where it does not belong

The overprivileged people who can afford cars and who use them to give kids asthma and mow down pedestrians need to stop whining. - owning a car is in no way a matter of privlege - it is a matter of affordability an choice

These people who have nothing better to do should just stop living. - how loving - you must be a blast at parties

Driving is a privilege, not a right, and that includes making potentially dangerous turns. - driving is a right you dolt lmao just like owning a bike or a horse
Dec. 7, 2016, 1:18 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
If Dov Hikind is in favor of something, it should definitely not be done.
Dec. 7, 2016, 5:34 pm
Wanda Tootie says:
Why do they allow cars on this road anyway? If we got rid of all the traffic it could become a bird sanctuary.
Dec. 8, 2016, 7:03 am
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
Ocean Parkeay would make a great bike thoroughfare, with plenty of space for walkers in the existing bike path.
Dec. 8, 2016, 12:25 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Perhaps the reason why both James and Hikind oppose the ban on right turns is because it will mean longer trips for motorists when using the Ocean Parkway. What about commercial vehicles that may have trouble making those right turns from the service roads considering how wide they are known to be? My guess is those that want them didn't take that into account. Another thing is that the service roads will be a lot more packed if only right turns are allowed from them only while being denied from the main road. Keep in mind how backed up the service roads on the Ocean Parkway are when someone is parking their vehicle or even just double parked waiting for someone or loading something when this can't be done on the main road itself. Now just imagine how that combines with saying that only right turns can be made from them, which will make them feel like a nightmare. Then again, the anti-car fanatics can always use that as a way to promote congestion pricing just by creating the very congestion itself.
Dec. 8, 2016, 4:54 pm
Sid from Boreum bill says:
Tal. Commercial vehicles are prohibited from the main road of ocean parkway completely. They if they are making deliveries must use the service lane now.
It will increase the use of the Service road...
Dec. 8, 2016, 6:56 pm
Brooklynite from Brooklyn says:
Man, Tish James is all talk when it comes to livable streets but when it comes time to actually take action and make the changes necessary to make Brooklyn streets a little safer and better, Tish is very often on the wrong side.

Ocean Parkway is an absolute traffic sewer. It's virtually non-stop hellacious for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and residents. Anyone who is arguing against making changes here is, quite simply, an idiot.
Dec. 9, 2016, 10:05 am
Tyler from pps says:
Hey Tal -
As Sid already said, Ocean Parkway is a Parkway... no commercial vehicles. You really should just stick to Pleasantville. I'm sure, if you ask nicely, your mom will let you out of the basement. Get involved with traffic engineering up there! It could be a Tal Barzalai extravaganza!
Dec. 9, 2016, 10:19 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Either way, restricting right turns to the service roads will lead to massive backups on them especially when they would be the only places the turns will be permitted, which is pretty much why both James and Hikind oppose this idea.
Dec. 9, 2016, 4:46 pm
Sid from Boerum hill says:
Tal. its 5 to 6 blocks with restricted turns the other 20 have no restrictions. It means getting off one block earlier to make the turn. Ocean parkway has at least one speed camera settup by a school and the speed limit is 25 with lots of red light cameras.
Dec. 9, 2016, 7:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sid, I really suggest you read the article especially where Hikind states why the new design is a bad idea. Personally, I'm not much of a fan of redesigning turning lanes either especially when it will confuse those who used to be allowed to make such turns. Another thing is that those who support redesigning streets or even these so-called livable streets don't understand the group that can't get around without driving, which I feel that those over on places such as Streetsblog and Transportation Alternatives never seem to understand. More importantly, I feel that those anti-car fanatics never seem to understand the causes of the opposition and focus only. Keep in mind that Ocean Parkway is a major thoroughfare, and that redesigning this very street can end up being a bad idea for the long run.
Dec. 10, 2016, 6:09 pm
Sid from Boreum hill says:
Tal. just because someone is for or against a specific project doesn't make them an anti car fanatic. Also with respect sometimes not commenting on something shows true intelligence. I drive ocean parkway a couple of times a week those right turns ARE dangerous. Just because some politicians take a stand doesn't mean they are right. tish is running for mayor. Sucking up to a voting block is de riga. Yes it will take some getting used to but it's really not the end of the world.
Dec. 11, 2016, 7:35 am
Tzvi Goldstein from Midwood says:
Dov, bubbe:

How about we have the NYPD enforce driving and car regulations to your constituents with the same level of attention and aggressiveness as they do all others? (Not that NYPD is great about this but sometimes they get out there.)

How about it, Dov? Do your people can even partly abide with


Be careful what you wish for, Dov!
Dec. 11, 2016, 12:16 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Tzvi, I will agree to that just as I also went regular enforcement for cyclists and pedestrians since they to have the tendency to flout laws as well, so then the streets will be truly safe.
Dec. 12, 2016, 4:22 pm

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